An open letter and a petition are set to handed to scientists at Oxford University, calling for them to speak up against badger culling.

The letter and petition come from Oxfordshire Badger Group, which will make the delivery to Oxford University's School of Biology on April 17.

The petition has almost reached 2,500 signatures.

Oxfordshire Badger Group describe the cull as "cruel and ineffective" adding that the scientist's research has been "misused" to "justify the killings".

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the government have cited the scientific works of Oxford University as grounds for the cull.

The badger group is now urging the scientists to fight against the culling by responding to DEFRA's public consultation.

They argue that a decade of culling has shown no tangible benefits to farmers.

DEFRA is currently consulting on launching badger culling in cluster areas.

It is facing legal opposition from the Badger Trust and Wild Justice owing to concerns over its scientific grounding.

Almost quarter of a million badgers have been shot in England since 2013, with 60 per cent of Oxfordshire representing part of the culling zone.

Two epidemiological culling areas, which aim to kill all badgers in the area, are expected to be created under the new policy.

This could lead to local extinction of the badger in Oxfordshire.