PROTESTERS against the controversial badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire took part in a demonstration outside the Conservative conference in Birmingham.

They greeted people with calls for the culls, now half-way through their six-week period, to be abandoned.

This year is the second year of the culls, which are part of the Government’s strategy to curb bovine TB.

Already, there has been outrage from those against the culls here in the county after a badger dubbed ‘Badger 41’ was found to be shot through its abdomen, inside the cull zone.

The target area is the chest and campaigners say that where the badger was shot would have been unlikely to result in the badger’s immediate death.

The National Farmers’ Union say there is no evidence that it was killed as part of the cull. But Sue Mountstevens, the Police Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police, has confirmed the force is investigating the shooting of the badger.

Last year’s culls were found to be ineffective after shooters failed to meet the target number of badgers to kill in the six weeks.

The Government said that they had taken on board what was said in last year’s Independent Expert Panel review and that contractors were better prepared to meet this year’s targets.

However, reports in the Guardian from a leaked document suggest the cull company in Gloucestershire has struggled to meet its target numbers in the first two weeks of the cull.

A spokesperson for Badger Gate said: “Given the spectacular failure of the badger culls in 2013, and the abandonment of independent monitoring and evaluation in 2014, the Government has lost any remaining shred of scientific credibility in its industry-led badger cull.

“We wonder when they might start to show real political leadership, and embrace and learn from the Welsh experience of an evidence-led approach to TB control that does not involve any badger culls.”