Posts Tagged ‘Stop the Cull’

That’s the maximum number of badgers that can be killed in this horrific extension of the Governments extermination policy.

Just think about that for a moment.

That’s more than the average attendance of Spurs home matches last season. Imaging the old White Hart Lane with the stands full of dead badgers. There will be vast swathes of the south west and Cheshire where badgers will be wiped out. Setts that have existed for hundreds of years will fall silent. This iconic species relegated to the pages of history, never to return.

I started this blog back in 2014 on the back of the original culls to highlight the injustice taking place in our countryside. Now, almost 4 years and 4 Defra secretaries down the line we’re still fighting the same fight.

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The original cull zones (the so-called trials) have been extended until who knows when and with a total of 19 zones you begin to get an idea of the scale of this extermination. There has been no improvement in bTB results (an insignificant reduction in Somerset, an increase in Gloucestershire and a huge increase in Dorset) and yet the Government are wildly blundering ahead with a failing and hugely expensive policy. An expensive policy that you, the tax payer are footing the bill for.

With this being the case you have to ask yourself why this is taking place. I’ve made my point of view patently clear on several occasions and anyone fighting against this grotesque and cruel policy will no doubt have a similar opinion by what they’ve seen first hand. The Government know it’s not going to work but the NFU want it and they will get whatever they want. Badgers (they believe) are a pain in the arse for their members. Being a protected species they can’t be killed legally (although many are illegally killed throughout the year) so this cull is a way to circumnavigate this law.

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If they were really concerned with disease control do you think this trap would be left in this state?

There’s no independent monitoring, any moronic bumpkin with a shotgun and a hatred for the wildlife on their land can sign up for the cull in the relevant areas. We’ve already seen time and again that biosecurity rules are being openly flouted. This is about killing as many as possible in the 6 weeks allotted time and bugger the rules. Farms in these zones are often a disgrace, slurry is spread on the fields, animal are kept in disgusting conditions and shooting estates have no livestock anyway, just game birds to protect.

To witness these events first hand is soul destroying. No amount of lobbying, petitions and words are going to change the fact that badgers are being killed now. Sab groups across the country are working their socks off, juggling work and private lives around saving as many lives as possible, taking the action needed night and day in all weathers, whatever the personal and financial cost. The Wounded Badger Patrollers are out there walking the footpaths at night to dissuade shooters. Local people are getting involved where they can but we need more. There can never be enough. Perhaps if you’re reading this you may consider getting in touch with your local sab group and lending a hand. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but boots on the ground are more important now that ever before.

The cruelty is making the front page in mainstream nation news (Mirror, Sun) and no doubt more will be published soon. In years to come when your children or perhaps grandchildren look back on these dark times for British wildlife and our countryside is a barren monoculture devoid of all wild things will you sit there and regret you did nothing to stop this travesty or will you explain to them you were part of a small but dedicated band of people who stood up to the immorality of the situation and took on the souless men with guns and a Government driven by greed and defeated them with compassion and the will to do the right thing?

“The only thing necessary for the truimph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing”.

Get out there. Help f*ck some sh*t up.

Hunt Saboteurs

Stop the Cull

Things have changed over the last couple of days, primarily with the actions of the police during the cull. It has been reported many times before what a complete debacle the police operation (Themis) was in the first year of the cull and one of the primary reasons why the cull cost so much to the public purse. Since then the policing has generally been much more low key in an attempt to keep costs down so the cull can be justified on financial grounds.

This year it appeared the situation would be much the same although there was always a slight undercurrent of bias towards those doing the killing as aggressive behaviour by cullers along with damage to activist cars and multiple breeches of license conditions went uninvestigated or generally ignored. Now it seems the police are overtly taking the side of cull companies and the NFU.

This new action came in the form of multiple arrests (see here) and the new tactic of following activists around as they searched for the low lives doing the killing. There can be only one explanation as to why there has been a sudden change in tack by the police and that is the effectiveness of those defending our badgers.

With a little imagination you can picture the scene, NFU and cull company officials along with land owners signed up to the killing, in a meeting with the local police area commanders . . .

