Badger cull protestors hold march in Hereford

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Image caption,
Ministers and the NFU say culling badgers will curb TB in cattle

Protestors have been staging a march and debate in against a potential county-wide badger cull.

Herefordshire Badger Group said it fears a cull to try to reduce the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle maybe introduced next year.

The group said it would not solve the problem and described the idea as the "inhumane slaughter" of a protected species.

Culls have already been carried out in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

It is yet to be decided by the government whether or not a cull will take place in the county.

'Public awareness'

Ministers and the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said killing badgers will curb tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, but protesters have insisted it had little effect.

Analysis of the 2013 pilots, commissioned by Defra and by an independent panel of experts, found shooting badgers was not effective.

Official figures showed it cost more than £3,300 for each badger that was killed during subsequent culls in 2014.

Campaigners started the march around the town at about 13:00 GMT, followed by speakers and discussion at Castle Green.

Nigel Tolly, from West Midlands Badger Group which is part of the protest, said they wanted to recruit people to take part in a lawful, peaceful protest during a cull if it was rolled out to Hereford.

"The idea of the event is to bring public awareness of the fact that a badger cull could be rolled out into Hereford next year," he said.

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