Chris Packham, the television presenter, has branded those carrying out the badger cull as “brutalist, thugs, liars and frauds”.
Farmers insist the cull will stop the animals spreading the cattle disease bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
Trained marksmen, often the farmers themselves, will shoot up to 80 badgers a night.
But Mr Packham said movement of cattle is spreading the disease and killing badgers will just spread bTB further as it forces the wildlife to move around more.
"It is both sad and shameful that when night falls and the setts of southern England stir their gentle folk will be needlessly slaughtered. That in spite of science and public will the wrath of ignorance will further bloody and bleed our countryside of its riches of life. That brutalist thugs, liars and frauds will destroy our wildlife and dishonour our nations reputation as conservationists and animal lovers,” he said.
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