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Activists gear up for Somerset and Gloucestershire cull, as do the NFU... with an injunction.

The badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire is starting on Tuesday 27th September. Eagle-eyed activists had seen DNA hair traps near setts - a sure sign of imminent shooting. Now official announcements have confirmed the date.

Not unpredictably, the National Farmers Union (NFU) have applied for an injunction - for 'Protection from Harassment' - to stop people stopping the slaughter, the details of which are yet to be published. This is a good thing: If it can be proved that you were aware of the contents, it will probably apply to you. Even if you have no history of involvement, and you won't have a chance to put your side across in court.

This Protection from Harassment injunction follows in a long line of repressive court orders portraying peaceful protest as harassment. They have mainly been used against animal rights campaigns and failed when arms company EDO MBM tried to use one to stop protests outside their factory. (See SchNEWS 492, 531 and plenty more). The gist of injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act are usually to ban all protest and filming within certain areas - but the full extent of the PHA on circumventing civil liberties is worth a read up on if you're not familiar.

Don't be put off stopping the cull on the ground, wangle yourself some time to get to the cull zones for the 27th. This won't be a slow burner - the shooting teams expect to kill 80% of their quota in the first 3 days. That's thousands of badgers.

There is are some very helpful maps up at http://badger-killers.co.uk/cull-to-start-on-the-27th/, where the whole of the UK has been divided into regions, and each region given a piece of the cull zone to go to. If possible get in touch with your local sab group (find them here: http://hsa.enviroweb.org/index.php/get-involved/localgroups).

The general plan seems to be to look out for suspect looking vehicles, then walk near to the shooting teams with bright lights and noisy stuff so you don't get shot.

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