MORE than 50 people from Gloucestershire gathered in the Forest of Dean yesterday evening to protest against the shooting of badgers in the county.

The vigil, organised by Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS), started with an introduction by Cllr Jackie Fraser from Forest of Dean District Council, which has fully backed a ban on the cull of badgers on land owned or managed by the council.

Oscar Pratten, aged 12, from the Forest of Dean, talked about how he had become aware of the cull and what it would mean to him if it went ahead.

Oscar said: “We have all been taught to recycle, reuse and protect the planet, but what is the point of clean air, lovely woods and green fields if there is no wildlife left to live in them.

"I have been to the natural history museum and have seen lots of animals in glass cabinets that are now extinct. It will be even sadder if one day we take our grandchildren, and there is a new animal in the glass cage – a badger.”

The vigil took place ahead of the debate in Parliament on Thursday and the Extra Ordinary General Meeting being held by Gloucestershire County Council next Monday, October 29, to consider the recommendation to review its current policy that allows badger culling on council land. Liz Gaffer, a spokesperson for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: “Local groups like GABS have been working tirelessly to ensure that those who have the power to reverse this decision are aware of how the public feel.

"This was another peaceful meeting for people to gather, and we asked that everyone continues to inform those in government locally and centrally what this cull would mean to Gloucestershire.”