BADGER cull protesters have been out in force in Wiltshire in past weeks to draw attention to Government licensed action to reduce badger numbers in a bid to stop the spread of TB in cattle.

Wiltshire Against the Badger Cull which says it was set up to protect badgers from 'senseless and unscientific slaughter' held a protest at Alton Barnes which is one of five culling zones in Wiltshire.

Nadia Mitchell from the group said: "We await the statistics of how many of the counties badgers have been slaughtered in this unscientific cull.

"Our main focus is mapping setts, so we can more accurately determine likely priority targets, with the aim of monitoring and disrupting attempts to wipe out families of badgers during the cull period.

"There are now five cull zones in Wiltshire meaning that 90 per cent of the county is in a cull zone."

A DEFRA spokesman said: "An independent review conducted by Professor Sir Charles Godfray to assess the government’s goal of eradicating the disease by 2038 concluded that the evidence from the current badger cull shows a positive effect on cattle TB incidence, consistent with that seen in previous scientific studies in the UK."

Wiltshire Police has reported that in 2018 it incurred costs for the badger of £443,107.23 These costs are covered in full by DEFRA.