Badger cull on Forestry land?
FEARS have been raised that Forestry Commission land may be included in the badger cull zone.
It comes as Liberal Democrat Councillors across have called upon the county council to hold an extraordinary meeting on its culling practice.
Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting Group (GABS) understands land owned, managed or controlled by the commission would be considered for culling on a case by case basis.
In the original statement by the commission it was confirmed the public land they managed would be excluded from the cull zone, however GABS feel that recent statements by commission staff confirm that publicly owned land may be included.
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Liz Gaffer, spokesman for GABS, said: "We are very sad that given the overwhelming opposition to the badger cull and the desire to maintain the Forest as a special place for locals, as well as tourists, that the Forestry Commission are considering this."
Forest of Dean District Council has already voted to refuse culling on its land. Shire Hall will meet on November 21 to discuss whether to prevent its farmer tenants from culling on their land, after a 779 name petition was submitted last month.
Deputy Leader of the party Councillor Klara Sudbury (LD, All Saints) said: "It is a matter of urgency the council seriously considers the recommendations that have been put forward by the budget scrutiny committee regarding rural practices and procedures before shooting starts."
Councillor Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: "Clearly this is an issue with strong views on both sides. However, the council has no power to unilaterally change farm leases agreed in the past. Whatever the outcome of this motion it cannot change what existing tenants do with their land now."
No one from the Forestry Commission was available for comment.