ANTI-CULL campaigners have expressed their dismay in the wake of the announcement that badger culling will resume in Gloucestershire in the next few weeks.

Natural England has confirmed that shooters are allowed to kill 1091 badgers in the county, 170 more than were shot last year despite an ongoing police investigation into protocol breaches last year.

Jeanne Berry of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting confirmed that the group would act within the law to look for wounded badger during the cull.

She said: “Last years’ cull was seen to be disastrous. It was judged to be inhumane and ineffective by the government’s own independent panel.

“In response they are only intending to oversee 5 per cent of the badgers as they are shot so that no meaningful evaluation can take place at the end of the cull.

“The latest Defra figures show cattle bTB in the UK at its lowest level for 14 years, dropping rapidly in the last 4 years. The success of the vaccination and cattle control scheme in Wales has shown that bTB can be tackled without culling badgers.”

Mark Jones, veterinarian and executive director of Humane Society International said:

“It beggars belief that despite last year’s cull being exposed as an abject failure, this scandalous killing of a supposedly protected wild mammal is going to be allowed to take place.

“It is shocking that science and ethics are being swept aside to assuage farmers over a bovine TB problem that will not be helped by the indiscriminate slaughter of hundreds more innocent badgers.