One 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.
The killing has started in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Badgers are being shot with high-powered rifles in the dead of night, some will be killed outright, others will be left wounded. Despite the efforts of hundreds of thousands of compassionate people to lobby, leaflet and campaign, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that killing badgers will not make any meaningful difference to TB in cattle, the government have forged ahead with their mindless plans. The only hope left for those badgers in the firing line are people willing to go out into the countryside and be a visible presence in the cull zones. It’s a monumental task, a needle in a haystack search of hundreds of square miles, looking out for the vehicles, lights in the darkness and the sound of gunfire. The more people willing to undertake this task the fewer badgers will suffer and die. There are nightly patrols in both counties. Somerset Badger Patrol and the Wounded Badger Patrol in Gloucestershire need your help now. Meeting points are posted daily. Lifts are being organised from all over the UK. We encourage all of our supporters to support these efforts in any way they can.
In Dorset we are doing all we can to make sure that if the cull comes here we are ready. Sett surveying is under way but we need help to make sure we know where the badger setts in the provisional cull zones are. So far these have only been identified as East Dorset and North Dorset. These are huge areas to cover and there is still much to be done. There is also a Dorset Wounded Badger Patrol getting together people who pledge to undertake patrols if and when the cull begins in Dorset. We will begin training for these patrols in the coming months. We welcome new members and continue to have public leafleting events and meetings (see the sidebar to the right for details for dates). Finally, we are setting up a vaccination programme so we can offer low-cost vaccination of badgers to anyone within the proposed cull zones.
We all need to do what we can. All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.