AN ANTI-badger cull group has come under fire for posting the contact details of a Dorset farmer on social media.

Stop the Cull, which campaigns against the trial badger cull in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire, has posted two statements about former Dorset National Farmers Union county chairman Paul Gould on its own Facebook page.

Supporters have commented on the posts encouraging others to contact Mr Gould.
Commenting on behalf of Mr Gould, an NFU spokesman described the behaviour as ‘completely unacceptable’.

In a statement, the NFU said: “Sadly, this kind of behaviour is not at all unusual. Those involved in carrying out the cull are going about a perfectly lawful, legal activity that is part of the Government’s 25-year bovine TB eradication plan.

“For them to be harassed in this manner is completely unacceptable and shows the protesters for what they are – hard-core activists who will stop at nothing to disrupt activities of which they disapprove.”

Emotions have run high since Defra announced that the cull would be carried out in Dorset this year, after trial schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the past two years.

Only licensed marksmen may trap and shoot the animals, and the cull of at least 615 badgers is one of a number of methods being used to curb the spread of bovine TB, which farmers in the south west say are devastating their herds.

The first statement on the Stop the Cull Facebook page reads: “Please don’t call him (Paul Gould) through the night as he is very busy organising all the shooters and doesn’t have time to listen to the badger badger song or any other nonsense.”

The song referred to was released by Queen guitarist and badger cull campaigner Brian May, in 2013 as part of a call to stop the then-proposed cull.

The post has been shared 135 times.

A later post includes an image of a dead calf which Stop the Cull claims was taken on Mr Gould’s land. Again, it includes a link to contact details, with a request to ‘keep communications polite’.

The post has been shared 78 times.

Stop the Cull has not responded to a request for comment.