Devon and Cornwall Police to patrol badger cull
Police from Devon and Cornwall have been drafted in to help deal with the fall-out from the extension of the badger cull in Gloucester.
Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police have joined Thames Valley, Wiltshire, West Mercia, London and Wales forces to assist Gloucestershire Constabulary in keeping the peace during the cull.
The officers are expected to be policing the lanes and fields of the county overnight in a deployment named Operation Themis, which is expected to continue for another eight weeks.
A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokesman said: “We are using officers from different parts of the country, including some on a mutual aid basis.
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“As we have done throughout Operation Themis, Gloucestershire Constabulary will request mutual aid from other forces if the need requires it.”
The trial cull, which has sparked outrage among naturalists including Sir David Attenborough and Queen guitarist Brian May, is taking place in the north west of Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Meanwhile another trial cull is continuing in Somerset after being extended.
A total of 708 badgers have been killed in Gloucestershire, 942 fewer than the target of 1,650 in six weeks.
Natural England granted an extension of the licence, which will allow the pilot to run until December 18, because only 30 per cent of the badger population had been culled.
The National Farmers Union and a number of dairy and beef farmers say the cull is vital to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis, which means thousands of cattle are slaughtered each year.