A FARMING leader has questioned the role of Natural England in a delayed badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
NFU president Peter Kendall, speaking on the BBC Panorama programme this week, said badger figures released just before the cull was due to start would have led to its inevitable failure. He said the surprise estimates put the NFU and the companies set up to administer the cull in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset 'on the back foot'.
He questioned the role of Natural England, the agency given the task of issuing licences for the cull, in the failure of the policy to get off the ground this year.
"There is a view that there are some people who have not been as helpful as they could have been in delivering this policy," Mr Kendall told presenter Tom Heap.
Panorama quoted Natural England as saying it was "committed to working with all involved to implement Government policy".
Also on the programme, Defra Secretary Owen Paterson outlined his "complete determination" that the pilot culls will go ahead next year.