8:37am Friday 11th October 2013
By Freya Leng
GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has said he is “disappointed” there could be a possible extension to the badger cull.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told the House of Commons that extensions of the badger culls in west Somerset and Gloucestershire are now being considered by Natural England.
But in a statement, Martin Surl said if a further extension is granted it would create “an unhelpful situation” in the county.
“The constabulary has put a tremendous amount of effort into its policing operation in response to the cull to ensure it has been – and continues to be – even-handed, impartial and operationally independent,” he said.
“Expecting them to continue beyond the initial six week period is asking a great deal, even though I am sure they will respond accordingly.
“My concern is that the cull operators are feeling the pressure and may become more desperate in their attempts to shoot their quota of badgers while the people opposed to the cull are getting equally frustrated, all of which adds up to an unhelpful situation.
“I know we have to wait for an announcement from Defra about any plans for Gloucestershire but I have made my concerns and unease at any possible extension known to the Home Office.”
According to reports, just 850 badgers have been shot in the area over the six-week trial, just over 40 per cent of an initial target of 2,081.
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