May leads anti-badger cull walk

Queen guitarist Brian May has joined dozens of anti-badger cull protesters on a night walk through one of the controversial pilot areas. The culling in Gloucestershire and Somerset aims to tackle tuberculosis in cattle by killing 5,000 badgers.

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Brian May joins anti-badger cull night walkers

Queen guitarist Brian May has joined dozens of anti-badger cull protesters on a night walk through one of the pilot areas.

The rocker got a warm round of applause when he met around 50 people taking part in one of the nightly Wounded Badger Patrols in Eldersfield, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Brian May said the visit to the county was timed to give a morale boost to those out on nightly badger patrols. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
May, who is a member of the Team Badger campaign, joined the nightly cause to applause. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
An online petition May started against the pilots is the most supported on the official Government website, with 300,000 signatures. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Defra: 'If we had a vaccine for cattle we would use it'

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that badger culling was proven to reduce the spread of TB in cattle and that a vaccination was illegal and would not be available for another 10 years.

Brian May said the badger cull was 'a disaster all round'. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A Defra spokesperson said: "Scientists have agreed that culling badgers where bovine TB is widespread reduces the level of disease.

“If we had a vaccine for cattle we would use it, but it is currently illegal under European law and won’t be available for 10 years.

"The badger vaccine it is not effective in TB hotspots and has no impact on badgers that already have the disease. There have been no substantiated reports of wounded badgers.”

Earlier, Queen guitarist Brian May told ITV News the cull "cannot help the farmers, that's the biggest irony of all. The only thing that can really solve this problem is vaccination".

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Brian May: Badger cull is 'a disaster all round'

Queen guitarist Brian May has visited Gloucestershire today to lend his support to demonstrators protesting against the cull of thousands of badgers in the area.

He told ITV News Correspondent Emily Morgan "We might be losing the fight, I don't believe we will lose the war in the end".

He added that the cull "cannot help the farmers, that's the biggest irony of all. The only thing that can really solve this problem is vaccination".

Policing of cull to be 'independent' and 'impartial'

The operation to police the badger cull pilot reached its full capacity at 8pm this evening, Gloucestershire Police said.

A section of the document laying out Gloucestershire Police's approach to policing the cull Credit: Gloucestershire Police

The force has said that the operation will be "operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme".

A document outlining the role of the police says it will mediate between parties if there are any protests as well as "responding to any breach of the peace".

Protesters aiming to disrupt second badger cull pilot

Anti-cull protesters at an event organised by Somerset Badger Patrol Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Anti-cull protesters are on alert as a second badger cull pilot begins tonight in Gloucestershire.

Some 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings by trained marksmen over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Protesters are trying to disrupt the cull but the precise locations have not been announced, leading to a game of cat and mouse between protesters and marksmen.

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Anti badger cull protesters wait for signs of activity

I am sitting on a hill in Gloucestershire with anti badger cull campaigners. It has been all quiet so far, but there are occasional moments of activity when cars come and go below.

Protesters are watching for cars, lights and noises. They then warn their colleagues further down the hill who will try and disrupt the cull.

No sign of, or evidence of, any shooting yet though.

Protester: Badger cull 'unscientific, unethical and illegal'

A protester has told ITV's Daybreak that the badger cull is "unscientific, unethical and illegal" after the six-week pilot scheme began last night.

A number of protesters have vowed to remain in "Camp Badger" in west Somerset for the duration of the cull.

Several animals were believed to have been killed in the area last night, leaving the protester "sickened" and "devastated".

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Badger cull protesters out on patrol overnight

An area in West Somerset which was patrolled last night. Credit: ITV News/Bob Cruwys

Anti-cull campaigners have been out on patrol overnight in West Somerset, trying to disrupt the badger cull. The Somerset Badger Patrol had at least three groups out, coordinated on social media websites, walking along public footpaths beside farmland.

Marksmen have begun the cull of badgers in two trial zones to try to control the spread of TB in cattle.

Members of the Somerset Badger Patrol last night. Credit: ITV News/Bob Cruwys
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