Tag Archives: dorset

Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare speak out on the Government statistics on bovine TB in Dorset

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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.”

Click here to read the full article >>

Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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No Justice for Hunt Saboteurs

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War is being waged in the countryside, in the fields and along the quiet lanes, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Dorset and Somerset ‘territory’ of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt. On one side are the foxes and the hunt saboteurs; on the other the masters, the huntsman and hunt followers of various kinds.

The ‘sabs’, dedicated to protecting wildlife, are being targeted by people intent on ignoring the 2004 Hunting Act. The hunts believe the countryside belongs to them and they have the right to act as they please, regardless of law – a powerful lobby that seems to have a stranglehold on the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The sabs film everything, gathering evidence of hunting laws being broken by the hunts. And they film incidents of their vehicles being smashed, themselves being assaulted, badly beaten and in several cases hospitalised with their injuries. In the 1990s two sabs were killed yet no prosecutions followed. The situation hasn’t improved, as the lack of law demonstrates. And now the CPS has refused yet another case on ‘insufficient evidence’.

The ‘insufficient evidence’ consists of a film of a woman being deliberately galloped over by the BSV huntsman Mark Doggrell. Several other sabs witnessed the event. Having sent the woman flying, Doggrell galloped on without a backward glance. This happened during an evening cubbing meet in August near the Hunt’s kennels at Charlton Horethorne.

When contacted after the incident, the investigating officer said that, although he’d welcome additional evidence, he felt the police already had enough to prosecute. The additional evidence, from a farmer who needed to remain anonymous, was that the Hunt masters met with Doggrell that evening and decided on the statement he should give to the police.

During the meeting they reportedly said that they “couldn’t afford a hiccup this early in the season,” the implication being that they would have no one to take his place as huntsman, the man who looks after the hounds. Arrested and charged, he was soon seen back in the saddle.

Doggrell’s prepared statement said that the woman had deliberately jumped in front of his horse. The video clearly shows that she did not move from where she and her companion were standing with their backs to the oncoming horse.

The woman lost consciousness shortly after being struck. She had seven broken ribs, a punctured lung and ‘trauma’ to her shoulder. It was feared at the time that her spine had also been injured. An air ambulance attended the scene, partly because riders and horses blocked the normal ambulance from accessing the injured woman.

Mark Doggrell is a violent man. Last November he reportedly assaulted a young man at the local Hunt Ball, breaking his nose. Years ago while in his teens, after an argument with a young gamekeeper, he took an axe to the gamekeeper’s front door only, so local gossip had it, to be met on the other side of the broken-down door by the gamekeeper’s shotgun!

Since this incident the Dorset Hunt Sabs have been the target of ‘Anti-antis’, groups of violent masked men dressed to look like sabs and allegedly shipped in from other hunts. They appear at any BSV meet and attack the legitimate sabs, the most recent incident involving 30-40 of them. The BSV tells everyone that these thugs are the sabs, spreading the propaganda that the Hunt is squeaky-clean innocent and the sabs are criminals.

After the CPS decision the hunt sabs released the video to the press. According to the Sunday Times, “Michael Felton, senior master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, said the incident occurred during a legally permitted drag hunt that did not involve any live foxes being chased.” Well sorry Mike, this was a ‘cubbing’ meet, and the Hunt was witnessed drawing a cover to flush out foxes. There is a deal of difference between drag hunting (following a pre-laid scent) and fox hunting. The BVS wouldn’t be seen dead engaged in drag hunting.

The Countryside Alliance, with strong links to the NFU and founded during the campaign against the Hunting Act, gives the impression that all ‘real’ country folk support hunting. Not true. Many farmers dislike the hunts but are afraid to ban hunting on their land because of the attacks they suffer from hunt followers. As one farmer said, “my life wouldn’t be worth living.”

The hunts have never stopped breaking the law, taking full packs out and killing foxes, assaulting and injuring sabs while apparently safe from prosecution. And the war against people trying to stop hunting has reached a new and more violent stage.

The situation is not helped by the CPS refusing to prosecute what appeared, from a police point of view, to be a clear case. How much ‘sufficient evidence’ is needed? And one has to ask: who owns the law? The hunts? The landowners? The Countryside Alliance? Certainly not the people fighting to get the law complied with, and who should be protected by the law, not simply left to recover, as best they can, from their injuries.

On the positive side, because of the infamous badger culls in which sabs have played a vitally important part in preventing the needless killing of badgers, membership of the Hunt Saboteur Association has soared. More and more people are bravely standing up to defend both the law and our wildlife.

10/02/15 © Lesley Docksey

Detective sergeant Dan Mason 2141 Tel: 01935 402156

It’s About to Begin Again – Time To Get Into The Field and Stop The Slaughter

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A badgerOne year on and it’s time to get back into the field to stop the culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Since Somerset is closest to Dorset, we will be focusing our support there. Last year car-loads of supporters from Dorset were out in the zone, and this year we want to make sure even more people are involved.

For those wanting to walk the footpaths then the Somerset Badger Patrol is for you. You can follow them and get updates on Facebook or via their website. They meet at a central location every night and walk on public rights of way in large visible groups throughout the cull zone. 

