Three men, arrested during badger cull activity in north Pembrokeshire yesterday (Tuesday), have been released without charge.

Visits for preparatory sett survey work took place in several areas including Nevern and Cilgwyn.

An eyewitness in north Pembrokeshire said that masked men, accompanied by police, had visited farms and small holdings in the area.

Two men were arrested under articles five and six of the Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) order 2009 which states that it is an offence for occupiers not to comply with Welsh Assembly Government officers entering their land.

A third man was arrested for theft.

However all three have now been released, with no further action following police enquiries.

“Dyfed-Powys Police officers are there to keep the peace and maintain law and order,” said a police spokesman after yesterday's arrests.

“This includes allowing the Welsh Assembly Government to carry out their lawful duties as part of their TB eradication programme for Wales.”

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman added: "Our main aim is to lawfully carry out this work to identify where badger setts are in the area. Bovine TB is a crisis we have to deal with and we need to co-ordinate activity effectively."

"It has been made clear from the outset that the identity of contractors would not be put in the public domain. Clearly today the contractors tried to protect their identity because of their concern about the situation and level of personal intimidation.

"A very small minority of land owners are continuing to refuse access to the land. We have continued to engage with them including meeting some of the individuals concerned. We are very disappointed that a tiny minority have decided to engage in illegal activity."