Police Consider Using Drones to Monitor Protestors of the Badger Cull

In the South-west of England, there is an ongoing badger cull exercise. The badgers have been linked with increasing cases of tuberculosis in cattle. Authorities maintaining that reducing the badger numbers in certain regions will also reduce the tuberculosis prevalence in cows.  Local Police have been deployed to oversee the exercise, something that has put them against animal rights activists. The activists have been organizing peaceful protests all over the affected areas, in a bid to stop the animal shootings.

The culling exercise has been expanded to more areas, with the goal of reducing the badger population. This expansion is hoping to exterminate up to 42,000 badgers, almost 10,000 more than last year. This expansion has also seen the activist movement gain more support as more people show up for the protests.

The increasing protests have been attributed to increasing crime in the affected areas. The large number of protestors have proven to be a lot for the police to handle. This has forced the Police to look for more innovative ways of keeping an eye on the protestors. One of the ways to monitor the protestors is the use of drones. The police wrote an message to the protestors, informing them that they were considering deploying drones “where intelligence dictates”.

This action has not surprised or deterred the protestors. Through their spokeswoman, Andrea White, the Devon County Hunt Saboteurs maintain that they will continue reporting to the field to prevent badger deaths.  Another Spokesperson for the activist group Stop the Cull expressed concerns that the Police drones might get damaged by protestors or even farmers. They were especially concerned that shotguns, catapults or air rifles would be used to damage the drones. He said that farmers and protestors might do this in a bid to stop the Police from observing their actions. Although the action has not been formally approved as of yet, using drones is an option that Police are seriously considering.

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