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Badger Culls give the green light – Farmers told to take security issues “really seriously”

Government agency Natural England has authorised pilot culls that will be in West Gloustershire and West Somerset.

These culls could see over 70% of badgers killed in each area.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson talked to farmers at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Conference in Birmingham. He told them how tackling bovine TB had cost the taxpayer around £500 million in the past 10 years.

The culls are expected to run over a four-year period.

It has been estimated that around 5,000 badgers could be killed.

In 2012 150,000 people signed a petition opposing against the badger cull set up by the Rock Star Brian May.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has apparently claimed that studies into a cull have found that it would not have a major impact on the spread of TB.

A large group of protesters staged a peaceful protest Wednesday 27 February.

Around 100 people including activists from Stop the Cull campaign and the Hunt Saboteurs Association stood outside the NFU annual conference.

When the shooting finally begins the protests are expected to get a lot worse.

The press can often confuse animal activists and animal rights extremists.

An animal rights extremist’s tactics could involve threatening letters and harassing telephone calls. Making late night ‘home visits’ that could involve vandalising a car, smashing windows and spraying graffiti.

Last year a farmer from Cheltenham, said he and his wife had been targeted by hate mail.

During the NFU conference UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew told the conference that farmers taking part in the badger cull must be given protection of their livelihoods and businesses from the activities of animal rights groups.

Mr Agnew told how he was concerned about the intimidatory practices by animal rights campaigners against farmers.

DEFRA’s deputy director Lee McDonough has urged all involved in the pilot to take security issues “really seriously”.

During the conference there were talks of getting a ‘helpline’ for farmers to call when they are feeling intimidated.

Animal rights activists could also speak with supermarkets in order to persuade them not to buy the meat from any famers involved in the cull.

As farms are normally isolated they pose easy targets for those committed to causing damage or harassment to their property or assets.

Farmers will need to resort to additional security measures such as cameras, lighting etc and in some cases may have peace of mind by employing a residential security team (RST) to protect their families from any potential situations that may arise.