Cornwall police officers drafted to join badger cull police
Police from Cornwall are among officers drafted from across the country to Gloucestershire after the badger cull was extended.
Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police have joined Thames Valley, Wiltshire, West Mercia, London and Wales forces to assist Gloucestershire Constabulary in keeping the peace during the cull, which has now been extended.
The officers are expected to be policing the lanes and fields of the county - dubbed Operation Themis - in the dead of night for another eight weeks as the culling continues.
The trial cull, which has sparked outrage among naturalists including Sir David Attenborough and groups including Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting who say it’s not the answer, is taking place in the north west of Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire, while another trial cull is continuing in Somerset.
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A total of 708 badgers have been killed in Gloucestershire, 942 fewer than the target of 1,650 in six weeks.
Government body Natural England granted an extension of the licence, which will allow the pilot to run until December 18 because only 30 per cent of the badger population had been culled.
The National Farmers Union and some dairy and beef farmers have cited the cull is necessary because they believe badgers spread bovine tuberculosis, which means thousands of cattle are slaughtered each year.
A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokesman said: "We are using officers from different parts of the country, including some on a mutual aid basis.
"As we have done throughout Operation Themis, Gloucestershire Constabulary will request mutual aid from other forces if the need requires it."