Posts Tagged ‘Bovine TB’

I’m back home once again after another few days in the North Cotswolds cull zone. We have a team there 7 days a week, some are resident and some, like myself come and go, fitting in work and family commitments where they can, but there will always be cover both night and day. Most of us are experienced cull fighters and we’ve developed a really good system which allows us to maximize our efforts and concentrate on the areas which need us the most while monitoring the areas which would appear to be under less threat.

We’ve also had several new people join in and while it can seem a daunting task as first they are coming on leaps and bounds and will hopefully turn into fine sabs. It’s a steep learning curve but all you need is a strong desire to do what’s rights and the rest will usually follow.

Without going into operational details I will say that we are without doubt having a huge effect and it must annoy the hell out of the other side. What is clearly obvious is how new technology is being embraced and used to maximum effect. The videos emerging showing the trappers and shooters caught in their dirty act, the use of drones, radios, night vision and thermal imagers – never before have activist had access to this sort of technology and they are making it count and the other side are playing catch up. Of course all the tech in the world can’t make up for good old fashioned leg work, field craft and experience. Sometimes nothing more than a hunch will provide dividends and lives are saved.

We also accept that there will be casualties.

We can’t be everywhere all the time, if we had thousands of people we could protect every sett in the zone but that isn’t the case and with Defra (or the NFU as they seem to dictate Government policy) abandoning the 6 week maximum duration for culling they will no doubt hit their ‘plucked from thin air’ targets. This kind of thing only goes to prove that disease control and cost are in no way relevant to this situation.

Speaking of cost there could be some good money to made out there collecting all the scrap metal in the form of flattened cages. Reports on social media from the various zones in the South West would suggest that cages are being found and destroyed in large numbers. Badgers are being found and released regularly, it’s a heart warming thing to witness. Back to the cost side of things Defra once again display their complete ineptitude by claiming they don’t know how much it costs to prepare & loan out the cage traps. Mr TBFree sent a FOI request and got the predictable whitewash as an answer in return. Read more about it here including the complete response from Defra.

If you want to be part of this please get in touch and I’ll point you in the right direction. There are jobs for everyone from cooks to stealth operatives and everything in between. More boots on the ground mean more lives saved and a big F*CK YOU to the wildlife abusers. We’re fighting a war for our countryside. Lets make sure there’ll be wild animals out there for the generations to come and not some barren wasteland, managed only for an elite few who get their perverted kicks by killing and abusing animals.

Well at least I hope it’s the last time.

The NFU and cull companies could yet apply for an extension and if they do the badger army will yet again be out there to meet them head on in the fields. However the current situation is the cull will end at midday on the 20th October. At the time of writing Natural England have received no application for an extension.

The NFU have already started their propaganda machine and are already claiming success but any such claims are nothing but smoke and mirrors. With no independent monitoring, completely random population estimates and kill figures they pulled from their backsides they can claim anything they like and any person with an ounce of sense will see it for what it really is . . . complete bullsh*t.

For my own part it was a relatively quiet last trip into the zone, albeit a very wet and muddy one. The previous evening saw the same shooters we had stopped twice before return to the same location although this time the sabs on scene had some help. The access road the killers had been using and where the farmer had been hiding behind the dustbins wasn’t actually theirs to use. The owner of the access road, unaware of the dramas that were regularly unfolding outside in the evenings finally noticed the torches, vehicles and men with guns. Her actions were outstanding, she took it upon herself to personally get involved and help the sabs to remove the shooters, then deny them her access road and also grant permission to the sabs (to all her land) protecting the badgers who had made their home on her driveway. This wonderful woman also provided useful intelligence and tempted the badgers away from the killing field to other safer areas with tasty titbits. It’s heartening to know there are still good, compassionate people out there.

My night had little action, apart from a very stroppy local woman who seemed intent on causing a problem because we looked suspicious. Next time I’d suggest you take your child home before confronting people in the street and causing a scene and remember, we may not fit with your idea of normal but when we’re on a public highway, regardless of the time of day/night or the weather we really don’t have to explains ourselves to you and threatening us really isn’t a terribly bright thing to do. Nice example to set your child.

