In a letter to the chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Michael Jack, Mr Benn asked for more time to understand the “complex problem”, adding: “There is much in the report which merits careful consideration, and to produce a response that deals thoroughly with the committee’s recommendations will take time.”

DEFRA was expected to announce the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee’s plans for controlling bovine tuberculosis at the end of last month. However, junior DEFRA minister, Jonathan Shaw, has now denied there is a timetable for the long-awaited decision.

This news comes as rumours circulate that the government is planning another cabinet reshuffle which could result in DEFRA being appointed its fourth secretary of state. DEFRA refused to comment on the matter.

The rest of this article appears in 22 May issue of Shooting Times.

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