A GOVERNMENT farm inspector who tweeted critical comments about the badger cull has been sacked after the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) complained to ministers about her views.

Janice Holland had worked for the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) since 2001, visiting farms to ensure claims for agricultural grants were not being falsified.

She worked neither on the badger cull nor in the cull zones but made a series of remarks on Twitter suggesting that the cull was poorly conceived and executed and that, with a professional background in conservation, she had serious concerns about animal welfare.

“I thought the culls would not be effective in reducing TB [tuberculosis] in cattle,” she wrote in an online posting.

Ms Holland has 22 years’ service with government farming agencies, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) said:

"The RPA does not tolerate misconduct on the part of its employees and thoroughly investigates all reports.

"In this particular case we can confirm that an RPA employee has been dismissed for gross misconduct and contravening the Civil Service Code. 

"We are not in a position to comment further at this time."