Stroud - Animal Frights activists have taken successful pot-shots at a Ministry drone sent to cull badgers on the Gloucestershire/Somerset border amid reports of a downed craft in the Forest of Dean.
The remote-controlled hunter-killer device was on a dawn mission to exterminate hundreds of innocent furry critters suspected of spreading Bovine TB following a smear campaign started by farmers.
A £10-per-head bounty is awarded for each shot badger in a EU's Common Agricultural Policy scheme opposed by the UK Bovine TB Inoculation Lobby that wants cows and bulls vaccinated against the disease.
This morning's incident saw what police say may be an improvised surface-to-air missile, constructed from Guy Fawkes Night fireworks and plastic ball bearings, launched at the MoD drone as it prepared to swoop on a large communal badger sett in the picturesque woodland.
Noise from the explosion was enough to send up to 100 of the black-and-white beasties scurrying deep into densely thicketed parts of the Forest where a badger 'safe house' is rumored to exist.
Meanwhile in neighboring Wiltshire EU subsidy-toting farmers in favor of the badger cull are now blaming squirrels, voles, otters and other indigenous species for an outbreak of ovine winter vomiting virus as a mystery sickness among sheep flocks continues raging unabated.
An Animal NHS anti-TB shot retails at around £0.42p.