BADGER cull protestors are calling upon Worcester City Council to take a stance on the controversy - collecting 1,000 signatures to make their point.

A protest group turned up at a full council meeting last night to urge the authority to ban culling on its land.

The plea comes despite the prospect of any Worcester-based badger cull appearing unlikely, and the council owning very little suitable land anyway.

Although it is still a major landowner, most of the council's assets are built-up pockets like the Guildhall, the museum and art gallery in Foregate Street, various leisure and sports centres across Worcester and office units.

Most of the rural patches of land around Worcestershire not privately owned belong to the county council, which has already written to Environment Secretary Liz Truss to urge her to consider alternatives.

Badger cull protestor Anna Frankel turned up at the city council meeting to call it "selective slaughtering".

"Over 1,000 citizens in Worcester want Worcester City Council to prohibit the culling of badgers on council-owned land," she said.

"We ask this because we believe it to be unscientific, inefficient and inhumane.

"Its objective (the petition) is to ensure any Worcester badger population is as safe as possible against slaughter - you can resist badger culling by prohibiting it on council-owned land and this would not cost the council anything.

"It is ineffective, wasteful and inhumane. Now is the time to take a principled stand against culling, not because you have to but because it's the right thing to do."

Her petition has been handed to managing director Duncan Sharkey, who will be tasked with responding.

In recent months councils in areas such as Oxford, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, and Nottinghamshire have decided to ban badger culls in response to public concern.

The policy has also been replicated by Malvern Hills Conservators, who have stopped any prospect of it on land it owns.

The first badger cull in 15 years began in parts of the South West back in September last year, focusing on shooting 5,000 of them in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

The pilot culls were launched with the aim of killing 70 per cent of badgers in each area within six weeks.

But at the end of the six-week period the shooters had failed to meet half of their target and the Government extended both culls.

Bovine TB has seen more than 300,000 cattle slaughtered in the UK over the past decade.