Council forced to consider badger cull shooting ban
CAMPAIGNERS against the badger cull have forced Gloucestershire County Council to consider banning shooting on their land.
More than 700 people signed a petition, which will see scrutiny bosses debate the topic later this month.
The signatures were put together by action group Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting and handed to Simon Harper from the council's democratic services team yesterday.
The group wants to see a vaccination worked on rather than the trial cull, which is scheduled to take place in the county in the autumn.
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The petition calls for a ban on culling on council owned, managed or controlled land.
District councillors at Stroud have agreed to do that and their Tewkesbury counterparts will consider the same motion on Tuesday.
Charlotte Phillips, from Churchdown, was one of the six people who turned out to see the petition handed in to Shire Hall.
The unemployed 40-year-old said: "I think it is an appalling situation that they are looking into killing, and it is killing not culling, these animals.
"To me it is victimisation, but the shooting lobbyists, farmers and powerful government won't listen to us until it is too late.
"We are trying to speak up for the voiceless victims that these badgers will become."
Richard Rukin, 44, from Leckhampton in Cheltenham, handed the petition over and helped collect signatures.
He said: "I think the public are largely unaware of the situation and I just want to see them looking for a vaccination solution instead of just shooting them – so many people believe that this should be the first port of call.
"Shooting them will just cause them to scatter and it will spread the disease further.
"There is no testing for TB and so it is just blindly shooting them and a non-lethal measures really should be the first point of call."
Liz Gaffer, a spokesman for the group, said: "We were surprised how many people were aware of the science that disputes this method of trying to control bovine TB, and who would rather the Government help farmers by investing in a programme of vaccination."
On Friday, September 14, Queen guitarist Brian May will be speaking at a public meeting about the cull at the Bells Hotel in Coleford from 6.30pm.
He is a high-profile campaigner against the badger cull.