Badger cull: Protest camp evicted, as anarchists claim responsibility for Portishead arson

Camp Badger residents had hoped to stay in place for the cull's six-week duration

A protest camp opposing the badger cull in Somerset has been evicted.

Camp Badger, at Doniford Halt, 10 miles east of Minehead, had been used as a base since Saturday. The activists claimed to have permission to be there, but yesterday the landowner - who has not been named - arrived at the site to evict the protesters, according to a spokesman for Stop the Cull.

Twelve people camped overnight to protest over the cull and take part in patrols to protect badgers in the area.

Jay Tiernan, a spokesman for both the Stop the Cull protest group and the Coalition of Badger Action Groups said: "I wasn't here at the start so I can't comment on what agreement was made with the landowner.

"He came down this morning and we came to an amicable arrangement to leave at 4pm.

"I believe the police arrived to help negotiations but there were no problems.

"We are just working out where we will regroup and looking at potential places to go.

The Government hopes to reduce tuberculosis in cattle partly by culling badgers, which are widely blamed for spreading the disease among cows.

A six-week trial cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, where bovine TB is rife, is due to begin with the aim of extending it across much of the country if it is deemed to be humane, efficient and safe. Around 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings.

The cull has faced strong opposition, which argues that it is ineffective and unethical.

Meanwhile, an anarchist group has claimed responsibility for a fire which gutted a police firing range in north Somerset in the early hours of Tuesday.

And online post, signed from "Angry Foxes Cell in collaboration with ACAB," read: "The (under construction) Police Firearms Training Centre in Black Rock Quarry, Portishead, situated directly beneath the Avon and Somerset Police regional headquarters was our target on the night of 26th August, and we left it with flames licking high.

The group claimed to have "used accelerant to burn the major electrical cables at five junction points throughout the complex, and doused and lighted a pallet of electrical fittings and wires."

Among many motives, the post noted that the attack coincided with the start of the cull nearby.

It read: "Through attempting to facilitate the cull and stop resistance the police shore up the interests of agricultural industry and the land owning classes. We hope this will be one of many rebellions against this slaughter."

Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, described the fire as "devastating".

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: "We’re aware that someone has claimed responsibility for the fire at Black Rock Quarry yesterday but we’re keeping an open mind until a full investigation has been carried out by fire service investigators and our own police and forensics investigation team."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own