Musician and animal welfare activist Brian May has threatened legal action if the controversial badger culls go ahead for a third year.
The Queen guitarist said his Save Me Trust planned to challenge the lawfulness of the cull, if the two four-year pilot schemes continue in both Somerset and Gloucestershire or are rolled out to new areas.
Lawyers for the musician's animal welfare charity have written to Natural England's chief executive and legal advisers warning, it will bring a High Court Judicial Review legal challenge if licences to proceed with culls are issued.
Badger culling is currently expected to be resumed in areas where it has previously been piloted, as well as some new areas including Dorset.
In the lead-up to the General Election, environment secretary Elizabeth Truss promised to extend the cull to areas where tuberculosis was rife in cattle.