Badger cull could start in Gloucestershire tonight
A CULL of badgers could start in Gloucestershire tonight.
In a statement released by Gloucestershire Constabulary, the force said its security operation designed to run alongside the cull, called Operation Themis, will begin at 8pm tonight, Tuesday.
"The badger cull is a Defra policy that is being implemented by private companies under licence by Natural England," a spokesman said.
"It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.
"However, Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull since it was first announced and this response - Operation Themis - will reach its full capacity at 8pm this evening.
"The operation is aimed at keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest.
"Our role will to be operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme."
Around 5,000 badgers are set to be killed in two pilot zones in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire over the next six weeks in an attempt to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
Large numbers of anti-cull demonstrators have gathered at the sites over the past few weeks.
Campaigners from anti-cull group Stroud 100 plan to walk along footpaths in the Gloucestershire cull zone looking for wounded badgers to try and save them.
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