Use of crow scarers blasted by Surl
FARMERS supporting the badger cull have defended their position after Gloucestershire's police commissioner criticised cull operators.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said yesterday their behaviour "fell short" of what "reasonable people" had expected.
The cull in Gloucestershire started three weeks ago and has drawn widespread fire from wildlife conservationists.
Members of the Wounded Badger Patrol reported early on Tuesday they had been 'shot at' after hearing bangs in Tibberton.
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Police initially said it was fireworks but later found crow scarers were the cause.
Mr Surl said: "We know the badger cull is an emotive issue which has the ability to divide communities across Gloucestershire.
"If crow scarers were used as part of a diversionary tactic in an effort to frighten or confuse people either on the Wounded Badger Patrol or protesting peacefully, it is unhelpful and unacceptable.
"The police shouldn't have to spend their time responding to such irresponsible behaviour."
Police confirmed there was no shooting in Tibberton at the time of the incidents but crow scarers were set off by cull operators.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) insisted the cull has to continue but all steps have been taken to ensure it is done safely.
A spokesman said: "Throughout this operation the health and safety of the public has always been paramount and remains so.
"There is absolutely no intention to scare or intimidate the public. The company carrying out the cull has gone to great lengths to ensure this has been a safe and peaceful operation and continues to do so."