FEARS for the beef and dairy farms of North Devon and the South West have been rekindled by the Government's latest message on badgers and TB in cattle.
And there are concerns the decision to abandon any extension of the badger cull was made purely to avoid losing votes in next year's election.
The farming minister, George Eustice, admitted to the Journal that the Government knows only too well that killing badgers is unpopular. The pro-badger lobby has gathered many thousands of signatures to try to stop any further cull. It's a lobby which is bound to raise alarm for the coalition as it estimates its chances of getting back into government.
North Devon's farmers feel it's time the Government supported their efforts to produce food for the nation.
The National Farmers' Union president, Meurig Raymond, said: "I want to thank those that helped manage and deliver these important badger cull pilots. They were the first time controlled shooting of badgers was used as a culling method and they were to test the humaneness, safety and effectiveness of this method.
"As pilots, there was always going to be the potential to make improvements as a result of knowledge gained. They have helped to gain a greater understanding of how we can tackle the wildlife element of this terrible disease cycle.
"Importantly, the Independent Expert Panel has found this method of culling badgers by controlled shooting can be safe with best practice followed."
Braunton NFU member and beef and sheep farmer, Richard Dyer, put the thoughts of many livestock farmers into words: "The pro-badger lobby has a loud voice and it's a disaster.
"Would people rather have local food, farm assured, or something imported that includes horsemeat?
"We're talking about food security here.
"The food we produce isn't full of steroids and antibiotics, but you've no idea what is coming in with imported stuff.
"If the issue with badgers isn't sorted out it will put into question the whole beef and dairy industry."