The NFU has reaffirmed its commitment to the government’s planned badger cull, despite an overwhelming majority of MPs voting in favour of a motion to scrap it.

Yesterday, a House of Commons debate took place following an e-petition that gained more than 150,000 signatures. MPs debated the motion, which called on the government “…to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.”

The debate resulted in 147 MPs voting in favour of the motion and 28 voting against, meaning the motion was carried.

In the wake of the vote result, NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said the NFU remained committed to supporting the government’s TB eradication programme for England, and the inclusion of a badger cull in those areas where TB was persistent and high. “TB is one of the biggest single threats to our beef and dairy farms. To be successful, all of the most recent science shows that tackling TB needs a comprehensive programme of measures that attacks this terrible disease from all sides.”

The debate came after environment secretary Owen Paterson announced on Tuesday that the government’s planned badger cull would be delayed until next summer.

In making the announcement, Defra cited a letter it received from the NFU, which highlighted there were higher badger numbers in the two planned pilot areas than previously known. “In light of these new figures they [the NFU] could not be confident of removing the required minimum 70% of the badgers in the two pilot areas this autumn.”