The long-term future of the controversial badger cull is in doubt after the Labour party claimed it would abandon the policy if it wins next year’s general election.

In an interview with Farmers Guardian, farming minister George Eustice has stated the future of the badger cull remains uncertain.

Speaking to the farming title, he acknowledged that next year’s general election did cast a shadow of uncertainty on the policy.

He said: “There is a general election next year and who knows what could come after that. There is nothing the current Government could do to bind the hands of a successor Government.

“We disagree with the Labour Party about the long-term solution. But I hope between now and the election they give this issue more consideration so we can have cross-party consensus and sustain the policy over a sufficient period.”

However, Mr Eustice insisted the Government’s policy to rid the UK of bovine TB (bTB) had not wavered since appointing Elizabeth Truss as the new secretary of state.

He said: “There is no change of policy whatsoever with the new secretary of state coming in.

“She is as clear as Owen was that, if we want to tackle the disease, we have got to have a cull policy as part of a broader strategy that also includes improving cattle movements and vaccination. This is the clear advice we got from leading vets and our chief scientist.”

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