WILDLIFE campaigners will be protesting against badger culling in a walk around Highgrove House, the family residence of Prince Charles.

Protesters are staging the peaceful walk to highlight Prince Charles' potential involvement in the badger cull, which could extend to Herefordshire this year, where the Duchy of Cornwall owns many farms.

The 'family friendly affair' will begin in Longfurlong Lane in Tetbury at 2pm on Sunday, June 12, and will follow footpaths and pavements around the Highgrove estate, ending back in Longfurlong Lane by 5pm.

Local organiser and national Badger Trust chairman, Peter Martin, said: “We will stop briefly at the gates to Highgrove House for photos and to display banners before heading towards Westonbirt and cutting back along the footpaths towards Tetbury.

“The Gloucestershire Royals have been vocal campaigners for the cull, with Prince Charles describing opponents as ‘intellectually dishonest’ and Princess Anne advocating the gassing of badgers.

"However both Royals are woefully out of step with the scientific consensus and public opinion on this matter.

“We live in the 21st century and the indiscriminate killing of our wildlife is not an acceptable or effective solution to a modern day epidemiological problem like bovine TB.

"Badgers are simply being scapegoated to cover up an appallingly sub-standard approach by DEFRA to controlling this disease and some very poor farming practices.”

Highgrove and Princess Anne’s Gatcombe estates have a long history of TB breakdowns extending to the present day.

To date, no scientific study demonstrated a credible infection pathway by which badgers can reliably infect cattle with TB. No badgers are tested for TB either before or after culling.

Mr Martin continued: “The purpose of our walk is to draw attention to the desperate need for the government to improve its response to the problem of TB in cattle.

"By wasting so much time and public money concentrating on badgers, the disease has been allowed to spread through inadequate cattle testing, movement controls and basic husbandry practices.

"We feel that if the Royals could acknowledge this then it would prove immensely useful in finally conquering this disease for the benefit of cattle, wildlife and farmers.”