AN anti-badger culling group is calling on Avon and Somerset Police to hold a review of audio, video and written recordings from the Government, following a report that Gloucestershire Police is investigating an alleged misconduct.
The Sunday Times said the Gloucestershire force is investigating incidents from last year’s pilot culls.
Allegations being looked into include a case where a man is claimed to have stalked a badger for an hour near Upton Bishop, while carrying a loaded rifle.
Meanwhile, National England issued letters on Tuesday (August 26), authorising a new round of culls to go ahead in Glouces-tershire and Somerset.
Culling contractors will have to kill between 931 and 1,876 badgers. Six weeks of culling between June 1 and January 31 each year are allowed under the licences, with those carrying out the cull deciding on the start date.
Writing on its Facebook page, the Somerset Against the Badger Cull said: “We are writing to Avon and Somerset Police and Natural England, asking that they prioritise a review of all the audio, video and written recordings held by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency of cull contractors shooting in Somerset last year to ensure public safety this year.
“Our members say they often saw people breaking the license conditions laid down by the government in order to ensure public safety.
“We observed people using night vision equipment to stalk and kill badgers away from bait points.
“There was often no secondary person "spotting" and some of us saw people in the vicinity of setts apparently trying to kill badgers as they emerged from their setts.
“We congratulate Gloucestershire police in taking this matter seriously and urge Avon and Somerset Constabulary to apply the same rigour before shooters such as these are let loose in our countryside again and before someone is seriously injured or killed.
Monday saw the anniversary of the start of the first shot fired in the pilot culls in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire.
The culls are part of the Government’s campaign to fight bovine TB.
Plans to roll out the cull nationwide were abandoned this year after the pilot culls failed humanness and effectiveness tests.
This year’s culls are due to start in just a matter of weeks.
A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police said they are not aware of any breaches in the force area and so will not be investigating.
They added that if anyone had any concerns or wanted to report any criminal offences, they should contact them via the online form or by calling the force non-emergency number on 101.