Farm leaders say they remain committed to a badger cull to combat bovine TB – even though MPs have voted against the idea.
The outcome of the debate is not legally binding but it shows the opinion of the House of Commons.
It comes after a backbench motion against a badger cull was carried by a vote of 147 to 28 MPs following a House of Commons debate on Thursday (25 October).
The debate followed an e-petition signed by more than 160,000 people, calling for a planned badger cull to be stopped.
The petition calls on the government to implement a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved TB testing and biosecurity.
Farm leaders said the debate was a good opportunity for MPs to discuss the government's TB eradication programme.
The majority of the 37 MPs who spoke on the issue were in favour of the cull, it said.
NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond listened to the debate from the public gallery and said the result was disappointing.
"This debate offered a fresh opportunity for the serious issue of bovine TB to be re-examined. This is a hugely complex issue and I understand that people have strong views.
"However, the NFU remains committed to supporting the government's TB eradication programme for England, and the inclusion of a badger cull in those areas where TB is persistent and high.
TB was one of the biggest single threats to beef and dairy farms, said Mr Raymond.
To be successful, all of the most recent science showed that tackling TB needs a comprehensive programme of measures that attacks this terrible disease from all sides.
Key conclusions in a 2011 report from a meeting of scientific experts said that reducing badger numbers would help reduce TB in cattle by an average of 16%, added Mr Raymond.
"We already have in place tight cattle control measures and increased biosecurity on farms.
"Additional cattle testing will also be in place by January and we currently cull all cattle that test positive for TB."
Farmers were doing everything they could to protect their herds from TB but in the meantime the disease continued unchecked in the surrounding wildlife.
"No other country in the world has got on top of TB with cattle control measures alone when the disease has a stronghold in the wildlife as it does in England."Johann Tasker on G+
More on this topic
See our dedicated webpage for more news and information on bovine TB and the badger cull