Tag Archive | Badger cull

BBC News – Hundreds march in Gloucester against badger cull

Hundreds of people have been protesting against badger culling in Gloucestershire.

About 500 people joined the Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting demonstration in Gloucester city centre.

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Pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset were aimed at limiting the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Earlier this month Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the pilots would continue.

‘Recipe for disaster’

Organiser Carol Cook said the number of people who turned out to demonstrate shows “it is not acceptable for an industry to be killing our wildlife”.

She said they were “sympathetic” towards farmers, but added that the “industry needs to look at its own practices” and improve “bio-security in the farmyards themselves” to stop the spread of the disease.

“It isn’t us against the farmers at all – everyone can work together to stop this awful disease,” she said.

Picture from The Gloucester Citizen

Picture from The Gloucester Citizen

Conservationist Ian Redmond said most badgers do not have the disease and culling is a “recipe for disaster, not for curing the disease”.

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Stop the badger cull this summer

1456031_1439399486283031_1860908851_nThe end of the hunting season this spring coincided with the news that the badger cull would continue this summer in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Due to the conditions of the licence, we’re expecting the cull zones to be the same areas as last year and that the licence will allow them to start killing from 1st June onwards. With experience to learn from from last year, we’re more prepared this time round to get involved against the cull.

This is a shout out to anyone in the area to come and help us with sett-surveying. This is basically walking around an area looking for new setts and checking on ones we knew of last year. Sett locations will have changed due to the cull, perturbation, the winter, the floods and now badgers are becoming more active again with cubs running around, setts which looked inactive may now appear to be used again.

It is important that we manage to cover the cull zone prior to the cull starting as we need to know the location of the setts in order to protect them from the cull operators. We understand that not everyone is local enough, has enough time off work or money to help out, but if you are able to come down (we can help with fuel money to an extent) please do so. Contact us through email and we can pass you on to the relevant people. Gloucestershire Badger Office (who will be coordinating the work before and during the cull in order to avoid duplication of work and areas being left unchecked) now have a facebook page (open to the public)

https://www.facebook.com/Glosbadgeroffice

and a phone number – same as the one used last year – 07582 607913 – with a landline number being confirmed soon.

People are also needed to help with admin and fundraising especially as we’ll be helping out other groups coming into the zone which will be a huge drain on our finances. Information stalls in town can be a great help to promote the work we’re doing and spread information regarding hunts and the cull as well as related campaigns. If you think you’d be able to do a car-boot sale, fundraising event, stall or be able to get into the zone before or during the cull, please do let us know. There will be something for everyone, regardless of ability, age, experience and so on.

Badger culling banned on over 3,000 acres of the Malvern Hills!

“Badger culling banned tonight on over 3,000 acres of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire following a petition signed by 2,300 local people. Another victory for the Badger Army and care & compassion over senseless slaughter of our wildlife” Dominic Dyer March 17th

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Police kept badger cullers informed of protester movements, court hears

From The Guardian

Animal rights groups criticise police after marksman reveals officers kept him informed about the location of protesters

Photograph: Mike Kemp/ Mike Kemp/ /In Pictures/Corbis

Photograph: Mike Kemp/ Mike Kemp/ /In Pictures/Corbis

Animal rights campaigners have criticised police after a marksman involved in the badger cull said officers kept him informed of the location of protesters.

The claim was made during a court hearing involving David McIntosh, who was taken to court for crashing a van full of dead badgers into a bus stop during a cull in Gloucestershire.

McIntosh, 28, who played Tornado on TV show Gladiators and dated the model and television presenter Kelly Brook, told Stroud magistrates the crash was caused when a radio he used to receive messages from police fell under his foot pedals.

He said: “I was carrying badger carcasses to the furnace as I was involved in the cull. The radio was always kept in the vehicle on the dashboard so we could easily hear and keep up with police as to where the protesters were.

“It was blocking the clutch and the brake. Before I retrieved it I was heading off the road. I started to brake but it was too late.”

Gloucestershire police promised throughout the cull to deal with both protesters and cullers fairly, showing neither group favouritism.

He admitted driving without due care and attention and was fined £91.

On McIntosh’s claims, a police spokeswoman said: “At no point did Gloucestershire constabulary co-ordinate the resources of the company carrying out the badger cull.

“Our role before, during and after the pilot badger cull was to maintain operational independence and ensure the safety of the public.” The court was told that the accident happened in Gloucester city centre just before 1am on 29 September.

Anti-cull protesters demonstrated outside the court and questioned why the cullers had apparently been in direct contact with the police.

