The environment secretary said wider culling had been delayed, not cancelled. And he pledged to do everything he could to curb the spread of bovine TB.
According to reports, new cases of TB are doubling every nine years, and more than 32,000 cattle were slaughtered in Britain last year owing to the disease.
“I feel bitterly disappointed that we cannot go any faster with this,” said Mr Paterson. “We are delaying so that we can learn from the lessons of the pilots and move forward.”