THE issue of badger culling on land owned by Gloucestershire County Council is to be looked at again in November.

At present the council allows the tenants of farms it owns in those parts of the county where the cull is to take place to cull badgers if they so wish.

A recent petition signed by 779 people in Gloucestershire in the last few weeks requested that the cull should be banned on land owned by the council.

This land is estimated to be around 1,000 acres within the heart of the pilot cull zone in Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean areas.

The Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee today voted that the full council review their current policy that allows tenant farmers to take part in the Gloucestershire cull.

The next full council meeting is due to take place on November 21, however campaigners will be asking for an earlier meeting given the imminent cull.

The committee also recommended that the cabinet member responsible for farms requests tenants taking part in the cull to carry out a risk assessment to re-assure the council that the public would not be put at undue risk.

Councillors acknowledged concerns that night-time shooting of badgers involving high velocity rifles brought serious safety and policing issues.

Liz Gaffer, the lead petitioner and spokesperson for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting said: “We are pleased that the councillors have taken this matter seriously and given due weight to public opinion in deciding to review the existing policy.

"As seen through the petition, the public are increasingly ready to say that they are concerned about this cull and we urge everyone against it to let the council know so that they make the right decision quickly.”