The National Farmers’ Union is to seek an injunction in the High Court to prevent anti-badger cull protesters from entering land where the cull will take place.  Anti-cull protestors believe the shooting will start on Monday (August 26.)

If granted, the injunction will apply to protestors accessing land owned by  Somerset and Gloucestershire farmers taking part in the cull.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: “We have applied for the injunction in response to various incidents of harassment and intimidation carried out against farmers and landowners by activists opposed to the badger cull.”

Meanwhile, writing in the Western Daily Press today, Queen guitarist and anti-cull campaigner Brian May says a “vile attack” from elements including “the very Government of this country” is being mounted to discredit the RSPCA and destroy its powers to prevent cruelty to animals.

Dr May has accused: “the Countryside Alliance, elements of the National Farmers Union, elements of the Press and media” and elements of the Government of making the: “vicious and calculated attempt” to neutralise the 180 year old charity.

The RSPCA is one of a coalition of organisations which oppose the planned cull of badgers in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire in an attempt to reduce the spread of Bovine TB.

Dr May’s comments follow a number of criticisms of the RSPCA this year.

Some followed the prosecution of four members of the Heythrop Hunt, David Cameron’s local Hunt, which he himself has supported, but others have followed its stance on the badger cull, particularly the call by its Wiltshire-based chief executive Gavin Grant for shoppers to boycott milk from farms: “soaked in badgers’ blood” and for tourists to do the same.

The NFU has complained to the Charity Commission that the RSPCA has been aggressive and threatening.

In other criticism the ex-Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, questioned the right of the RSPCA to be the prosecutor in cases of cruelty, and its access to police records has also been criticised.

Dr May said the charity’s charter obliges it to prosecute.

Ian Johnston, NFU spokesman in the South West said: “Everyone knows, loves and respects the RSPCA for its animal welfare work but they have, if only by perception, seriously crossed the line into the political arena.

It’s an organisation second to none but there is a difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Concern for animal welfare includes the welfare of cattle and the spread of disease.”


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