Many of you will have already seen the news in the Shropshire Star the other day that a couple in Priest Weston, Shropshire, are under investigation for suspected crimes against badgers.
A dawn police raid found unlicensed guns at the premises, and dogs with injuries consistent with them having been used for badger baiting.
As we all know, the dogs suffer in these fights as well as the badgers, and no doubt would not receive proper veterinary treatment for their injuries. And of course, goodness knows what happened to the badgers involved.
It is, sadly, a reminder that this kind of practice is still happening on our doorstep, and we must all be vigilant.
If you missed it, you can read the full story here.
Information on how to deal with an injured badger or suspected crime is also available on our site: http://www.shropshirebadgergroup.co.uk/index.php/advice-to-public
The government has authorised badgers to be culled earlier in the year in 2015, meaning many of those killed will be young cubs. The badger cull, which is already senseless, becomes even more so when cubs will be included, as cubs are much less likely to have TB. They are going to kill cubs simply to meet targets, when it doesn't make scientific sense to do so.
Please sign this petition to email your MP and Defra to ask them to oppose the earlier badger cull, which would result in hundreds of badger cubs being senselessly killed.
The cost of the badger cull was £3,350 for every badger killed, official figures show. The pilots cost the taxpayer £6.3m in their first year, during which 1,879 badgers were kiled in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
The figures are revealed in an article on the Guardian's website (14 November). Anti-cull campaigners said the figures did not include the cost of policing the culls, which were £3.5m, bringing the cost per badger to more than £5,200.
The government, meanwhile, said the costs were high due to having to monitor the humaneness and efficacy of the culls, with £2.6m spent on monitoring humaneness.
Such monitoring has, of course, been abandoned by the government this year, for the second year of culling.
Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust is quoted as saying: “Every badger killed actually cost £5,200 – and that is simply beyond belief.”
You can read the full article here.
Another “celebrity” has added his voice to the debate about badger culling, but this time it is Steve Backshall, the respected naturalist and TV presenter.
In a comment piece on the Guardian website (10 November), Backshall explains some of the background to the cull, and admits that he is biased because of his “passion for wild things”. But this is why, he says, neither wildlife campaigners nor farmers – both of whom have a vested interest – should be “making the big decisions” on bovine TB and culling.
Backshall goes into the effects of perturbation, and explains how TB is also present in “almost every other animal in the British countryside”.
So, does he propose a solution? Backshall reiterates the need for cattle control measures and vaccination of both badgers and cattle – a trial of which is currently being tested in Ethiopia – and says that the European commission has set a 10-year deadline for the vaccine's approved use for exports to the EU.
His comment piece is well informed and passionate, calling for the government, finally, to take heed of public opinion. You can read the full article here.
According to a report on the BBC website today (21 October 2014), a source close to Defra has said that plans to extend the badger culls will be cancelled if the pilots in Somerset and Gloucestershire, which came to an end on Monday, miss their targets.
The BBC says it understands that Somerset met its target of 316 badgers, but in Gloucestershire, only 253 out of the target of 615 were culled. The figures have not been officially confirmed.
BBC Points West politics editor Paul Barltrop said: "I've talked to a senior Liberal Democrat who is unequivocal - if it fails to hit its targets [the extension] will not be allowed."
Jay Tiernan, from Stop the Cull, said Somerset protesters felt they had achieved "quite a lot" as the maximum target had not been reached. Cull operators have admitted that disruption caused by protesters di have an impact on numbers.
You can read the full BBC story here.
We have 21 guests and no members online