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Tensions remain high during Somerset badger cull
TENSIONS are continuing to run high in Somerset just over a week into the controversial badger cull.
The trial cull in West Somerset aims to reduce the spread of tuberculosis in cattle and as it began last week, hundreds of anti-cull protestors gathered in Minehead to stage a candlelit vigil.
Thousands of badgers are expected to be shot by marksmen in pilot cull zones, which also include parts of Gloucestershire.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the cull is “proceeding to plan” and is being monitored, with evidence being gathered to be considered by the Government in deciding if the policy should be rolled out further.
But Pauline Kidner, founder of Secret World Wildlife Rescue near Highbridge, has told the Weekly News: “We continue to be amazed by how uninformed ministers appear to be – in the fact that Owen Paterson said both culls were going well when the one in Gloucester had not even started.
“I hope someone will see common sense and our badgers can be saved. Secret World will continue to care for injured badgers and will follow protocol to record gunshot injuries.”
A poll conducted on the Weekly News website asked whether readers agreed with the cull, and of more than 1,000 people who voted, just 4% said they did, 95% said they did not and 1% said they were undecided.
The first stage of the cull is due to run for six weeks and if it is deemed the badgers have been killed effectively the trial will continue for four years.
An anti-cull peaceful protest will be held in Taunton on Saturday. For details visit www.secretworld.org.
o MEANWHILE, the RSPCA confirmed it will not ‘name and shame’ farmers involved in the badger cull following a Charity Commission investigation.
The investigation followed a complaint by the National Farmers Union.
NFU president Peter Kendall said: “We had very real fears that any farmers named, as called for by the chief executive of the RSPCA, would be threatened, intimidated and harassed by others.
“As a charity, the RSPCA has a privileged status but it must respect the law that applies to charities and it must abide by Charity Commission guidance.”
The RSPCA confirmed it condemns personal intimidation and will not call for a boycott of milk.