"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

New e-Petition to End the Badger Cull Instead of Expanding it to new areas

As many of you will know the Government has been carrying out pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire since 2013 and extended the cull to Dorset last year. Today it has been announced that seven new licences have been granted for parts of Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Dorset. Up to 10,000 badgers could be killed this year.

Regular readers of my blog will know how strongly I feel about these slaughters. I am not going to turn this into a long rant and repeat all my reasons for being so anti-cull but will just say that independent badger experts and scientists are against the culls, the vast majority of badgers slaughtered will be healthy and an independent panel in the first year of the pilot cull came to the conclusion that the slaughters had been inhumane and ineffective. None of the badgers killed have been tested for bTB and monitoring of the slaughters has been virtually non-existent. The main cause of bTB in cattle is due to cattle to cattle transmission - the badger (a protected species) is just being used as a scapegoat. The way forward is not the mass extermination of badgers in such an inhumane way but better biosecurity, improved cattle testing and movement regulations, vaccination of badgers (and eventually cattle).

Since 2013 the slaughter of badgers has cost the tax payer £25 million and yet DEFRA's own statistics show that, despite badger culling, the number of cattle slaughtered because they are infected with bTB continues to increase both in and around the cull zones. Scotland became officially bTB free without killing a single badger and badger vaccination (not culling) in Wales has resulted in new herd TB incidences decreasing by 14% in the past year. Ireland, having slaughtered badgers for years, has now decided to stop this policy and vaccinate instead.

There is a link here to an article in the Guardian last week by Dr Brian May.

The main purpose of writing this post is to ask you please to consider signing a new Government e-petition put forward by Simon King to end the badger cull instead of expanding it to new areas. The link is here

Already 8000 people have signed this petition and I would also ask please if you could consider sharing it on facebook/twitter and ask family and friends to sign. We have to give badgers a voice and let the Government know how we feel about these senseless slaughters otherwise 1000's of badgers could be killed for no reason.

Thanks so much.


Margaret Adamson said...

Signed up now they are up to over 11.000 signatures now

Rosie said...

Petition signed and shared on facebook:)

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks so much Margaret - its adding signatures so rapidly - over 10,000 in the first day.

Rosie - Thanks very much Rosie. Have been thinking of you - hope you are ok. I was so very sorry to hear your sad news about Chloe - you must be missing her dreadfully.

Wendy said...

I've signed. I really hope this petition makes a difference, the whole situation is horrible.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks so much - I knew you would have done as I'd seen your tweets on it. As you say the whole thing is just awful - I can't stop myself thinking of the lack of monitoring (is there any at all?) and dread to think what is happening as badgers are murdered. Are there any post mortems being carried out to check the humaneness? I know they did a few the first year but I doubt if any since :( Really admire the people getting involved to try and stop it.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Large scale landowners have the government in its pocket - will they be renting out land to these livestock farmers?

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks for the comment Simon. In my view the NFU has far too much influence over the govt - hence the barbaric slaughters :( Interestingly, a lot of the land where slaughters occurred in the last few years wasn't even used for cattle farming but for shooting - so much for getting rid of badgers supposedly as part of a bTB prevention strategy.

The whole thing makes me so very very angry.

Countryside Tales said...

Yup, just signed. Over 33,000 now. Thanks for highlighting it. Am with you 1000%, as you know :o) xx

Chris Rohrer said...

Keep it up! Good for Scotland. I thought it was for all of Great Britain.....so I'm glad to hear that it's not accepted everywhere. It's funny how much attention Mad Cow Disease has over here in the States.....zero. And yet it continues. I think these stories are way more important than who's going to be the next president of the US and deserve national attention all over. Thanks for being my international news person for Britain:)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks very much - I knew you would :) I am so very very angry and saddened by it all - I just can't believe they've rolled it out even further. All those healthy badgers being murdered for nothing :(

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris. I sometimes think I should start a new blog for conservation and wildlife stuff and horrors of things like the badger culls and loss of hen harriers! When the campaigns over here go on at election time and for the EU referendum the environment gets very little mention :( It is just England that is killing them - Scotland as mentioned didn't, Wales are vaccinating instead and Ireland have finally stopped culling and are now going the vaccination route.