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Pixie Henge

“OK we’ve had enough now, we’re running out of cages, we’re just not killing enough of those stripy bastards and all we see is pictures of flattened cages on Facebook. They’re rubbing our noses in it. Those smelly tree huggers are ruining everything.”

“My shooters are reporting that every time they go out someone covered in camo with night vision turns up and starts flashing high power torches all over the place and moves them on”.

“We want action, sort your shit out and start arresting the f*ckers. We need to clear the way and get rid of them, we have targets to meet.”

The NFU of course can dictate Government policy on farming matters so why not the police too?

The worst policing incident was the use of a Section 35 Dispersal Order by Devon and Cornwall Police. The Section 35 was never intended to be used to support the actions of an unelected entity and deny non-violent protest. It would appear at first glance to be in contravention of the human rights act (although I’m no legal eagle) and the area in question was a large one containing badger setts that could then be openly targeted without interference. Unsurprisingly the local councillor is Robin Julian, UKIP member, Freemason and badger killer who breaks the license conditions.

UPDATE: Stop the Cull put out a call for people to contact Devon and Cornwall Police and complain about the use of the Section 35 and it would seem people power proved a success and the order has been withdrawn.

Less understanding people will often ask why put yourself at risk of arrest and claim that the police are only upholding the law. However my answer would be a simple one.

Sometimes, regardless of legality you have to do what you believe is right. Take Nelson Mandela, he was imprisoned for standing up for what he believed in and yet history now views him as the hero. In years to come I hope those involved in fighting this injustice will receive similar treatment. Historically animal rights activists have always been treated as terrorists and there seems to be an institutionalised prejudice by the police again them.

Make no bones about it, what we’re seeing here is the fight by grass roots activists against an undemocratic, immoral, inhuman and downright cruel policy against our wildlife that has been forced on us by a corporate entity with a hidden agenda and way too much influence on Government policy that is now using the police as a personal security force to meet their despicable ends.

And that ladies and gents, simply will not do.

After I’ve returned from my few days each week in the North Cots cull zone I take a little time to contemplate and analyse what has been occurring and see if I can make any sense of it. The last outing stood out due to two incidents, one which was hugely saddening and another which was just bizarre.

If you’ve been keeping up to date with things on social media you may be aware of the badger we found that have been caught in a snare. Now while the snare was of the free running type and thus technically legal they are still barbaric, indiscriminate and cause horrendous injuries to the animals caught in them. What was more insidious (and possibly illegal) in this case was its placement, no more than 20 metres from a sett and close to where badgers would access the nearby fields. Best practice (what a joke eh) guidelines state snares have to be checked every morning first thing and non-target species released although I doubt any gamekeeper would attempt to release an angry badger, it’s fate would most likely be terminal.

As is the case here these guidelines are often ignored which means any animal caught will suffer a drawn out and painful death. We cannot comprehend the suffering involved. The injuries suffered by this poor badger meant there was only one humane option. Thanks to everyone who came to our aid and the Vale Wildlife Rescue for compassionately ending it’s suffering. We are currently in discussion with Gloucestershire Badger Trust and the local police about the device although I doubt anyone will be brought to justice.

If you ever find an animal trapped in a snare please don’t attempt to free it yourself. We had the relevant restraining poles, cutters, covers and boxes needed to effect the rescue along with the relevant animal handling experience. Contact your nearest wildlife rescue immediately and stay with the animal. If possible try and cover it to keep it as calm as you can while you wait.

If you find any snares on your travels please make an informed decision on what you should do with them.

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Why aren’t snares banned?

Next up was a story broken once again by Stop the Cull (see here). It was predicted early on in the cull that the culling companies had limited resources at their disposal and this included the cages used to trap badgers. It’s been well publicised that activists are finding and neutralising cages in large numbers, but these numbers seem to have been dropping off over the last few days however the discovery of cages which had previously been ‘pixied’* and then crudely repaired perhaps sheds some more light on the matter.

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Clearly not going to catch anything.

