Posts Tagged ‘North Cotswolds’

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.

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.