SIX badger cage traps found in South Somerset during the cull have sparked confusion over their legality.

A spokesman for Wessex Badger Guardians (WBG), who said he did not want to be named in case of a backlash from farmers, said two of the traps were found near West Coker and four of them found near Closworth.

The traps were reported to Avon and Somerset Police and Dorset Police forces on October 7, but WBG said there had been insufficient action taken since then.

Since reporting them, the WBG said they have been passed between a number of Avon and Somerset officers and are no closer to finding out if the traps are being investigated by the police.

The WBG spokesman said: “We suspect that unscrupulous farmers used the cover of nearby legal culls to kill a few badgers of their own.

“There’s anecdotal evidence that this has been going on in all the cull zones since the government-orchestrated killing of badgers started in 2013.

“Wessex Group members are disappointed at the apparent lack of interest shown by both Avon and Somerset Police and Dorset Police.

“We reported the locations, but so far there’s no sign that they intend to investigate.

“It’s particularly disappointing after their promises before this year’s culls that they would investigate all reports of wrongdoing regardless of who the alleged perpetrators are.

“Wessex members have asked both police forces if any part of South Somerset was included in the Dorset zones. They said they don’t know. We find that farcical.

“How can they effectively police the culls if they’re working blind?”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “We do not comment on individual incidents due to operational reasons.

“The cull is not a police-led operation and is managed by DEFRA and Natural England.

“The role of the police is to facilitate safe, peaceful and lawful protests and to investigate any criminal activity associated with the cull.”

A spokesman for DEFRA said that it was the responsibility of the police to determine whether an activity in relation to the badger cull was illegal.