AS members of the local Conservative Party in New Forest West, we are in a dilemma – and it’s not about gay marriage or the EU!

We are incredibly distressed at our own party’s decision to forge ahead with a badger cull in the hope that it will stop bovine TB.

From June 1, thousands of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset, most of them healthy, will face freeshooting marksmen when they venture out of their setts at night for one last time. Dorset is next on the list. And then the shooting programme will be rolled out all over the country.

The eradication of badgers is not proven to work against bovine TB. The shooting exercise is simply a vast and cruel experiment to see if it does work. That is not good enough.

We, and many others including scientists and animal welfare organisations, believe there are better ways to deal with this problem, and that the only humane and successful way forward is vaccination for both cattle and badgers.

There are things that you can do. Please act quickly to:

• Sign the online petition: uk/petitions/38257

• Write to your MP expressing your disapproval of the cull

• Attend the Badger March in London, Saturday, June 1

We believe if this cull is allowed to go ahead it will be a tragedy for wildlife in this country.