Tag Archive | cull zone

New from sabs in the cull zone

October 7th

BShzj3TCQAArfDa“As we enter the final phase of the Gloucestershire cull we are requesting that people prepare for the final onslaught. Sett checking by day, sett sitting and patrols by night. We suspect that more cages and bait points will be put out as they are desperate to kill in the last week. As the Somerset cull finishes more activists will be freed to come to Gloucestershire. We would like to remind people of the office numbers:

01386 761455 and 07551 577870

and we are also using 07891 639803 if you cannot get through for any reason. Please do NOT put urgent call outs for help on FB, bear in mind many sabs will only read them days later when they have internet access and it interrupts what others are doing elsewhere.

There will be daily meeting points at Budgens in Newent for daytime sett checking which we are moving from 14.00 to 13.00 as from tomorrow but you can call us for info on where to go as well. Evening meeting point remains Eldersfield church at 19.00.
If you have your own setts that you check, please try and do so daily and let us know what you’re doing each day so that we don’t duplicate the checking.

Call us for more information and thanks for coming out!”

Advertisements

Message from Sabs in the Gloucester cull zone

BShzj3TCQAArfDa“Marksmen sighted already in fields (last night) please head to Gloucestershire zone asap. We need to be on the ground earlier as the nights draw in, they can shoot at dusk as badgers emerge.

Sunset is currently 19.30pm, Autumn equinox is 20th/21st September.

Please turn up if you can by 7pm.”

Badger cull: government could be forced to take direct control of pilot

Concern over low number of animals shot so far has led government to seek legal advice on taking direct control from farmers

www.theguardian.com 2013-9-13 23 15 8

The government is on the verge of being forced to take over the controversial badger culls in England from farmers because the low number of animals shot so far risks the policy seriously failing.

The Guardian understands that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has sought urgent legal advice on how to bring the night-time shooting under its direct control, and has even discussed using gassing as a more effective method of culling.

A Defra spokesman, however, denied any discussions had taken place about the department taking control. “There have been no discussions or considerations about Defra taking over the badger cull pilots. The pilots are being carried out by licensed companies and this will not change,” he said.

On Wednesday night, according to information leaked to the Guardian, marksmen failed to kill any animals at at all. This week, the government refused to deny claims that fewer than 100 badgers had been killed in two weeks of shooting in the Somerset cull zone.

The badger cull pilots, aimed at curbing the rise in bovine tuberculosis (TB) which caused 28,000 cattle to be slaughtered in 2012, must eliminate 70% of the badgers in each zone, or risk increasing TB as fleeing badgers spread the disease further afield. But the Guardian’s sources said far too few badgers were being shot in the opening weeks of the six-week trials.

Ministers chose the more difficult option of shooting of free-running badgers at night over the more reliable cage-trapping and shooting because the former is significantly less expensive.

The Guardian’s sources also said the possibility of gassing badgers had been discussed. A government strategy on eradicating TB, released in July included consideration of gassing if humane methods could be developed. Gassing with cyanide was outlawed in 1982.

“The failing badger cull could make the public forest sell-off debacle look politically painless,” a source told the Guardian, referring the embarrassing U-turn on the planned sell-off of England’s forests. “That is largely because every problem so far [with the cull] was first outlined in briefings and advice to ministers and ignored.”

Badgers are being shot in pilot cull zones in Gloucestershire and Somerset to test whether free shooting can kill sufficient numbers and do so humanely. But the number of badgers killed in the Somerset cull zone is just three or four a night, according to a source quoted by the Western Morning News.

“They are having major problems. It is just a case now of who gets the blame for the whole thing failing,” the source said.

The Guardian understands that the total number of badgers killed so far is now more than 100, but is far below the 120-per-day average that would be needed to meet the minimum final quotas across both of the zones.

A spokesman for the National Farmers Union said it was “premature” to talk of crisis, as the cull had several weeks to run, and a Defra spokesman said: “We are not commenting on operational details.”

The Guardian previously revealed that, according to experts, the population estimates for badgers in the cull zones are so uncertain that every badger in the area could be killed and the minimum quota would not be met.

Mark Jones, a veterinarian and executive director of Humane Society International/UK said: “It comes as no surprise that the badger cull is failing in its efforts to devastate badger populations in the pilot areas. This unjustified policy has been a shambles from the outset. The government must abandon this travesty that has already cost farmers and the taxpayer dear and caused deep divisions within our communities.”

The culls have sparked the biggest animal rights protests since fox hunting with dogs was outlawed, with more than 300,000 people signing a government e-petition against the cull. But ministers have insisted the cull is a necessary part of bovine TB control measures which cost taxpayers £100m a year for TB testing and farmer compensation.

Many scientific experts oppose the cull, calling it a “mindless” and “costly distraction” from developing vaccines for cattle and badgers and tightening cattle movement regulations and farm biosecurity.

Jones said Defra was also now in breach of a decision from the information commissioner, who ordered the department to release information under freedom of information rules to HSI UK on exactly how “humaneness” was to be measured and assessed during the pilot culls. He said the legally binding deadlines for Defra to release the information, or appeal the decision, have both passed.

Some information on humaneness was released and reported by the Guardian, including that the sounds made by dying badgers was part of the assessment. But the documents were heavily redacted and the IC ruled this redacted information should be revealed.

Jones said: “We can only assume Defra knows that independent scrutiny would find the methodology to be full of holes.”

Article

Also see: Badger cull in Somerset: on the trail of the marksmen – video

Queen guitarist Brian May ‘faced death’ at Gloucestershire badger cull

Queen guitarist Brian May has written about how he came ‘close to death’ while supporting badger cull protesters in Gloucestershire.

