Unattended live ammunition found at Gloucestershire badger cull zone
A BOX of bullets was handed over to police officers in the badger cull zone early yesterday morning after protestors claimed they were shot at.
Three protestors had arrived at Town Street Farm, in Tirley, close to midnight on Thursday when they heard two gunshots.
A third shot then rang out in their direction, forcing them to take cover.
Looking for the source of the gunshot, they searched the footpaths in the area, and discovered the box containing 16 unused live rounds, which they claimed were left behind by the marksmen.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
The rifle rounds were marked with a red tip, and were believed to be tracer bullets.
Marcie Harding, a martial arts instructor, was one of those who said they were fired upon.
She said: "It is just outrageous. It is quite clearly stated in their licence that they cannot shoot when there are people in the area.
"I was concerned about the badgers, and have been out over the last four weeks, but I never had this trouble.
"We have met shooters before, and we were on public footpaths.
"Everything we were doing was legal. I can't believe it. I want something done about this. I want them to be found and properly dealt with."
The ammunition was handed to police officers, and an investigation has been launched into tracing the person responsible.
Chief Superintendent Gary Thompson said: "We're really grateful to those who handed in the ammunition. We are making inquiries into who left it there and will take appropriate action as soon as we can identify the person.
"We take this very seriously because public safety has been our key objective throughout the operation."
A spokesman from Defra did not want to comment on the ammunition being found while investigations are ongoing.
Gloucestershire police has been carrying out Operation Themis, in regard to the badger cull.
Four people were arrested overnight.
A 37-year-old Coventry woman was arrested on suspicion of breach of an injunction at around 10.30pm on Thursday after reports of "excessive noise".
Separately, a 44-year-old woman, 14-year-old girl from Didcot and a 25-year-old man of no fixed abode, were arrested in the Tibberton area around 11.30pm, on suspicion of aggravated trespass.