Badger cull police arrest woman over 'tracking car'
POLICE officers arrested a woman early yesterday as part of its response to the badger cull Operation Themis.
The 34-year-old from Gloucester was detained in Estcourt Road at about midnight on Wednesday after reports she was following a vehicle.
She was held on suspicion of breaching an injunction and police said she was arrested 'to prevent harassment'.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire police it was not a police vehicle she was following.
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It is believed to be a vehicle used by badger cull operators.
The woman remained in custody last night.
There have been at least 13 arrests as part of the police operation over the past four weeks of the pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire.
They included 52-year-old Rebecca Reid, from Pittsburgh, USA, who flew over to the county to help the protesters on the ground.
The cull, which is taking place in parts of West Gloucestershire, has seen hundreds of protestors turn up every night to either help injured badgers or stop marksmen from shooting.
Gloucestershire police have been out every night to maintain the peace.
A spokesman for the police said: "Public safety is at the heart of Operation Themis and as such the operation will remain active for as long as is necessary, for the safety of all those involved, whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme.
"Our role is to be operationally independent and impartial and we will continue to deliver our statutory responsibilities which include dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder and ensuring that anyone who wishes to protest peacefully and lawfully is able to do so."
The Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting group has been organising wounded badger patrols throughout the past month, with more than 350 members signed up.
Members of the group stick to public footpaths and help badgers which have been shot and are struggling.
Another group, Stop the Cull, has been out placing spotters in 'secret' locations to try to make note of where marksmen are.
Some have removed bait at the entrance of badger setts, and replaced them with cat and dog repellents to ensure the animals stay in their setts.
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has previously said they would not be releasing operational logs on the cull, and a report would be made available 'months' after the pilot culls were finished.
The cull is being carried out by marksmen from private companies, licensed by Defra.