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badger cull latest

Front line report from successful badger cull saboteurs, as the killing lurches towards a confused end.

The badger cull is nearing the end for this year, with the Somerset licence ending on Sunday and the Gloucestershire one a week later. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have been pretty secretive and sometimes blatantly lying about how this ‘pilot’ is going but evidence on the ground suggests it has been a dismal failure.

When anti-cull activists found a dead badger that had been shot, Defra denied it was anything to do with them. The badger was found some distance from the shooting site, having lived for several minutes, with her guts hanging out, after being shot. Defra initially said it wasn’t part of the cull because all the badgers in the cull were killed instantly (perfect logic, eh?). The marksman involved ruined all that by talking about how he had been about to pick up that badger until he had to run away from some protesters. The police said it was shot in the cull and now Defra admit it too.

Meanwhile, farmers and the NFU have been falling out over the failings of it all, and some protesters who were arrested and raided for ‘conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass’ have had their charges dropped. Police have been filmed several times making stumbling, incompetent statements suggesting they are there to assist the NFU, attracting some serious questions about their impartiality. If that’s not enough, the master of the Ledbury hunt was arrested for attacking badger patrollers, farmers report the shooters ‘can’t see the point’ in turning up any more and Gloucester may have abandoned the free shooting method in favour of cage traps.

No figures are being released officially about the number killed or the state of the badger’s bodies which have undergone an autopsy. The decision on whether to continue with the cull is going to be down to a committee of politicians already determined to keep killing badgers, using secret data.

Schnews has been talking to a nocturnal hunt saboteur in Somerset:


‘We’ve got some new night vision devices which are magic* for finding shooters in the fields. You can see a long way, more than with the really bright torches. Often we find that the shooters leave as soon as we arrive, also they don’t even stop their vehicles if we’re behind them on the road. The company has been using a minibus to transport shooters around so if we find that, it delays their work for quite a while. In some parts of the zone, they can’t possibly have shot many badgers as we’re always disrupting them.

If shots are heard people disrupt it either by walking into the area or making enough noise to scare the badgers off. Sometimes there’s a lot of hanging around gazing across empty fields but you have do to that to find where something is happening.

Someone setting cage traps for the badgers has told us he’s given up putting them anywhere except right next to the farm because they all get destroyed. There’s a lot of people out there against the cull and taking direct action to stop it. Of course we need as many people as possible out looking because that’s the only way to find where they’re shooting and trapping.

It’s nice that with so many animal lovers exploring the area, all sorts of other animal abuse and wildlife crime have been uncovered. Equipment for the pheasant shooting industry has been trashed, neglected farm animals have been reported, investigations into illegal poisonings are in progress.’


Once the shooting has finished, the next battle is with the politicians, to stop the cull policy being continued and expanded across the country. The scientific evidence against culling is overwhelming and opposition is pretty huge, including plenty of farmers. Maybe this will be another U-turn for the Tories? (Although U-turns can be a bit tricky in those narrow country lanes!)


*SchNOTE – they are not magic of course, just sufficiently advanced technology.

There are 7 comments on this story...
Added By: Ollie - 6th October 2013 @ 3:35 PM
So much need in our communities and we stay up all night badger watching
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 6th October 2013 @ 3:49 PM
At most there are a couple of hundred watching the badgers - should be plenty available for community action!
Added By: Ollie - 7th October 2013 @ 8:44 PM
so lets put badgers before those in our community in need, hmmm, selfish and self-righteous
Added By: Ollie - 8th October 2013 @ 6:39 PM
I forget to mention that I'm an outright middle England fascist.
Added By: Ollie - 8th October 2013 @ 11:07 PM
Ollie to Ollie,

I think you are pretending to me :) great joke.

Maybe your response to my previous challenge on badger watching vs helping in our community shows how I have it a raw nerve?

Hence you lash out with an insult involving a 'F' word?

Added By: Ollie - 13th October 2013 @ 12:35 PM
Can you be a lower or upper England fascist or does it just to have be middle?

Or could you be even a lower middle Egyptian fascist?
Added By: well done - 9th November 2013 @ 11:44 AM
well done and many many many good wishes to all who took part in stopping this barbaric cruel cull of our most precious wildlife.
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Twitter: @SchNEWS