Campaigners to keep up their vigilance as Gloucestershire badger cull gets underway
CAMPAIGNERS against the cull in Gloucestershire have vowed to keep up their efforts to prevent the shooting of badgers.
Reinforcements arrived in the county last night as wounded badger patrols, secret spotters and search vehicles, combined with a strong police presence, made for another tense evening.
More than 300 people were in Eldersfield, Tewkesbury, on the first night of the cull on Tuesday.
Last night, protesters were heading to Newent in a bid to disrupt the cull.
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Meanwhile, campaigners maintained their vigil around Eldersfield.
Gloucestershire Police confirmed their response to the cull, Operation Themis, went "fully operational" from 8pm on Tuesday.
Marksmen have been in parts of Gloucestershire as the second part of the cull started on Tuesday night and it is set to continue for the next six weeks.
More than 70 people from Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) conducted badger patrols from around 7.30pm on Tuesday.
The groups kept to public footpaths to nurse any badgers which might have been shot.
Liz Gaffer, from GABS, said: "Quite a lot of people turned up for the patrols which is fantastic.
"I think the campaigns have seen a step-up in the last few weeks after speculation the cull was going to start.
"Each patrol is about two to three hours, and we are very keen to ensure we are not breaking the law.
"All we want to do is help any injured or wounded badgers, and we will do it by patrolling public footpaths.
"We will be doing this for as long as the cull is going ahead. The number of people who have showed up for the patrols just shows the level of support we have against the cull."
Terry Howard, from We are Change Gloucestershire, was driving his four-by-four vehicle around the cull zone looking for shooters.
He said: "I can't believe the government has decided to do this. We already have quite a few people coming down for patrols. I will certainly try to stop the shooters if I see any.
"The main thing about We are Change is we want to stand up for the little guy, be that an individual or a badger."
Police confirmed no arrests were made in the first night of the cull in Gloucestershire.
Between 2,856 and 2,932 badgers will be killed, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).