Writing on his Save Me Facebook page Dr May describes the trial badger cull as ‘insane.’

www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 2013-9-11 13 22 29Yesterday Defra insisted the trail cull was necessary and wasn’t designed to ‘wipe out badgers’ saying if we don’t act now to stop the spread of bovine TB, the consequences for farming would be devestating.

Beginning my day in Gloucestershire, there is a grim undercurrent of violence in the air. We came very close to death just now when a white 4 by 4 came careering towards us on the wrong side of the road. He was overtaking at about 90 mph, and had no way back into his lane. If we hadn’t braked hard, we and he would have instantaneously been mincemeat. Reminds you how delicate the life of a creature is. Reminds that for all our pretentions and arrogance, all the Human Race has managed to do is cover this planet with concrete and pollution, and wipe out 99 per cent of the other animals with which we used to share it.

It’s hard to be optimistic. And now we have a Government completely in bed with all those elements of society who don’t get it. Who think all that matters is money, and power, and takes pleasure in causing pain and death to any creature, on any pretext. With this insane badger cull now in progress, it’s probably the bleakest outlook ever in the UK. As Bill Oddie remarked – under this Government, no wild animal is safe. Actually . .. no animal.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open here today, and meeting many of the brave and very peace-loving people who are dedicating their time to saving innocent animals. Our visibility is everything, because it is the public that will eventually stop this hideous violence. So we have to inform the public. The newspapers are reluctantly coming around, it seems, but so much of what goes on out here is still being suppressed.

Britain is rotting at its core right now. Only awareness can cut out the rot.

I’ll be tweeting and Soapboxing today whenever I can – from the grim and bloody killing fields of Gloucestershire.

Having a very interesting time in Newent ! We’ve met loads of local folks and peaceful demonstrators, wounded badger patrollers. The support we’re feeling is huge. We’ve been trying to meet with local farmers, but it seems that the NFU have told them all they’re not allowed to talk to me. I guess that says a lot – what are they trying to hide ?

Just had a long chat on film, though, with a great local farmer who ISN’T a member of the NFU, so he wasn’t ‘got at’ ! Very nice guy, who is somewhat on the fence, but frustrated that the Government isn’t prioritising vaccination for cattle. He’s basically up for vaccination, because he doesn’t trust this lot to know what they are doing, and hasn’t seen any evidence that culling will work. Was shocked that they are not testing the carcasses. Why isn’t he in the NFU ? Well, that’s another story. But didn’t you have the impression that the NFU was speaking for the WHOLE community of British farmers.

Actually, only 18 per cent of farmers are in the NFU. Isn’t that pretty shocking ? When you realise that the NFU are virtually running the country, through manipulation of the Government. Well, it would be more accurate, though less kind, to say they’re in bed with the NFU, and the Countryside Alliance … the whole bunch of them straining at the bit, eager to get the moment when they can smash the Hunting Act, and bring back all the despicable blood sports they love so much. Badger culling is a lot different from Fox Hunting, right ? Or is it ? Isn’t it the same bunch of bloodthirsty thugs that are currently careering around Gloucester, that a couple of months ago were out there doing the same thing, slaughtering foxes for fun (legally) or digging out badgers for sadistic games (illegally) ???

Well, perhaps we’ll find out tonight.

We’re certainly hearing lots of stories which already blow the Government’s claims of ‘humane’ killing out of the water. Stories of badgers screaming after shots are fired, the sound of dogs finishing them off. Stories of wounded badgers escaping, along with bewildered cubs. Stories of badgers dying in front of people who were there to help, but weren’t allowed to help, kept back by police. Who knows … but perhaps we’ll see it a bit more first hand.

Just watching the Mock the Week thing. Kind of funny. Except it’s not a laughing matter. Still, comedy is good. Mixed bag, really. A shame that you have some idiot accusing badgers of being the reason hedgehogs are in decline. This is a bogus piece of propaganda – lies, of course. Hedgehogs have coexisted with Badgers for millennia, of course. What they haven’t coexisted with, of course, is slug pellets and pesticides and herbicides. Spin, spin spin. And it’s OUR money they’re using to hoodwink us.

Article

Badger cull expected to start in Gloucestershire next week

Rumours are rife that the badger cull will start in Gloucestershire next week.

About 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Supporters say the cull is necessary to tackle bovine TB, which can be spread from infected badgers, but opponents say it is inhumane and ineffective.

The first shots have already been fired in Somerset but it is believed the cull will start in the county next week.

Charkes Mann, NFU county chairman, refused to confirm or deny those rumours.

He said: “As much as we would much rather not do all this, it is a necessity for the cattle and for the badgers. Don’t forget that the badgers are infected as well and are dying slow, painful deaths. To sort this out we need to make sure the wildlife is clean.”

Liz Gaffer, spokesman for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (Gabs), said: “I have heard that shooting is starting next week, but there are lots of rumours flying around.

“We have badger patrols out every night at the moment, I think we have between 100 and 200 volunteers. These are not animal rights extremists, they are just normal people who are concerned about how humane this cull is.”

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “We know that despite the strict controls we already have in place, we won’t get on top of this terrible disease until we start dealing with the infection in badgers as well as in cattle.

“That is why these pilot culls are so important. We have to use every tool in the box because TB is so difficult to eradicate and it is spreading rapidly. If we had a workable vaccine we would use it.”

Article

Also in the news: Badger cull: Protest camp evicted, as anarchists claim responsibility for Portishead arson