MILK has been contaminated at some of the county's supermarkets according to an animal rights group opposed to the proposed badger cull.

Police confirmed this week that they are investigating claims that milk has been tampered with at targeted Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's stores.

A group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia posted a message on American protest website Bite Back stating that supplies of milk have been contaminated with 'an undisclosed substance ' at stores across Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The post said: "Ten stores have been affected and the contaminated items are now in circulation.

"We have no intention of hurting people, only profits.

"We ask that the supermarkets immediately withdraw the milk and cut all ties with the cull zone farmers."

A cull of badgers is due to start from June 1 in west Gloucestershire and in Somerset in a bid to stop the spread of bovine TB.

The extremist group says the cull will allow dairy farmers to shoot and trap up to 70 per cent of badgers across the two counties.

It added: "The science proves that badgers are not to blame for the spread of bovine TB, poor farming methods are."

A spokesman from Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: "We are aware of a suggestion that some milk may have been contaminated and we started an investigation on Thursday to look into it.

"We are working closely with national agencies and the British Retail Consortium as is standard in these cases."

Speaking on behalf of the supermarkets, the British Retail Consortium said: "We have seen no evidence to substantiate these claims but we are taking them seriously.

"Retailers are working closely with their stores and suppliers and with Defra, the Food Standards Agency and police to ensure customer safety."