STROUD Labour Party has voiced its dismay at start of the badger cull.

District councillor Paul Denney (Lab, Cam) said: "We knew that the Government was pushing this through but to wake up this morning to the news that the cull had started was devastating.

"There still remains many questions such as why are no autopsies being carried out on culled animals?

"Surely if you are carrying out a cull you would want to know if the animals you have killed are carrying the disease or not.

"It is also startling to find that this Government will cut funding for research and development of badger and cattle vaccines.

"Is this the action of a government that looks to science to guide its policies or acts to placate its core supporters whatever the cost?"

Concerns have also been raised about public safety in the cull zones.

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate David Drew said: "Even in controlled cull zones there will be people in the vicinity of high velocity rifles.

"The police have a huge and unenviable task in ensuring that these sites are safe."