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Police prepare for start of badger cull
POLICE dealing with a six-week badger cull which will include parts of Gloucestershire are preparing for the imminent start date.
Earlier this week The Guardian reported that the cull was set to start on Monday, August 26 according to sources within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and elsewhere.
The controversial cull, aimed at tackling tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, was given the green light by Defra and was set to go ahead any time from June 1.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said they were preparing for the start date but it was not up to them to say when that would be.
“The pilot badger cull is a Defra-managed issue under license from Natural England and it will be up to both of them and the company licensed to undertake the cull to determine the timing of it.
“Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull - Operation Themis - since it was first announced but this operation has not yet been activated.
“We will not be releasing any further details of our plans for operational reasons.
“However, we would like people in Gloucestershire to be reassured that we wil continue to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the pilot cull.”
Yesterday, a High Court judge granted the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and a number of other claimants an interim injunction to restrict people protesting against the badger cull.
They claimed it stopped “those intent on totally unacceptable incidents harassment and threats made against a number of farmers and landowners.”
Mark Jones, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said: "We are delighted and much relieved that the High Court recognised that the NFU's injunction went far beyond what was reasonable to deal with the potential activities of a few named individuals.
“Our protest may be unwelcome and uncomfortable for the NFU, but our fundamental right to do so has been safeguarded.”
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