Dorset Hunt Sabs will also be in the zone every night and need as many people in the field as possible. The simple fact is that if people are in the immediate vicinity of shooters, then the shooters MUST pack up and move on. This is truly lifesaving work, so if you feel you are able to help please contact them. They will have experienced people who know the area leading small covert groups. They also have much of the equipment needed but are in need of support to get one essential bit of kit – a thermal imager, which you can help fund here.

Although Dorset has been spared the cull for now, we cannot let our guard down, a cull could be sprung on us at any time, since all the formalities have already been done and the NFU propaganda machine is working in overdrive pushing for a cull in Dorset. One of the things that will make a cull less likely is to have a strong vaccination programme running in the county, which is why we strongly support the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project, who are doing incredible work. Please support them so that in the coming months they can make sure more of Dorset’s badgers are protected from bTB and the cull.

However you can help, now is the time to get active and involved. Please show your support and let’s make sure this year’s culls are even more pointless than last and that we put an end to this whole sorry mess once and for all.

BROCKSTOCK – Thanks for the memories

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To all the performers and people who gave their time and energy to make BROCKSTOCK happen, thank you! We raised hundreds to help protect badgers in Dorset and beyond. Please check out and support all these badger-friendly musicians.

Andrea Kenny (singer from The Brandy Thieves)

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The Diluted

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The High Cs

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Martin John

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Sketch Dog

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Worry Dolls

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and of course… Thanks to everyone who came to the show and all those who have supported us through our first year. We will keep fighting for the badgers and hope you will join us.worry dolls goddnight

BROCKSTOCK! Benefit Concert in Bridport Celebrating Our First Anniversary

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We are celebrating our first anniversary with a special concert called BROCKSTOCK at the Electric Palace in Bridport on Saturday 21 June.  Founded in June 2013, Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare are returning to the town where we held our first ever public event. We’re celebrating a year which has seen the proposed cull of badgers in Dorset abandoned and the rollout of a project which enables farmers and landowners to have the badgers on their land vaccinated against TB rather than culled, at a fraction of the cost of a commercial operation.

Saturday’s stellar line-up boasts a wealth of local talent, with headliners, Worry Dolls, from Bournemouth supported by local favourites Sketchy Dog, Andrea Kelly, Ian Sedwell, The Diluted and The High Cs. The doors open at 7pm with the first act on at 7:30 and the entertainment running until midnight. Tickets, available on the door, are £10 each and all of the money raised will go to protect badgers in Dorset and beyond. There will also be free acoustic performances in the foyer from 1-6pm, along with stalls and a raffle.

It’s been a tremendous year for us. We feared the worst at this time last year, when Owen Patterson was talking about the cull being rolled out to 10 more counties in 2014, with Dorset being top of the list. As it happened, the trial culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire were a disaster, and the independent expert panel labelled them “inhumane” and “ineffective”. We are now focusing on supporting our neighbours in Somerset, who are facing a cull again this year, and trying to ensure as many of Dorset’s badgers are vaccinated as possible.

Badger Defenders Take Over Dorchester

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They gathered in Borough Gardens, first just a few, then dozens and then hundreds, all with one purpose and one voice: to stop the badger cull! The marchers filled the streets of Dorchester, the drums beat time, the town crier announced us and the Badger Trust’s Dominic Dyer explained why we were there. It was a wonderful sight and even better sound as the streets echoed with the refrain “Save Our Badgers, Stop The Cull!” After an hour on the streets we all returned to Borough Gardens for amazing food from Fairfoods and great music for Dorset bands The High C’s and Sketchy Dog. To all those who came and to all those who made it happen, thank you. Together we are an unstoppable force, and we’re only just getting started!

Dorchester March Against The Cull

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Dorch march flyer frontWe are very excited to announce a march against the badger cull followed by a party in the park in Dorchester on Saturday 17 May, 12pm to 3pm, Borough Gardens.

First and foremost, this march is to support our friends in Somerset and Gloucestershire who face yet another tough Summer spent protecting badgers. We will be organising teams to go and support them during this incredibly stressful but crucial time. In Dorset we will be focusing on promoting badger vaccination and are pleased to have a speaker from the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project, as well as other special guests.

The fact that the badger cull has not been rolled out to Dorset this year is a huge victory for everyone who has been fighting against this insane policy, so we felt celebrations were in order. After the march Fairfoods catering will be serving delicious veggie food and there will be live music from some of Dorset’s finest bands. Borough gardens is a lovely spot and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for sunshine.

We ask that everyone assemble in Borough Gardens (DT1 1RE – see map below for location and nearest car parks) at 12pm, ready to march through town at 12:30pm. We aim to be back in Borough Gardens for 1:30pm, where we will have food and music until 3pm.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this blog post and if you’re on Facebook please join and share the event page. You can also download a poster advertising this march, either in colour or b&w, as well as a double-sided A5 flyer. We also have professionally printed copies of these materials that we can send you to distribute in your area.

See you there!

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