A cull of badgers in Gloucestershire looks set to be extended after a six-week pilot project removed less than half the number expected.
A programme of controlled shooting killed 708 of an estimated 2,350 badgers in the county - around 30% of the total, rather than the planned 70%.
Announcing the figures in a written statement to Parliament, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the chief veterinary officer had advised that the period of culling should be extended this year in Gloucestershire, and an application is being considered by Natural England.
The controversial pilot projects have been launched in Gloucestershire and neighbouring Somerset, in the face of widespread protests, in an effort to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis which is carried by badgers.
Mr Paterson told the House of Commons that early indications showed the culls in both counties were carried out in a "safe and humane" way, but had demonstrated that "the cull period may need to be longer than six weeks in future, enabling teams to adapt their approaches to suit local circumstances".