Anti-badger cull group claim they torched £16m police firing range which burned to the ground

Anti-badger cull group claim they torched £16m police firing range which burned to the ground
  • Two groups said they set the fire to coincide with the start of shooting
  • Said action was in response to the police's attempts to quell protests
  • Somerset & Gloucestershire officers fear attack could be first of many


Anarchists who oppose the badger cull have claimed responsibility for a blaze that destroyed a £16million police firing range.

Two groups, the Angry Foxes Cell and ACAB - which stands for All Coppers Are B******* - said they set the fire to coincide with the start of the shooting.


They claimed the ‘direct action’ was taken in response to the police’s attempts to quell protests and help the ‘land-owning classes’.


Officers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, where the culling of badgers began on Monday, fear the attack could be the first of many.

Anarchists from London and Manchester are expected to head to the countryside to cause disruption, after they were found to have discussed car-sharing arrangements on the internet.

And it is feared that militant anti-hunt campaigners and animal research activists have infiltrated the ranks of the peaceful anti-cull umbrella group Stop The Cull.

Last night, firemen were still battling to extinguish flames at the half-built Black Rock Quarry firearms training centre, near Avon and Somerset Police’s Portishead headquarters near Bristol. Smoke could be seen up to 12 miles away.

In a statement made online, the Angry Foxes Cell and ACAB admitted joint responsibility for starting the fire on Monday.

‘The night of our action coincides with the announced start of the planned cull of wild badgers in the South West of England,’ 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.  

‘It put smiles on our faces to realise how easy it was to enter their gun club and leave a f***-you signature right in the belly of the beast, with a curious fox as our witness.’

Vandals from the groups also claimed to have slashed the tyres of prison vans in Bristol.



Police said they were aware of the claims, but are waiting until the site of the training centre is safe enough to allow its forensic investigators to collect evidence.

Farmers have already reported intimidating phone calls late at night, as well as sabotage on their farms – including leaving gates open to allow herds of cows to roam the roads.

One farmer has claimed that one of his cows was killed by a van after it was ‘freed’ by extremists.

The badger cull is an attempt to tackle bovine tuberculosis, which is transmitted by badgers and has led to the death of more than 305,000 cattle in the UK over the past decade.

The past 15 years has seen a boom in the disease, which is transmitted by badgers urinating on grass which is then eaten by cows.

Farmers say a cull is the only way to protect their livestock, and the Government has approved a trial in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire that could see as many as 5,000 badgers killed.

The current scheme, which will last for six weeks, is due to be repeated every year for the next four years, and is predicted to cut bovine TB by some 16 per cent.

Two companies have been given the licence to carry out the culling. Defra and Natural England have kept their identities confidential, in case activists target them directly.

Animal rights groups, which have received support from Brian May and Dame Judi Dench, say the authorities should vaccinate badgers instead.

Last week, the National Farmers Union was granted an injunction  in the High Court barring anti- cull activists from approaching farmers’ homes, business premises and cull sites through fear of intimidation.

  • Members of so-called ‘Camp Badger’ near Watchet, west Somerset, were evicted from a field yesterday after the landowner claimed they had broken a lock and squatted on the land.