Second badger cull begins in Gloucestershire

Last updated at 05:44
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Martin looks at why the cull divides opinion

A cull of thousands of badgers in Gloucestershire has begun - a week after the first stage of the government pilot got under way in Somerset.

Gloucestershire Police said its badger cull policing operation was at "full capacity" but no arrests had been made.

About 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over six weeks to try to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Anti-cull protesters say they'll disrupt the shootings.

More than 100 campaigners have gathered in Gloucestershire.

Supporters claim culling badgers is the only way to tackle the disease, which they say is spread from infected badgers to livestock.

But animal charity, the Badger Trust, say that shooting the animals won't solve the problem.

Controversial cull

Campaigners have fought the plans since the test areas were revealed last year.

Some protestors and wildlife groups have tried to disrupt the cull by digging up bait laid by farmers and disturbing the ground near traps, so that the animals will be scared to come out.

An online petition against the cull has been signed by over 250,000 names.

But the National Farmers' Union president, Peter Kendall, repeated his claim that the cull was necessary.

He said: "Thirty-eight thousand cattle were slaughtered last year in Britain because of TB. For beef and dairy farmers dealing with TB on their farms, these badger culls are an essential part in the fight against this terrible disease."