Jude Walker, of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: “It certainly goes against what we have always been told about the police being even handed.”

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Badger culls were ‘ineffective and failed humaneness test’

An independent scientific assessment of last year’s pilot badger culls in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded that they were not effective.

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Analysis commissioned by the government found the number of badgers killed fell well short of the target deemed necessary, the BBC understands.

And up to 18% of culled badgers took longer than five minutes to die, failing the test for humaneness.

The pilot culls were intended to limit the spread of TB in cattle.

They were carried out to demonstrate the ability to combat bovine TB though a controlled reduction in the population of local badgers.

“We have always stated that if the pilots were to fail on humaneness then BVA could not support the wider roll out of the method of controlled shooting”

Robin Hargreaves, President, British Veterinary Association

Contracted marksmen, paid for by farming groups, were employed to shoot the animals at night.

The Independent Expert Panel was appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help ministers evaluate the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of the Gloucestershire and Somerset pilots.

Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a scientist at the Zoological Society of London, said that the panel’s “findings show unequivocally that the culls were not effective and that they failed to meet the humaneness criteria.

“I hope this will lead to the Secretary of State (Owen Paterson) to focus on other ways of eradicating TB in cattle,” she told BBC News.

Robin Hargreaves, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said it was the BVA that had taken a lead in calling for the controlled shooting to be tested and critically evaluated before it was rolled out.

“We are unable to comment in detail on the findings of the IEP until we have seen the report,” he told the BBC. “But if these figures are true then they would certainly raise concerns about both the humaneness and efficacy of controlled shooting.

“We have always stated that if the pilots were to fail on humaneness then BVA could not support the wider roll out of the method of controlled shooting.”

The pilots were authorised by Defra and licensed by Natural England.

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Britain’s biggest anti-badger cull demo takes place in Birmingham

From the Birmingham mail

Around 2,000 people packed into Victoria Square to take part in the Birmingham March and Rally.

People from all over the country descended on Birmingham to take part in Britain’s biggest anti-badger cull demonstration.

Around 2,000 people packed into Victoria Square on Saturday (Feb 22) to take part in the Birmingham March and Rally through the streets of the city.

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Many waved flags, carried placards and banners opposing the planned controversial badger culls while others even dressed up as badgers to hammer their message home.

Campaigners then walked through the city streets chanting “stop the cull” as they marched while volunteers handed out leaflets to people in the city to pass on the anti-cull message.

Amanda Callaghan, aged 47 and her mother Carol, aged 66, both from Kingstanding, said they were outraged by the decision to cull the badgers.

Amanda said: “I saw that the demonstration was taking place and I just wanted to join in and offer my support.

“What the Government is doing is totally wrong. Badgers are lovely creatures and to see the numbers decimated in this way when there could be other options is just so terribly wrong.”

Sally Roberts travelled all the way from from Land’s End in Cornwall to take part in the march.

She said: “There needs to be a programme of vaccination rather than the culling of badgers. I am really passionate about this as are the thousands of people who have come to Birmingham today to protest about the Government’s culling plans.

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“It is a pointless exercise which could lead to an increase in TB as badgers will flee and spread the disease while they do. The culls have so far cost around £4,000 per dead badger – a terrible waste of money. The time has come to stop the cull once and for all.”

Speaking from a constructed stage Birmingham Yardley MP John Hemming said: “While I do have every sympathy for farmers culling badgers it is not the solution. Instead of culling badgers we need to look at a badger TB vaccination programme.”

The first badger cull in 15 years began in South West England in September which means that around 5,000 badgers will be shot in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Farmers say a cull reduces the spread of TB in cattle but protesters say it is “inhumane and ineffective”.

An online petition against culling has gathered 300,000 signatures and former Queen guitarist Brian May led a 1,000-strong march through London to hand the petition in to Downing Street.

The disease has seen more than 300,000 cattle slaughtered in the UK over the past decade.

Anti-cull protesters say the disease would be better controlled with stronger biosecurity measures to protect the 13 million cattle moved from UK farms each year as well as a badger TB vaccination programme carried out by volunteers.

The pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset were launched with the aim of killing 70 per cent of badgers in each area within six weeks by “free shooting”.

But at the end of the six-week period back in December the shooters had failed to meet half of their target and the Government controversially extended both culls.

Those against the cull say the £1million spent on policing just the first six weeks of culling in Gloucestershire could have secured five years of volunteer-led badger vaccination over a similarly large area.

However, the Government appears to be pressing ahead with its intentions to roll out the cull to other parts of the UK this year.

Story link with more pictures and a video here.