Wildlife not Vermin

I truly hope this will be the last of it and we can all get back to some kind of normality, whatever that is. The organisation and teamwork has been amazing. From the teams back at base coordinating to the active sabs in the field and those at home helping to fund their activities. People from all over the country and from all walks of life have come together and fought against an unjust, unethical, immoral and unscientific slaughter of our wildlife. We have shown what can be done and I’m in awe of those who did those hard yards in tough conditions. Let’s make sure it never happens again and let’s vote these self-serving, corporate driven and corrupt ar*ehols out of power. When the time comes to put your X on the ballot paper remember the screams of the shot and dying badgers, remember the smiling people on horseback chasing foxes to their savage end and remember the stags and hares run to exhaustion then brutally killed for the perverse pleasure of a few.

Our natural heritage should be treasured and nurtured for future generations. It’s not there for the pleasure of the few to be tortured and killed. Let’s take back that right to see wild things free from persecution. I’ll be back of course with more updates and action against illegal hunting but in the meantime I’ll leave you with a post from the Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs page on Facebook. It seemed very appropriate.

“Imagine the scene.

It’s the early hours and it’s wet, very wet. The rain is driving into your face making you miserable and the trees, now losing their leaves offer little protection from the elements.

You’ve been walking the woods, lanes and hills, slipping in the mud and tripping over brambles and tree roots in the dark. The only saving grace is the mild temperatures but this has made you sweat from your efforts. Your waterproofs have kept out most of the storm but now you’re stewing in your own sweat.

You’re completely alone in the dark, every sound, every chink of light or engine noise could be the arrival of men with guns. You’re waiting, silently, knowing that at any moment your situation could go from tired and uncomfortable to one of life and death. You continually search with your night vision looking for the tell tale sign of an infra-red illuminator.

Except you’re not alone.

Somewhere out there, are more of you. You can’t see them but you know they’re there. This is your strength.

A noise. Snuffling . . . some rummaging in the undergrowth. A beautiful badger trundles past. It stops, looks in your direction, sniffing the air briefly before going about it’s business, unmolested and natural, how it should be. It makes you smile as the rain drips from your nose.

This is why we’re here. While there are those who take delight in killing or just doing the bidding of those with a corrupt agenda we’ll be there to meet them.

This is the life of a badger cull sab and no matter how long it goes on, we will never give up.”

UPDATE: Latest news suggests that they killed 253 badgers in Gloucestershire, well below their minimum target of 615. It is also believed they met their targets in Somerset however these were set very low (316) in the first place so were obviously more achievable. All these lives lost are deeply regrettable however without the fine work by those in the fields the death toll would have been much higher.

There can be no success claimed from either side regardless of the final outcome of the disgrace that is the badger cull. No doubt the culling companies, the NFU and Government will spin any figures they claim into a positive for them however we know how effective we’ve been at stopping them but they have no doubt killed innocent animals and whatever the final cost it’ll be one animal too many. If they then demand an extension it will be an admittance of total failure. A failure which was clear to see last year when the first cages were used in a trial to see if free shooting was effective, safe and humane. It’s hugely rewarding knowing you’ve had an effect and saved lives. The killers will be desperate to increase numbers over the last week so please, please help make a difference and get out there. There’s a job for everyone and you will be welcomed with open arms. We had a disabled visitor out for the first time with us so if she can help out so can you.

No love in thier souls.

No love in their souls.

For me personally it was an incident packed first night from the off, shooters, farmers hiding in bushes and a crazy man chasing us down the road! It was light when I finally made it into my sleeping bag, I was tired and cold but it was totally worth it. A quick mention to the people who deliver hot soup and fresh bread to cold and hungry sabs in the middle of the night, it’s a real moral booster and very welcome. Quote of the night came from a guy who monitored a sett for us with is partner and Rottweiler: “Anyone who shoots cute furry animals aint got no love in their soul”. I tend to agree. Please share and help get this in the public domain as much as possible. Let’s show the world who the bad guys really are. More updates next week, let’s hope it’s the end of this travesty.

I’m not going to comment on the issues for (the NFU want it) and against (just too much to list) the badger cull as you probably should know already and it’s even had some decent coverage in the mainstream media for once. All I’ll say is that it’s underway and being fought against by the most wonderful, compassionate and dedicated people one could hope to meet, from all over the country and all walks of life.

I’m just back from Gloucestershire and shot this short video diary. Similar events will be transpiring in Somerset. I’ll be back again very soon with more updates.

Please watch and share.

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Badger Killers