OXFORD City Council took a firm stance against badger culling after leaked documents revealed that locally up to 2223 animals could be killed this year.

Councillor Linda Smith urged residents to appeal to their MPs to ask for their support for vaccinations against bovine tuberculosis instead of the controversial practice.

Leaks seen by the Oxford Mail showed that across England more than 60,000 badgers face being culled this autumn.

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Speaking on behalf of the council Ms Smith said she supported vaccinations against the disease that are already being trialled across Oxfordshire.

The councillor added: "We oppose the badger cull, and we will be communicating to all staff to make clear that we will not support culling on any land the council controls.

"While bovine TB is a serious issue we believe vaccination is a more humane and effective control, allowing badgers to live as part of the diversity of wildlife in our countryside."