This is without doubt the busiest time of year for anyone involved in the protection of our wildlife. The disgraceful badger cull is in full swing and the hunts around the country are attempting to train their hounds by killing fox cubs. This of course means that resources are stretched thinly and yet no matter what the challenge there will always be someone there to face the wildlife killers.

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Personally I’ve been over in the North Cotswolds badger killing zone. It’s bigger than the original Gloucestershire zone where it all started off and they have a huge target of badgers to kill, second only to the Devon zone. Any kind of target is however completely irrelevant in reality, they haven’t done any real population surveys and they have no idea what 70% of the population is so any targets that Defra set are, pretty much picked out of thin air. The claims by Defra and the NFU that this is a science led policy are of course complete nonsense, the NFU even admitted before the culls that it wouldn’t work. There is no monitoring of efficacy at all, the 6 week maximum cull time has been abandonded in the new zones (purely to allow the killers enough time to get their targets) and TB rates in all the original zones are on the increase.

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We need to be very clear here and my own experiences in the field only back this up. There is a wider issue at stake, a bigger picture that is being hidden by the smoke and mirrors of the bTB debate. It is the control of the countryside. The right of the landowning few to do what they want with the environment and the animals that live there regardless of protected status. Badgers are the first, we’ve seen now also Buzzards targeted and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of areas where I and people like me have been active have been shooting estates or farms with shooting concerns. There are few cattle in sight but always plenty of game bird pens and they will be killing badgers and desperate to kill as many as they can.

On the positive side there have been many successes.

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Cage squashed by the forest pixies.

Social media means these travesties of justice can no longer be hidden. There are good people out there doing what they can and making a difference. Huge number of cage traps have been found and neutralised at a time where it is believed they are in short supply. Shooters have been identified and their killing lives put under constant threat of discovery. Hidden cameras have revealed the dirty secrets of the trappers and organisations that like to paint themselves as pillars of the community have been outed.  A prime example of this is the Overbury Estate where estate workers smashed the windscreen of a protesters vehicle. Stop the Cull published their details and their Facebook page was flooded with negative comments. The page admin then had to spend several hours deleting them. No matter how hard they try to hide the truth it will come out in the end. There is no justification for this and there never was.

If you’ve got a little time to spare please go to one of the areas and lend a hand. You could save a life, or even many. Drop me a line if you want to get involved in any capacity and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Thanks to TB Free England for some of the images.

 

Comments
  1. gordyjackson says:

    It’s great work that you are doing. These are very troubling times with a Tory Government, A lunatic for an environment Minister and very little opposition down in Westminster to challenge anything. I’m very concerned about the rumours of another vote on the Hunting repeal. We need groups like yours to make it a vote losing issue and make them think twice, Keep up the good work, were all behind you!

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