UK

Badger Cull Protesters Evicted From Camp

28/08/2013 15:54 BST
PA
General view of a stop the cull poster on a fence at 'Camp Badger, Watchet, near Minehead, Somerset, where protesters are gathering to oppose the bader cull.

Campaigners at a protest camp set up against the badger cull are being evicted from the site.

Camp Badger at Doniford Holt near Watchet in Somerset has been a base for protesters since Saturday.

Twelve people camped overnight to protest over the cull and take part in patrols to protect badgers in the area.

They initially claimed to have been given permission to use the site by the landowner.

But this morning, the landowner, who has not been named, arrived at the site to evict the protesters, according to a spokesman for Stop the Cull.

Jay Tiernan said: "I wasn't here at the start so I can't comment on what agreement was made with the landowner.

"He came down this morning and we came to an amicable arrangement to leave at 4pm.

"I believe the police arrived to help negotiations but there were no problems.

"We are just working out where we will regroup and looking at potential places to go.

"Our most likely place is The Crown Estate, where there is an opportunity for us to set up a protest camp."

Mr Tiernan said the group would not seek permission to use the land from The Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate announced it would allow the cull to take part on its land last year.

"It will be a protest camp and they are often on other people's properties," Mr Tiernan said.

"The premises we are on at the moment is not involved in the badger cull, but the next person's land will be.

"We are not interested in having conflict with people who are not in the badger cull."

Mr Tiernan said there were eight protesters left at Camp Badger, who would be leaving the site before 4pm.

The group, who are not all affiliated with Stop the Cull, have travelled from as far as Brighton and Derbyshire to take part in the camp.

They had planned to remain at Camp Badger for the six-week trial period of the cull.

Around 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Supporters say the cull is needed to tackle bovine TB, which can be spread from infected badgers.

Those against the cull, including the RSPCA and wildlife organisations, say it is ineffective and inhumane.