WILDLIFE campaign group Gloucestershire Badger Defenders has promised to publish the names of farmers who allow their land to be used in the controversial pilot cull.

In a statement issued on Monday, the campaign group said: "We know where the shooters live. And we will be there when they try to shoot. We will stop them.

"If any farmer succeeds in having badgers shot on his land, we will publish their names, addresses and personal details. People have a right to know who has murdered their wildlife."

Members say they have been surveying the proposed sites for months ahead of the cull, which came into force this month, looking for pre-baited traps.

The group also claims a whistleblower at Defra has given out inside knowledge about when the shooting is going to happen.

However, this claim has been vehemently denied by Defra, which said the times when the shooting will take place is determined by individual companies carrying out the cull.

Commenting on the group's plans to publish the names of farmers, a Defra spokesman said: "Any attempt to intimidate people is illegal."

Campaigners plan to walk along footpaths looking for injured badgers and attempt to rescue them.

"Badgers don’t tend to like being around people so if we are walking around with flashlights hopefully it will make them hide out underground for a few hours which will stop them being shot," added the GBD spokesman.

"We will then liaise with wildlife centres who have agreed to come and collect any wounded badgers."