Wildlife activist, 42, is arrested as badger cull begins
A BADGER cull protestor was arrested at a laboratory used by Defra on the old Aston Down airfield on the eve of the start of the controversial badger cull.
The 42-year-old man, named locally as Jay Tiernan from the Stop The Cull campaign, was detained by police at around noon on Monday on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the Government's former badger gassing staff's base in Minchinhampton.
The site, adjoining what is now largely an industrial estate, is operated by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
It works for Defra – the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – which has announced it is going ahead with mass badger slaughter in a trial area of west Gloucestershire in its fight against TB in cattle.
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Mr Tiernan was later released on police bail until November 4 on condition he does not enter or go within a mile of Aston Down Business Park.
The cull has provoked opposition from wildlife lovers who say badger deaths will not solve the disease problem.
A Defra spokeswoman said: "We do have a site at Aston Down. There was an incident there."
Bovine TB was devastating the dairy industry, she said.
"In TB hotspots, such as Gloucestershire, we need to deal with the infection in badgers if we're to get a grip on TB there.
"No country has dealt with the disease without tackling infection in both wildlife and cattle."
The spokeswoman added: "We are working on new cattle and oral badger vaccines but they are years away from being ready and we cannot wait while this terrible disease spreads."