Tag Archives: somerset

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.

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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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Badger Groups in South West Join Forces, Pledge to Stop The Cull

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Grassroots groups working on the ground to stop the badger cull have joined forces under the South West Alliance for Badgers (SWAB). Sharing skills, resources and information the alliance formed after news that the unscientific, inhumane and ineffective culls from last year will be continued in Somerset and Gloucestershire. News that Dorset will be spared for now is a huge relief for the county and Dorset campaigners have pledged their full support to groups in the cull zones.

A statement released today by South West Alliance for Badgers reads:

The evidence is in and couldn’t be clearer; killing badgers as a means to tackle bovine TB is ineffective and inhumane, yet the government is ignoring the science, the will of the public and that of parliament. It is clearly working to a political agenda rather than a practical or scientific one.

The cull has not only failed to provide the results claimed for it but has proved hugely more expensive to taxpayers and farmers than vaccinating badgers and potentially other alternative methods of controlling bTB in cattle. It has also caused huge divisions within the community and imposed enormous costs and operational problems for the police.

The government has consistently misrepresented the facts and the need for culling, concealing the information that UK herd infections were already decreasing prior to the pilot culls due to improved testing and cattle controls alone. Badgers have been virtually eradicated in some areas of the Republic of Ireland but this has proved no more effective in reducing cattle infections than in Northern Ireland where no badgers have been killed. However, results from Wales, where the new cattle controls have been combined with badger vaccination, have proved that this is by far the fastest, most effective and humane method of controlling bTB in cattle.

As groups concerned with animal welfare and wildlife conservation in the South West we cannot sit by and allow this pointless slaughter to continue. As with the ‘pilot’ culls last year, we will be back in the field saving as many badgers lives as we can, and we will be doing so with increased numbers, and increased determination.

In the meantime we will continue to support the many local and national badger vaccination schemes giving farmers, land-owners and councils a clear choice: either opt for unpopular, unscientific and ineffective killing, or choose a humane, scientifically proven, effective and cheaper route: vaccination of badgers.

This statement will be released by each of the member groups of SWAB and communicated to their members and is the first step in greater cooperation between the frontline grassroots groups in the South West.

South West Alliance for Badgers (SWAB) currently consists of:

Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare

Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting

Somerset Against the Cull

So It Begins. It’s Time To Step Up Our Game

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badgers in setThe 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.