But opponents say the culling
is inhumane and ineffective while Queen guitarist Brian May has asked for it to stop while he seeks a judicial review.
Jay Tiernan, of Stop The Cull, yesterday announced: "The Gloucestershire badger cull could collapse in the next couple of days due to a wealthy benefactor offering PS5,000 to any farmer currently signed up to the cull who will choose vaccination not culling
BVA president John Blackwell said: "BVA remains convinced that if we are to tackle this disease then we need to control the infection in the wildlife population, and badger culling
must form part of the comprehensive strategy for tackling bovine TB.
To stop the culls halfway through goes against the evidence from previous research which showed that culling
over four years had a positive impact on reducing bTB in cattle.
Also in 2013, parts of the spending were payment for a company that performed the culling
- $51,909; in 2011 the payment for the company was $116,578.
Speaking from a constructed stage Birmingham Yardley MP John Hemming said: "While I do have every sympathy for farmers culling
badgers it is not the solution.
An online petition against culling
has gathered 300,000 signatures (the biggest response since government e-petitions were launched) and former Queen guitarist Brian May led a 1,000-strong march through London to hand the petition in to Downing Street.
The marksmen have, unsurprisingly, missed their targets to remove 70% of badgers in the culling
of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has finally got under way in the face of angry opposition.
If successful, the Government plan to extend culling
for the disease, which can be transmitted from badgers to livestock and between cattle.
Scientific evidence also suggests that culling
will not be beneficial.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told MPs that culling
was originally delayed by the Olympics and legal proceedings, and now by bad weather and the news that there were more badgers in the cull areas than previously estimated.