A petition is calling on Maldon District Council not to allow badgers to be culled.

The Government has allowed badger culling in parts of the west of England since December 2011 in an attempt to prevent the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is set to extend the scheme out across the country next year.

National campaign group Badger Rescue and Vaccination Everywhere (BRAVE) is calling on the authorities to use vaccination instead of culling to stop disease spreading.

The group has set up petitions on the websites of both Essex County Council and Maldon District Council.

Group founder George Kearton said: “Councils can decide as any land owner can decide what happens on their land and they can ban culling."

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