Karin Snellock, a spokesman for Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare, was recently quoted in an article entitled ‘Government statistics on bovine TB in Dorset split opinion’ which was published in the Dorset Echo on 29th May 2015.
The article states how anti badger cull campaigners, including DBBW, claim the decreasing number of cattle slaughtered in Dorset due to bovine TB indicates badger culling remains unnecessary. This is a very important statement as Dorset is rumoured to be next on the list to implement a badger cull, following on from pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Figures released by the Government show the number of cattle slaughtered in the county fell by more than 30 per cent in a two-year period.
Karin says; “We feel the public are being led to believe the disease is on the increase, whereas in fact the complete opposite is true.
“This figure is taken from the Government’s own statistics. It shows that the current annual testing regime, stricter controls on cattle movement and increase bio-security measures are already making enormous inroads into combating the disease.
“As the threat of a badger cull reaching Dorset becomes more imminent, local wildlife groups are determined to ensure that the relevant facts and figures are not swept aside in the name of political expediency.”
Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The Dorset Echo has today reported that the Cerne Abbas Giant has been “gifted with a furry friend for April Fool’s Day, thanks to a Dorset badger group.”
Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare have pulled the prank to highlight that there is an ulterior message behind it…
A spokesman for Dorset’s Endangered Badgers Action group, Barbara Grey, said that this act had been carried out to remind people that the threat to badgers was real and imminent.
Fears over the culls have risen after environment secretary Liz Truss announced at the NFU conference that the controversial culls would continue if Conservatives win the General Election.
Barbara said: “If the Tories win the election they plan to roll out the cull to Dorset this year.This means that thousands of badgers will be killed for no good reason at all. Scientific evidence shows that culling is expensive, inhumane and above all ineffective. It does nothing to reduce the incidence of bovine TB in cattle.
“The Dorset Badger Vaccination group can provide a much more viable alternative, with each animal vaccinated costing only £100, compared with an estimated £5,200 each for culling.
“That figure may sound like a joke, but it is absolutely true, and the Tories plan to pay for it out of public money in other words, our taxes.”
A network of dedicated wildlife lovers have officially launched a ‘Badger Watch’ scheme to detect and deter wildlife crime against badgers.
Badger setts across the county of Dorset will be regularly checked for interference during daytime walks, and at night a covert watch will be kept from a distance using sophisticated night-vision equipment.
The groups will work within the law to assist the police to prevent wildlife crime and to help the police to prevent and prosecute those who harm Dorset’s wild animals. Volunteers drawn from members of Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare will provide intelligence to local Wildlife Crime Officers in a similar way to that of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Badgers are fully protected in the UK by the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 consolidates past badger legislation and, in addition to protecting the badger itself from being killed, persecuted or trapped, makes it an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct badger setts.
Since the government’s unscientific and ill thought out badger cull trials, incidents of persecution against badgers and other wildlife, especially here in Dorset, has been on the increase and Badger Watch aims to counteract this.
Spokesperson Chris Kemp says;
“The Badger Watch scheme aims to prevent those criminals who seek to harm our wildlife from escaping justice. We have a network of experienced volunteers, veterans of the protest against the badger cull, ready to assist police in stamping out this vile activity. Our message to those who might consider engaging in wildlife crime is to think carefully, you may be being watched covertly and the police arriving may be the first you know about it!”
Lots of ‘Badger Watch Area’ stickers have been appearing all over Dorset already and even parts of Somerset. If you see one please send us a photo!
The Badger Watch sticker uses the main graphic from our Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare logo designed by local Graphic Designer Stu Jones and has even featured in the V&A exhibition of ‘Disobedient Objects’ – art and design produced by grassroots social movements.
Anyone wishing to know more or volunteer to help, please contact Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare (we are allied with Brian May’s Team Badger and the South West Alliance for Badgers).
If you’d like some of these stickers for your area please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the artwork and printing details or may be able to arrange to post some to you or you can collect from us. (Please do not stick them on the front of road or street signs, or on private property without permission).
Thank you to everyone who’s already keeping an eye on their local setts and reporting any criminal activity to their Wildlife Crime Officer.
If you see a wildlife crime in action dial 999, if it has already happened dial 101.
This website has a handy guide to recognising crime, recording and reporting: http://birdersagainst.org/badgers
The RSPCA helpline is 0300 1234 999.
Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare are one of a number of local organisations taking part in the West Dorset Election Hustings for local Environmental and Wildlife issues.
All 5 candidates for West Dorset will be answering your questions on:
- Climate Change
- Wildlife Conservation
- Hunting and Shooting
- Farm Animal Welfare
- Badger Cull and Vaccination
- Marine Conservation
- Renewable Energy
- and more…
Tickets will be available from Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester from Monday 16th March (max. 4 per person). Tickets must be collected from the school, they cannot mail them. N.B. the school will be closed for 2 weeks over Easter from 28th March to 12th April.
Tickets are FREE but donations will be welcome at the end of the event for the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project and Hardye’s students’ environmental projects.
Please share this post widely across the West Dorset area.
Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare had a very successful Valentines Day Public Outreach Event in Weymouth on Saturday 14th February, where a few of our volunteers asked locals to ‘HAVE A HEART FOR BADGERS’, and were spreading the ‘vaccinate not exterminate’ message.
We handed out badger leaflets, packets of love hearts and ‘I Love Badgers’ stickers!
Most people were very supportive and several recounted stories of how they fed the badgers in their gardens on peanut butter sandwiches.
A heartfelt thanks to Animal Aid for their support with this event.
A small group from DBBW also presented West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin with a special Valentines’ Day Card, and we are very pleased to see it featured in the Dorset Echo this week.
The message inside read:
Badgers are beautiful in their striking black and white
Against their cull in Dorset all decent folk should fight
Vaccination is THE way to fight TB in cattle
Oliver, will you pledge to join us in our battle?
Oliver Letwin told us that he did think vaccination was the way forward if it works. And yet he has officially commented; “I believe we should use every effort we can to control this disease and while we don’t yet have an alternative we should try to get the culls to work.”
What about Wales Oliver, we ask? What about cattle movement measures, improved bio-security on farms, testing and developing an effective cattle vaccination?
We say, Oliver you’re not listening to the scientists – culling is cruel, costly and unpopular, but most of all it doesn’t work!
Compassionate Dorset have blogged about the amazing art work by the very talented local artist Sam Cannon, that has been donated to help groups like Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare and the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project protect and vaccinate our badgers.