Gloucestershire badger cull protesters vow to continue battle
PROTESTERS against a badger cull in Gloucestershire have vowed to continue the fight should an extension be given.
Private companies who have been operating the cull in Somerset were granted an extension by Natural England on Friday night to carry on until November 1.
Natural England also confirmed over the weekend a similar application for Gloucestershire was being processed.
The announcement on any extension is set to be made early this week, when the original six-week window for the cull in Gloucestershire is due to end.
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Drew Pratten, from Stop the Cull, has been out nearly every night for the past six weeks organising spotters near badger setts. The group works by removing badger baits and replacing them with animal repellents to ward off the badgers.
He said: "Any extension will be devastating, but if it is given, we will still be here. If they extend the cull, we will be there stopping them. It is what we do, and what we will continue to do as long as there is a badger cull."
Environment secretary Owen Paterson admitted last week only 850 badgers had been killed in Somerset, although he said the population of badgers had dropped.
He insisted it was a success, and said the cull proved to be a humane way of dealing with bovine TB.
A statement from Natural England said: "The new licence allows the licensee to continue culling and specifies a minimum number of 165 and a maximum number of 282 to deliver disease control benefits while reducing the risk of local extinction.
"An application to extend culling in west Gloucestershire has also been received by Natural England and will be processed in due course."