Badger cull warning posters appear in Gloucestershire

Anti-badger cull poster on a road sign Warning posters have been seen in two villages in Gloucestershire

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Warning posters highlighting badger culling have appeared in parts of Gloucestershire.

The posters, which indicate "firing in this area", have been put up on road signs in Chaceley and Forthampton villages.

A phone number for Natural England is also on the posters, but a spokesman said it was not responsible and it did not endorse the message.

It is not yet known who is responsible for putting the posters up.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) has slammed the posters as "wholly irresponsible" and said that members of the public should not be concerned.

'No reason for concern'

Ian Johnson, from the NFU, said: "Whoever is responsible can't be interested in animal welfare - if they were they would be doing something about the disease which is common to both wildlife and farm animals.

"The public going about their legitimate business have no reason to be concerned any more than they would about the culling of other species which goes on routinely."

Natural England issued the first licence to shoot badgers to a Gloucestershire farmer on 17 September.

The cull, in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset, is to take place in an attempt to reduce cattle TB in the areas.

A Natural England spokesperson confirmed it was not responsible for the posters and did not endorse the message on them.

They said "badger control is not yet authorised to begin", but when it does public safety would be a priority.

Gloucestershire Police said it was aware of public concern about the use of the weapons for the cull.

"[But] they are in the hands of people experienced in their use," a spokeswoman said.

"Therefore from a risk perspective, there is no reason to believe that there is or will be any greater risk to the public at large than at any other time."

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