LIBERAL Democrats across the county have voiced their anger over the likely extension of the badger cull in West Gloucestershire.

It follows confirmation last Friday that the badger cull in West Somerset will be extended until the end of this month.

Cotswold District and County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton and Northleach) supports the concerns already expressed by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl.

“I am disappointed and gravely concerned that this already highly controversial and divisive issue will be prolonged further by extending the badger cull in West Gloucestershire," he said.

“I commend the work already undertaken by the constabulary in policing an extremely volatile situation between both the cull operators and those actively in the cull zone who are opposed to the cull.

“Extending the cull period will just exacerbate an already precarious situation and should just not happen.”

Fellow County Councillor Klara Sudbury has contacted Natural England directly to express concerns about the new licence, which authorises an extra three weeks of culling and will see the further slaughter of hundreds of healthy badgers.

“The six week trial to see if free shooting is safe, effective and humane has not only seen the needless slaughter of hundreds of badgers, but high policing costs in keeping the peace in the countryside," she said.

“It is an absolute farce that the reason for extending the cull is simply due to the fact that not enough badgers were killed under the original licence, which was estimated to be 850 badgers."