Are the culling companies so short of cages they are resorting to these drastic measures? Obviously these cages wouldn’t function as intended although they were still baited and set to trap. Some were held together with wire and bailing twine, some quite frankly looked so ridiculous one wonders why they bothered. Whatever the mindset of the person wasting their time with these devices they aren’t going to catch any badgers. As Stop the Cull say, it really is a tragic farce and time Natural England stepped in to end it.

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Well pixied, broken welds held together with string & wire.

We’re into the final days in the original cull zones but the new areas have no real time limit and can go on well into the winter. Our best hope now is the arrival of cold weather which will limit the badgers activity above ground. There’s still time for you to get over there and save lives. Shooters are still being found and seen off regularly and no doubt there’s probably a few more bits of metal for the pixies to reshape.

* Pixied is a term meaning the woodland dwelling forest pixies had found and squashed the cage.

Everyone is no doubt fully aware of the political turmoil currently taking place in the UK. With the Brexit vote and the subsequent resignation of David Cameron we are left with the back biting and scheming which usually follows in the wake of the various leadership challenges. Personally I feel this is a massive missed opportunity by the opposition party to really put some serious pressure on the Government but it would seem they are too wrapped up in their own arguments and leadership squabbles to mount anything of substance.

So who are the current options for PM and their stance on wildlife?

The two main protagonists in the tory leadership contest are Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. It would seem that the main Tory media has come out strongly in favour of May and Leadsom’s recent gaff regarding motherhood making her a better option for Prime Minister has put a serious dent in her leadership campaign and she is no doubt feeling the pressure if her recent outbursts in her defence are any guide. So realistically speaking it would appear that May is pretty much going to be our next PM.

Initially this would appear to be a good thing, Leadsom is a supporter of the Grafton Hunt, a notoriously violent and racist bunch who like to attack monitors and describes foxes as “vermin that need to be controlled”. She also tries to justify her stance by misquoting the Burns Report or just singularly failing to understand the basics of ecology and the scientific facts contained therein. For some inexplicable reason she seems to think that fox hunting is good for animal welfare. I’m fairly sure being savagely ripped apart by a group of hounds couldn’t be classed as a welfare improvement but then again I’m not mentally deranged. Even if we ignore her militant Christian views on gay marriage, her hatred towards single parent & unmarried families and her proposed reduction in workers rights we are still left with a right wing, wildlife hating nut job who could pass for Nigel Farage in a dress.

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So it would seem Theresa May is better of the two options, it certainly couldn’t get any worse. Or could it?

The thing with self serving politicians is that they’re always keen to give a sound bite or quote, they can pander to their lobby group chums in high places in return for promises of votes. It came as no surprise then that my friends over at Stop the Cull produced this little snippet.

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So once again we can see that May is openly in favour of a return to the cruelty which hunting with hounds, without question, commits. Like Leadsom she also seems ignorant of the facts and I wonder, given the recent expose of hunts rearing foxes and throwing cubs to the hounds, would she like to reconsider her statement?

I have no doubt both contenders would support the further expansion of the pointless and cruel badger cull as they want to court the NFU vote, an unelected corporate identity so deeply entrenched within Defra they virtually dictate Government environmental policy and have strong ties with the Countryside Alliance, another insidious organisation with too much power and influence for the benefit of a small minority.

And herein lies the problem with these people and politics in general. In a democratic society we vote for the person we believe will represent our best interests. The Prime Minister has not only his or her constituents to consider but also that of the whole nation. Personal opinion shouldn’t come into it, they should listen to the people and do what they want. We’ve been forced by referendum to leave the EU. Whatever your views on the subject you have to respect that the decision was democratic (even if a large percentage of the electorate didn’t seem to know that they were voting for) and we have to accept that.

Perhaps we should have a referendum on hunting, I’d bet my mortgage that the result in favour of a complete ban would be more than 52/48.

UPDATE: It would seem that Leadsom is now no longer going to challenge for the Tory leadership so we can safely assume May will be the next PM and fast tracked into number 10.