A CAMPAIGNER is urging residents to sign a petition demanding an end to badger culling.

Emily Lawrence, who lives in Kingham, West Oxfordshire, and is a member of Oxfordshire Badger Group, hopes to get her petition to Number 10 to halt the national practice.

The 44-year-old called the culling, which is carried out to prevent the spread of Bovine tuberculosis, "unscientific and inhumane".

Culling is primarily done in Somerset, Gloucester and Dorset, but Mrs Lawrence wants to ensure it stops completely and is not rolled out across the country.

She said: "I have been campaigning against badger culling since 2012, helping organise marches around the country.

"Bovine TB is a devastating disease for farmers and cattle but badger culling has proven to be unscientific because 95 per cent of the disease is spread by cattle.

"At a cost of £20m so far, a roll-out across the country cannot be justified.

"Wales has reduced incidents of bovine TB by 48 per cent without killing a single badger."

Mrs Lawrence's petition has gathered 4,810 signatures but she wants to reach 10,000 by August so the Government will respond.

In 2012 Queen guitarist Brian May's petition to end badger culling was signed by 258,7000 people, making it the most signed e-petition on the Government's website.

Mrs Lawrence said: "Instead of killing the badgers, what we need to look into is measures that focus on the cattle.

"We need stricter controls to prevent the disease from spreading.

"The randomised badger culling trials undertaken by the last government killed 11,000 badgers and proved that culling them will not reduce the disease."

Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in England and Wales.

Generations of the creatures, who normally live in groups of four to six, will stay in a sett for hundreds of years.

Mrs Lawrence said: "Badgers are amazing creatures. They face such adversity and persecution yet they still manage to thrive and survive.

"One of the other ways to control the spread of bovine TB is vaccinations for badgers.

"Unfortunately they've run out of the vaccination at the moment."

As well as campaigning for the protection of the furry creatures Mrs Lawrence is also organising National Badger Week.

The event from June 25 to July 2 will give residents an opportunity to meet and speak with their local badger groups and get involved with activities.

For more information about National Badger Week visit nationalbadgerweek.org.uk

To sign the petition visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/122595