Dorset & UK Badger Cull Update – December 2015

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Yesterday DEFRA released the figures for the number of badgers slaughtered during the 2015 cull…

Devastating News:

Despite the amazing work of our dedicated and brave badger protectors out there in the zones, the cull contractors managed to hit their targets and slaughter our innocent badgers. Although, many are cynical about these high numbers when there was so little monitoring from Natural England.

Report in The Mirror – www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nearly-1500-badgers-blasted-death-7027495

‘Nearly 1,500 badgers blasted to death in this year’s cull. 432 in Gloucestershire, 279 in Somerset and 756 in Dorset. Dorset’s total included 440 which were caught in cages before being executed, 316 were murdered whilst free roaming and another six badgers were shot at but bungling gunmen missed their targets.’

DEFRA’s paper on monitoring – www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tb-summary-of-badger-control-monitoring-during-2015

Things to note so far:

  • Only 7 shoots in West Gloucestershire and 3 in West Somerset were observed to ensure that humaneness or best practice guidelines were adhered to.
  • 53 badgers shootings were observed in Dorset, of these almost 12% escaped and weren’t retrieved, so it’s unknown if they were missed or merely injured.
  • 1,467 badgers were killed in all. Only 743 (just over half) of these were killed through ‘controlled shooting’.
  • New DEFRA guidance to Natural England released – Vaccination Guidance on pages 5 & 6 of www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486660/badger-culling-guidance-ne.pdf
  • Culling areas reduced to 100km sq.
  • Up to 10 new roll out areas planned per year.
  • Cattle control measures to be tightened.

Read more at www.fginsight.com/news/defra-confirms-badger-cull-roll-out-and-introduction-of-post-movement-testing-8682

In 2016 we will need to increase our efforts to save badgers’ lives.

The work starts now with sett checking and surveying. We will be running training sessions on badger ecology, sett surveying and badger related crime. We’ll also have regular Badger Walks with on the job training.

Our badgers need you out there more than ever before. MORE BADGER PROTECTORS = MORE BADGER LIVES SAVED. When the cull contactors meet their targets Liz Truss claims that the culls are ‘effective’. Together we must stop these murderers from ever reaching their targets again.

NO JUSTICE – JUST US.

Thanks for keeping a watch on your local badger setts and for protecting badgers in whatever way you could in 2015.

Wishing you all a happy festive season, and our badgers and wildlife a peaceful, protected and plentiful 2016.

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