Posts Tagged ‘Dorset’

As the NFU’s badger killing exercise draws into it’s final phase we’re reminded that the guidelines drawn up by Natural England are being constantly flouted by those doing the killing. Of course when there was an independent expert panel and monitoring taking place then one would hope that these bad practices would be kept to a minimum but of course the Government sacked the panel when they didn’t provided the kind of conclusion they were hoping for. This of course gave carte blanche to the cull contractors to break any rules they see fit to get their numbers killed however due to some great work in the fields by sabs fighting the cull in all the zones these examples have come to light in a big way, one even making the front page of a national newspaper and another video getting over 50,000 views on social media. We can only assume that these will be the tip of the iceberg.

Gloucestershire badger killer and member of the Ross Harriers Hunt.

Gloucestershire badger killer and member of the Ross Harriers Hunt.

Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs did a fine job in locating and identifying two killers although they had already killed a badger. The shooters had also failed to follow many of the bio-security measures outlined in the best practice guidelines issued by Natural England, notably that the body of the badger wasn’t double bagged but merely stuffed into the back of a rucksack while the cull contractor wasn’t wearing gloves when he handled the animal either. Obviously bio-security is a serious matter however the complete lack of it in the video shows again it’s nothing more than a random killing exercise, they just want the numbers and any relation to bTB is largely being ignored, or of course they know the badgers don’t have TB in the first place. It also wouldn’t surprise you to know both the shooters were identified as members of the Ross Harriers Hunt. Killing is a way of life for these people, it’s not “just a job” as they claim, they love it or they wouldn’t do it.

The second incident occurred when a mixed group of sabs located a badger in a cage trap in the Dorset Zone. This of course shouldn’t be that surprising (although why they need to cage trap when the pilots are about free shooting is another matter) however the most important factor here is the time of day it was discovered. Once again Natural England specify that traps should be inspected and any badger caught must be killed before midday. There are clearly welfare issues involved here and time spent in the trap should be minimised regardless of the final outcome. The time the badger was found in the trap was 2:45 pm. Potentially that animal could have been in there for well over 15 hours. It had certainly made a significant effort to dig it’s way out. Luckily this badger would live to fight another day and was safely released, somewhat stressed and no doubt in need of a drink but otherwise unharmed.

This one had a lucky escape. Note the trappers spade leaning against the fence.

This one had a lucky escape. Note the trappers spade leaning against the fence.

Natural England should be looking at this and at the very least suspending the licenses of the culling contractors involved and holding any payment. Personally I believe the cage trapper should be prosecuted under animal welfare laws as well. How the NFU and Defra (I think they’re one and the same now) can still claim what they’re doing is based on science is quite frankly complete buffoonery. They’re also conspicuous by their silence on these matters. Their arrogance in not even attempting any sort of damage limitation only serves to highlight what they think of the general public at large.

They’ve paid for a cull, they’ll kill what they can, in any way they can and to hell with the licensing.

Email Natural England and ask them if they’re going to enforce their own best practice guidelines: btb@naturalengland.org.uk

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It would seem that the killers have reached their minimum targets in Gloucestershire and Somerset. This was to be expected given the randomly selected and low numbers required however they are some way off in Dorset. The NFU will be pulling out the stops and sending their Gloucestershire killing teams to Dorset in an effort to bring the numbers up. We’ll be matching them with more personnel to hopefully neutralise their efforts. More people will always be welcome. Come and do your bit.

It’s national badger day today, it doesn’t feel like something to celebrate.

Yup, it’s that time of year again when morons with inadequacy issues get their guns out and try to make themselves feel worthy by blasting poor old Brock in the face with a shotgun from point blank range in a cage or cracking open the .243 and pretending to be a sniper as they bang away at pre-determined bait points at an animal whose only crime is to be a protected species with a liking for peanuts.

I’ve written at length previously over the lunacy that is the badger cull and you’ll find me out in the fields day and night trying to save as many lives as possible in the time I have available. What still amazes me are the discussions regarding Bovine TB which is, the Government claim (or should that be NFU) the overriding justification that Badgers are being slaughtered in their hundreds. The evidence that Badgers are not to blame and the cull is a pointless, cruel and very expensive is so overwhelming that if I wrote it all down my fingers would be left as nothing more than bloody stumps on a mangled keyboard. The fact that Defra saw fit to justify extending the cull to Dorset only goes to prove what I’ve claimed all along.

This is a systematic species eradication program.

Defra also released details of their future plans for the licensing requirements. This plan would effectively make the Protection of Badgers Act pointless as anyone could pretty much kill Badgers when and how they liked. Remember, the trials are to see if free shooting is a viable method to kill badgers, not to see if killing them reduces TB (which it doesn’t as recent figures show TB rates in the cull zones and surrounding areas have gone up). The costs are astronomical, over £7000 per badger? To prove how desperate the NFU are to get this done they’re paying the killers a cool five grand a pop, I’d imagine you could get a fair few woolly shirts, flat caps and Barbour jackets with that lot, maybe even get a date with your more attractive cousin. They’re also offering half price insurance to those who allow the killing to take place on their land. A no brainer for someone who sees animals as commodities and wildlife is just something that gets in the way or perhaps something to have some sport with.

My usual stamping ground of Gloucestershire has been left in very capable hands and I’m please my comrades down there have had a lot of success in stopping the killing. I’ve been active in Dorset where they required some people with experienced in these matters and I was only too pleased to help out. Obviously there’s lots of work to do and we’re getting there but it seems the police are a little slow in the learning process. On the first year of the cull the police were over eager to say the least and spent loads of time harassing sabs and Wounded Badger Patrollers alike while supporting and escorting the killers. They learned their lesson and were much better and even handed in the second year so it was hoped these experiences would be passed along to the Dorset police.

I hoped wrong.

help wanted

They’re making all the same mistakes again, they’re acting like hired security for the NFU gunmen and constantly after intel on what we’re doing and who we are rather than sitting back and letting things happen and making sure everyone is safe. I’ve had shots being fired very close by already, it can be a bit unnerving but to be honest my only concern is saving the lives of Badgers and I’ll do what ever it takes to achieve those ends. We’re well organised and well equipped, we have night vision and thermal imagers and we know which farms have signed up. I’ve also got a fucking great big torch which makes me feel ever so macho!

What we really need more than anything is more people to get involved. The Government depend on apathy from the general public. Revolutions and change weren’t build on watching reality TV and supping tea in the comfort of your front room. If everyone who signed a petition went out just for one night the cull would be impossible to implement. If you’re reading this and thinking you can’t make a difference then think again.

You really can.

This is just the thin end of the wedge. It’s time to stand up and be counted for our wildlife while we still have something to fight for.

Fighting the cull uses a lot of fuel, please donate if you can. Click here.