Campaigners have welcomed a moratorium on badger culling, following Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's claims that the lumbering herbivores 'taste just like lobster.'
The startling announcement was made as protesters throughout the country campaigned against the cull, which was set up to contain bovine TB. "Badgers are a beautiful part of our heritage, and should be treated with more respect", claimed Hermione Phelps, an activist in Dorset. "We want ministers to look at all the options for saving them, including their domestication and intensive farming."
In the face of falling beef prices, many farmers are considering culling their cows instead. "I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'd actually welcome a return of foot and mouth", declared Peter Giles, a cattle farmer from Gloucestershire. "If I'm honest, I've always found cows a bit boring to look at. I'd love to switch to farming something more cuddly, that goes better with Marie Rose sauce."
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is delighted by the badger's reversal of fortune. "I first tried badger last week", claims Hugh. "I accidentally took one out of my chest freezer that I just keep in there for show, when we're filming. As I defrosted it in the microwave, the smell was intoxicating. It's as if they've evolved to be served with risotto."
DEFRA are sceptical of the findings and have called for another enquiry. "Hugh showed us his new 'River Cottage Badger Farm', and I'm not convinced he's telling the whole truth", claimed Derek Martens, an inspector with the ministry. "He also made some pretty wild claims about badger milk being really moreish, perfectly clear and delicious with coke. But when we forced him to milk one in front of us, the udder came off in his hands. We're pretty sure he'd just filled a rubber glove with vodka, and crudely attached it to the animal with duct tape. Although we did agree that the creature would make a nice handbag."
For now, the badger has earned a reprieve, but DEFRA may reinstate the cull once their enquiry is complete. "Obviously this is an important issue for farmers, but we've got some more pressing matters to deal with first. I'm just on my way up to Scotland, to see if red squirrels really do taste like donuts."