Posts Tagged ‘IEP Report’

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.

There’s been a whole host of new information appearing in the public domain over the last week or so regarding the Badger Cull and some is certainly concerning while the rest only goes further in destroying the Government’s argument in justifying the slaughter of our wildlife. First off we have a member of the Government appointed Independent Expert Panel speaking out and accusing ministers of “an abuse” of the scientific process and “wilfully” ignoring the advice of its own scientific advisors. It’s hardly surprising that Professor Timothy Coulson, a zoologist based at the University of Oxford felt the need to criticise Defra and Owen Paterson in this manner. What is the point in employing the experts in the field and then ignoring the results when they don’t comply with the Government agenda or give them justification for their actions? A classic case of Paterson employing policy-driven evidence, rather than evidence-driven policy.

He continues: “I am tempted to speculate that the Government no longer wants to know whether the pilots are effective or humane. They just want to cull badgers, regardless of whether the population or humaneness consequences can be assessed.”

I doubt many of you reading this blog would be surprised by the stance of Paterson and Defra, they’ve consistently ignored all the previous scientific data while constantly justifying themselves with the standard list of misquoted facts and downright lies.

Timothy Coulson

Timothy Coulson

Professor Coulson warns: “If the methods Defra are thought to be considering are used in place of those applied last year, it would be like starting a surgical procedure with a scalpel and forceps and finishing it with a garden spade and axe.” The changes amount to “an abuse of the scientific method”, according to the academic. “If culling worked I’d be fully supportive of them rolling it out, but all the evidence is that it does not.”

Of course Defra maintain they are indeed making changes for the future pilots and will charge Natural England with all the monitoring to ensure best practice guidelines are maintained, however that’s like asking a pack of hungry dogs to guard a big pile of juicy bones. Only independent monitoring can be considered impartial and as we’ve seen from the debacle last year the NFU instructed its operatives to ignore best practice in an effort to increase the kill rate.

Even the British Veterinary Association, traditionally a pro cull organisation despite supposedly having the best interest of animals at heart (they’re slaves to their big livestock contracts) are now starting to ask Defra some awkward questions. I think it’s about time they stood up for animal welfare once and for all and admitted they were wrong all along, in the eyes of the public this has been a PR disaster for them and withdrawing support now will give them a small amount of credibility back.

Patsy

Another reason the BVA are getting twitchy is the news that Defra will allow the use of shotguns when (and if) the pilots resume. This is indeed a worrying development. Shotguns are a wholly unsuitable firearm for the purpose. They have short rage, low penetration and stopping power. What they do give is a good chance of a hit, however these are likely to be either non-lethal or lethal over a duration of time which would make the term “humane” non-existent. We constantly heard the term “marksmen” being used when referring to the cull contractors but we’ve all seen how accurate they really were and marksmen they certainly were not. Still, no need to be accurate when you’ve got the shot spread of a barn door. Not only that but our countryside is awash with shotgun owners with suitable licenses, this is Defra declaring open season on poor old Mr Brock meaning anyone with a pair of wellies and a flat cap can go for a walk at night with their shotgun and bag a few badgers.

Finally, one of Paterson’s favourite quotes is to declare that no other nation has solved the bTB problem without addressing the wildlife reservoir. He’ll often quote New Zealand as a prime example. Well apart from the difference between of a protected native species and an invasive one and the obvious differences in habitat and ecology it now seems that the possum is not responsible for the spread of bTB in New Zealand and it is in fact down to, wait for it . . . the movement of infected cattle and the overall inaccuracy of the testing. So, is it just me or does this sound familiar?

Latest News: A glimmer of hope?

Defra Minister George Eustice brings together Badger Trust, NFU, BVA, CLA, NT, Save Me, IFAW, HSI, Wildlife Trusts & RSPCA to support badger vaccination.

I’m not wholly convinced by badger vaccination. It implies that the badgers are the problem when we all know that isn’t the case and it also plays into the hands of those who wish to demonize them, however vaccination is certainly preferable to a bullet or cartridge of 12 gauge shot. However these initiatives are largely aimed at the areas bordering the culls zones and not as a replacement for culling. It would seem direct action will be required once again.

Wildlife not Vermin

 

We’re making some progress in raising funds for a vehicle which will enable us to be suitably active in both cull zones and when the hunting season starts. The vehicle is being purchased from a sisted sab group so the money raised will go straight back in the pot for saving more wildlife. Please help if you can. Click here to donate.

 

Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for the Environment regarding the future policy on the control of Bovine TB was eagerly awaited by the members of the house and wildlife groups throughout the country. However it was fairly early on in his speech that the tone and standard script of contextually misleading data carefully interwoven with downright lies and twisted propaganda was clearly not going to contain the outcome anyone with a sense of right and wrong or compassion for our native wildlife were hoping for. In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, the democratic will of the house and the now released damming report from the IEP the Government were once again kowtowing to their masters in the NFU and forging ahead with repeated culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The only good news being further roll-outs across the country had been postponed while the cull companies perfect their killing methodology.

Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle ripped into Paterson;

“There is no strategy here, this is an unscientific fudge for you to try and save face.”

“How can you possibly justify continuing a method of killing, free shooting, which has been found to be inhumane by the independent scientific advisors?”

“You ignore scientific evidence, make a decision based on your own prejudice and then offer retrospectively to tell me and others what the policy is and expect us to agree with you.”

“These culls should be ended not extended, they have not worked. What you have announced now is an open season on badgers in the culling areas.”

We can only hope a legal challenge by the Badger Trust via Judicial Review puts a stop to any future culling however a reliable source has indicated there may be another stumbling block. The NFU seem to want to have their cake and eat it. They’re very keen to keep killing our wildlife but are very reluctant to pick up the tab and in light of the IEP report cage trapping could to be the only method allowed. These factors could prove significant. The population at large will not stand for more of their tax pounds being wasted on such a bloodthirsty folly and cages are relatively easy to find, quite expensive (£180 per trap) and easily neutralized by activists. I’ll be publishing details on how to achieve that outcome in due course.

However in the mean time we have to assume the worst and once again prepare for action. Friends of wildlife and Badgers are unifying. If the NFU and pro cull farmers think the situation was bad for them previously then I say to them “you aint seen nothing yet!” We are now more organised, better prepared and our numbers increasing all the time. We’ll make you pay a cost so high for every Badger killed it’ll make the £4000 from last time seem like small change.

Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Apathy is no excuse. Distance is no excuse. Get out there and make a difference or come June our countryside will be running with blood and it’ll be on your hands. Join the Badger Army.

Once more unto the breech dear friends.

Accidental Activist 

Sign the petition to remove Owen Paterson from office.

Three Counties Hunt Sabs GoFundMe link.

Gloucstershire Badger Office

GABS facebook page

Somerset Against the Badger Cull facebook page

The IEP report

Resistance