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Badger activists may have already set back the date of the first pilot cull in Gloucestershire. The first licence was issued here but the company entrusted with carrying out the cull may simply not have enough farmers on board to carry out the killing. Meanwhile in Somerset the  licence hasn't even been issued.

The cull aims to kill 70% of the badgers in the zone. There is actually quite a narrow window for this to happen as badgers are far less active from mid-November onwards and the free-shooting method chosen relies on the animals being above ground. For the cullers then, time is of the essence and yet many farmers have missed the deadline to register.

Gloscon – the company running the shooters originally set a deadline of 21st September for participating farmers to have their cheques and 'police witness statements' in. According to Stop the Cull's ears on the ground many have not managed this and there is increasing evidence that farmers are starting to shy away from the wildlife massacre.

Animal activists are already busy on the ground conducting sett surveys so they can be ready to disrupt the shoots. Others have been marking telegraph poles with signs warning the public of the dangers to humans and wildlife.

SchNEWS spoke to one Stop the Cull activist who said “The public response has been amazing – we're getting hundreds of e-mails a day from the general public asking what they can do to intervene and save badgers”

For more on how to get involved www.badger-killers.co.uk

What you can do to save the badgers

If you can head into the zones

Contact your local hunt sab group – a full list of them can be found here, many are planning their own forays into the cull areas. Before the cull it'll be vital to have a good idea of where the setts are. If the cull starts then people with vehicles and phones are going to be vital to track the shooters and take direct action.There is accomodation in Gloucestershire for those willing to make the trip.

Contact stopthebadgercull@gmail.com

If not

Do an information stall in your high street or leaflet a supermarket – put pressure on the supermarkets that are supporting the cull and sourcing milk from the affected areas.

Contact stopthebadgercull@gmail.com for the resources you'll need.

Contact the cullers – a totally unrelated site http://www.badger-killers.com has the contact details of a number of interested parties. Remember folks – keep it polite, it's quantity not quality that counts.

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Twitter: @SchNEWS