Anti-badger campaigner stands for police role

An anti-badger cull campaigner is standing for the post of police commissioner in Gloucestershire.

Jeanne Berry, of the Badger Party, claims the planned cull aimed at combat bovine tuberculosis in cattle will endanger public safety.

She told the BBC she opposed the use of “high-velocity bullets” which could “travel up to three miles” if they missed their target.

The election takes place in November.

If she wins, Ms Berry has pledged to take only half her £65,000 salary and return the rest to frontline policing.

DEFRA says people culling badgers under licence must take all reasonable steps to ensure it is carried out safely and humanely.

“The advance planning and conduct of badger control must take full account of the need to avoid risks to public safety,” says DEFRA guidance.

Two main methods of shooting are likely to be employed. The first method involves searching over an area with a spotlight and rifle, where animals may be encountered at various locations and at varying ranges.

The second method involves shooting over a fixed bait point with a shotgun or a rifle.

DEFRA said appropriate risk assessments should be conducted before any shooting was carried out and thorough controls put in place to ensure safety of the general public.

In a separate development, the chief executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is to step down from the post after more than 30 years.

Dr Gordon McGlone, who has campaigned against a cull and in favour of vaccinating badgers, will leave the charity next January to launch his own business.

He said the decision to leave the trust had been a difficult one, but he was keen to take up new challenges.

“I have very much enjoyed my time with the trust and it has been a privilege to work with so many dedicated and talented people,” he said.

Dr McGlone said there were a number of things he would like to do.

“I plan to start my own consultancy, helping organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors develop and manage their corporate social responsibility work.”

Read more on our dedicated badger cull page. 

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