A police chief has called for the wearing of balaclavas to be restricted in the countryside after they were worn both by protesters and marksmen during the South West badger culls.
Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl is to write to Home Secretary Theresa May to urge for limits to the headgear, as is the case with crash helmets.
Pilot culls took place in Gloucestershire and Somerset, and a stand-by was set up in Dorset. However, ministers decided not to expand the plan to tackle bovine TB this year after an independent report questioned the culls' humaneness and effectiveness.
Making the announcement, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson hit out at "extreme" anti-cull protesters guilty of a "disgraceful amount of intimidation".
Mr Surl has been told by the police they received claims of harassment that they were unable to pursue because the alleged perpetrators could not be identified.
He added: "I received many complaints from families who had nothing to do with the cull who were frightened to leave their homes or go out after dark in case they were confronted by people whose faces were covered.
"It was one of the nastier elements of the cull. The police adopted a polite approach so as not to inflame the situation and it's a pity those who were asked to take off their masks ignored not only the request but also the effect they were having on innocent people and communities."
He went on: "There are restrictions on people walking into a bank or filling station wearing a crash helmet, maybe there should be something similar in the countryside."
Drew Pratten, from the Stop the Cull protest group, said the police had to be fair to both protesters and marksmen.
"We weren't using them to commit crime. We were using them to keep our identity hidden from the operators, as they were as well.It was for that same reason. We will be out again this year wearing balaclavas."
National Farmers' Union deputy president Minette Batters said: "Farmers and landowners in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset were subjected to threats, harassment and intimidation – they were spied on, filmed, received abusive letters, threatening phone calls through the night, and were verbally abused by strangers at their own homes.
"Contractors experienced high levels of harassment and intimidation. Understandably, many did not want their names to become known. Even with promises of anonymity, many didn't feel confident their names wouldn't become public and they wouldn't face further intimidation."