Badger cull marksman is left without licence after bullet blunder
A MARKSMAN who left a box of bullets at a badger cull zone has had his licence to shoot the animals revoked.
Police officers were handed a box containing 16 cartridges of live ammunition near Tirley.
On Friday night, they caught up with the person responsible. A police spokesman said: "He has now been spoken to about the incident and the variation that allows him to use a particular firearm to shoot badgers has been removed from his licence."
There is no specific criminal offence in relation to leaving ammunition and the owner has seven days to report a loss so no charges have been brought.
Steven Tomlin, who is an independent protester against the cull, found the bullets with two colleagues on Thursday night.
He said: "The badger cull started as a much more organised process but has since deteriorated. I have recently been out to Forthampton where this week I have isolated four single gunmen.
"When the gunman saw us he ran and dropped the bullets. The bullets are highly lethal and can kill a person with one shot and that is why they are used for these large animals. No gunman should be leaving these sorts of bullets around."
Jeanne Berry, who is a member of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, was pleased to hear the marksman's licence had been taken from him.
She said: "We are going to formally request that the police refer this case to Natural England so licences can be withdrawn.
"Things are happening every night and for the police to not regard this as a criminal offence is disappointing. However, on the same token the police have taken the licence away from this marksman." A spokesman from Defra said: "We just want to reiterate that marksmen should go out in pairs."
Separately, four people arrested last week as part of the police's cull-related Operation Themis have now been released from police custody.
A 37-year-old Coventry woman who was arrested near Newent on suspicion of breaching an injunction has been bailed to appear in court next month.
A 44-year-old woman and 14-year-old girl from Didcot and a 25-year-old man of no fixed abode who were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass in the Tibberton area have been released on police bail pending further investigations.