YORK Student Conservatives are holding a ‘Badger Culling’ social tonight with members dressing as badgers and hunters as part of a night out.

The event, organised by the University of York’s Conservative Association, will see committee members dressed as badgers, followed around York bars by ordinary members dressed as 'shooters'.

One of Britain’s biggest animal rights groups The League Against Cruel Sports has criticised the event.

Campaigns director Tom Quinn said: “This is probably meant to be a harmless joke but it’s not very funny.

"Perhaps they should do a bit of studying on bovine TB before making light of such a national scandal.”

The Facebook description for the event read: “After the joint social with the Labour Club last week, we did not want people accusing us of faltering on our conservative views.

“That is why this Wednesday the York Tories will be hosting a new type of social... a badger culling social!”

The University of York said that they did not endorse the event and they urge all student clubs and societies to respect the views of others.

He added: “We are committed to the principles of free speech and freedom of expression."

In a statement to The Press a spokesman for the society said that the social was not supposed to offend anybody and that the idea was chosen because it was topical and not because it reflected any opinion on the issue.

The Conservative society came under fire last year for organising a fox-hunting social in which female members dressed as foxes would be ‘hunted’ through York bars by male members dressed as huntsmen.

Other controversial events have included ‘The Hagueathon’, a twice yearly drinking competition where members try to match the former foreign secretary William Hague’s claims that he drank 14 pints a day as a teenager.