IMPASSIONED badger cull protestors made a grandstand appearance at Worcestershire County Council yesterday - desperately pleading for the controversial tactic to be outlawed.

A trio of campaigners dressed up in badger outfits handed in a petition with more than 1,400 names on it urging the council to ban any culling on land it owns.

During a passionate speech against badger culling in a full council meeting, protestor Pauline Burgess called it "inhumane and unscientific" and urged County Hall's leadership to follow other parts of the country by banning it.

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.

Mrs Burgess, from the Vegan Three Counties Group, said: "The petition I'm presenting calls upon Worcestershire County Council to prohibit any badger culling on council-owned land.

"We believe it to be inhumane, inefficient and unscientific.

"We want to make sure that should the badger cull be rolled out further, the council already has a policy in place to stop it happening here."

The council made no firm decision on it yesterday, with the Conservative leadership tasked with considering her plea before sending her a written response in the coming weeks.

The first badger cull in 15 years began in parts of the South West back in September, 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 back in December the shooters had failed to meet half of their target and the Government controversially extended both culls.

Farmers say a cull reduces the spread of TB in cattle - the disease has seen more than 300,000 cattle slaughtered in the UK over the past decade.

An online petition against culling has gathered 300,000 signatures and former Queen guitarist Brian May led a 1,000-strong march through London to hand the petition in to Downing Street earlier this year.