Posts Tagged ‘Gloucestershire’

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 think I’m afflicted with a disease. It’s not TB despite my time in Gloucestershire and close proximity to old Brock but a strange and compelling desire to disrupt, annoy and publicise all those who take pleasure in killing. Let’s face it, if the NFU hired thugs with guns didn’t enjoy what they were doing they wouldn’t do it. Financially it’s definitely not worth it but now they have a chance to legally (in the eyes of the corrupt Government anyway) kill an animal which was, prior to this sorry episode off the target list.

That also goes for those inbred morons on horseback, the desperate for social standing followers and the low life thugs on quads with terriers. All delight in the torture and death of a wild living being. There really is something deeply disturbed about these people, I just don’t understand their motives and I never will and for that I’m eternally grateful.

fatty

Anyway, while in the Gloucestershire killing zone last week I shot some more video. We also paid a visit to the Ledbury Hunt. You may remember them from early on in my blog when one of their supporters smashed my video camera (they had to pay up later). Watch the video, feel free to share. Let’s get those ugly killers faces out there so everyone knows who they are.

Once again I salute all those doing a fantastic job in difficult conditions protecting our wildlife in both Somerset and Gloucestershire and throughout the country.

I’ll apologise for being a little quiet lately. It’s been a busy time and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming taking everything in and organising your thoughts. I’ve been out of the country for a short while helping a friend celebrate his wedding. I wish him and his new wife the very best although I have little doubt their life together will be a success. However whilst away I couldn’t help but stay linked to my various information sources and getting all the updates I could on how things were going in the cull zones. I was supposed to be relaxing and celebrating however in reality I was counting down the days until I could get back home and back to the killing fields and make my own small contribution to saving our wildlife.

I returned to Gloucestershire last week.

It’s seems a strange situation. There are no doubt still people out there with guns and cages desperate to make a dent in the badger population but in general things seem much quieter than they did last year. There does seem to be a lower number of shooters and from all the information received so far it would transpire that their kill rate is far lower than they anticipated and they’re falling well behind schedule already. This will of course be of some concern to the NFU and the cull companies and they’ll no doubt try and redress this balance by drafting in more guns. However with the increased organisation and modern equipment we’re deploying we’re never going to make the situation easy for them. So far various groups have successfully foiled multiple shooting attempts and cages have been neutralised.

The police have maintained a relatively low presence and so far there have only been a few cases of bad policing and favouritism however as the time draws on and tensions become strained I have no doubt this will change.

For my own part my last visit was fairly quiet save a few interesting incidents. During a daytime sett check we found a baited sett. The bait was removed and rendered inedible by answering the call of nature over it, always an effective method for dissuading badgers they’re getting some free chow. Luckily this particular location is well monitored and those evening monitors are well informed so hopefully the badgers will stay safe.

bones

The Bone Yard

It’s always interesting to note the state of some of the farms. Sheep were noted to severely lame, water troughs filled with all sorts of algae and clearly not suitable to drink from by either man or beast and a bone yard discovered in an out of the way place where the farmer, rather than dispose of animal corpses in the correct manner had dumped them out of site to rot. This site also had a large badger sett and no doubt the badgers would have scavenged the remains. There must have been in excess of 30 sheep skulls plus more bones than I could count. Another fine example of how our guardians of the countryside chose to conduct their affairs.

The final incident of the evening occurred when guarding a sett in the Upleadon area. A 4×4 driving through a field is a sure sign of shooter activity however on this occasion it turned out to be alleged local sex pest and wannabe hard man Hedley Midwinter, better known as “Mullet Man”. For those of you who don’t know him Hedley is well known in the area for intimidating lone female activists by suggesting hugely offensive and sexual solutions to their problems. I’d imagine he’s a somewhat twisted individual with limited intelligence who likes to act as some kind of enforcer for the cull company. There are several outstanding incidents from last years cull which are still to be addressed by the police including one where he drove at a wounded badger patroller who had to dive for her life. However this latest incident saw him drive round the field a couple of times, uttering some monosyllabic nonsense in our direction before retreating with his tail between his legs once he knew we had identified him and we wouldn’t back down. He runs Midwinter Transport, and owns a farm heavily involved in the cull so perhaps give him a call and ask him how he thinks things are going but please don’t put his number into one of those request call back things you find on Google.

Hedley

Hedley Midwinter – Such a charmer!

I’ll be back in the zone for a few more days next week so more updates will follow then. To all of those doing the remarkable work, the long hours and the hard yards both in Somerset and Gloucestershire I salute you. All those who can’t get down there, keep sending in the donations. To all those with guns – we’re waiting for you.