A FURTHER four people have been arrested for trespassing during the badger cull in north Gloucestershire, bringing the total to eight.

In the early hours of this morning (September 10), as part of Gloucestershire Police’s Operation Themis, a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester was arrested for suspicion of theft, aggravated trespass and on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

A 46-year-old woman from Evesham, a 46-year-old woman from Cheltenham, and a 23-year-old man from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire were also arrested at around 3.10am on suspicion of theft and aggravated trespass in Redmarley.

The apprehensions follow four arrests on Friday, September 6 in the Forthampton area.

A spokesman for the force said that police had responded to reports of horns being blown and individuals straying from a public footpath in the Forthampton area at around 2am.

Four people were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and refused to give officers their details, according to the spokesman.

"A short while later they responded to the officer’s request for their information and were de-arrested at the scene. They were not taken into custody," he said.

Gloucestershire Police released the statement after various comments on social media describing road closures and arrests in relation to the operation.

"A further four people were stopped in a lane with vehicles parked on both sides," the spokesman added.

" Whilst that was happening, the lane was temporarily obstructed by vehicles, including police cars."

The police are to urging protesters to contact them if they had any questions by calling 101 and asking to speak to the police liaison officer.

As the controlled shooting continues a petition calling on the Government to put a stop to the pilot badger cull has climbed to 300,000 according to the RSPCA.

According to body, there has been a marked rise in the number of people signing the number 10 e-petition since the pilot culls began in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

It had already become the biggest ever petition on the Government’s website in July when it passed 258,000 signatures. RSPCA’s Gavin Grant said he was not surprised so many had flocked to sign their name in opposition to the cull.

"As the first shots have been fired against the badgers, the public have been faced with the sad reality of what it actually means," he said.

"Huge numbers of badgers are dying– probably in their thousands – and yet science has shown that this will make little difference to bovine TB in cattle. We also have grave concerns about how they are being killed and whether this is humane."