THE RSPCA is urging all those opposed to an extension of the badger cull, to make their feelings known to the Prime Minister after Devon was identified as one of nine counties in the 'high risk zone' of being subject to a further cull.

Devon County Council is set to discuss the matter at a meeting on February 20, after landowners in the county were invited to submit applications for badger cull licences.

RSPCA Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns David Bowles slammed the extension plans, labelling the cull 'misguided.'

He said: “There is no justification to continue with these misguided plans, let alone extend them.

“We care about both cattle and badgers but science has shown the cull is not the answer to bovine TB in cattle, and the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire last year were a catalogue of errors from start to finish.”

A statement from the RSPCA labelled the plans for an extension to the cull as 'farcical and costly' after initial pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire failed.

The statement said: “The farcical and costly badger cull could very soon be extended across the country and the RSPCA is urging all those opposed to it to make their feelings heard to Number 10 Downing Street.

“Free shooting badgers as part of the pilot culls proved too difficult so cages had to be used; and the Government extended both trials after their own targets were not reached, despite scientific advice that this could actually make the spread of bovine TB in cattle worse not better.

“The costs of these two disastrous pilots have been estimated over £7million, so £4,100 per badger, with the costs of policing the cull amounting to nearly £2.5 million.”

David Bowles added: “In total 1,861 badgers have already been needlessly killed since August. We would urge anyone who does not want more such deaths to contact their MP, vote against the expansion of the cull and urge their councillors to stop local authority land from being used in any cull.”