With Your Invaluable Support, The League, RSPCA And Other Organisations Will Continue To Oppose The Badger Cull in 2013.

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“Please watch the video below, from last year…then please sign petitions etc. Together we can save the badgers”

The Government’s proposed badger cull, set to go ahead last year was postponed after a sustained and comprehensive campaign that involved numerous organisations, including the League and our supporters, coming together as Team Badger.

Last year over 160,000 people also signed a Government e-petition, far exceeding the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered for a House of Commons debate, which went ahead on 25th October.

The Parliamentary vote against the badger cull was overwhelming: 147 votes to 28 votes, with the majority of MPs agreeing with scientists, animal welfare organisations and the general public, that the cull is wrong and would be ineffective on scientific, humanitarian and practical grounds.

However, the vote is not binding and the Government are still planning to resume culling this summer.

The League, our partner organisations and supporters are committed, therefore, to continue with the campaign to ensure the cull isn’t just postponed, but abandoned for good, in favour of vaccinating badgers and developing an effective bovine TB vaccine.

As part of Team Badger, the League recently submitted evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee inquiry, which is looking into vaccination alternative to culling and is due to report later this year.

Vaccination has already been a proven success in Wales, where over 1,400 badgers have already been protected against bovine TB as part of a five year programme of work to eradicate TB completely. The badger vaccination initiative in Wales reflects the constructive alternative to culling that the League, along with “Team Badger”, is calling for. It also demonstrates the co-operation that is possible between the farming industry and government in taking swift, positive and decisive action against the spread of Bovine TB.

The League, alongside our campaign partners, believes strongly that vaccination of both badgers and cattle and better husbandry are the most effective and long-term way to tackle this terrible disease. Together we successfully came together to ensure badgers had a stay of execution in 2012 and we are now working for a full and permanent pardon in 2013.

What can I do to stop the cull happening this summer?

You should contact your MP to remind them that the badger cull is set to go ahead in summer of 2013. You should ensure that they know the evidence and science against the cull and ask them to make sure they will continue to oppose the cull in 2013.

Link:-http://www.league.org.uk/faq/32/Badger-Cull-FAQs

Keep checking back at this site for more news & next steps to take:- http://www.league.org.uk/content/643/Badger-Cull

Badger cull to begin from June, Environment Secretary confirms

Conservative MP Owen Paterson said that, if successful, the cull aimed at stopping bovine tuberculosis would be rolled out across the country next year.

It has not been confirmed where this summer’s pilot culls will take place, however the National Farmers Union (NFU) said it believed they would be in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Animal rights campaigners expressed dismay, claiming there is still no scientific evidence to support the cull and that the move is against the wishes of the British public.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Paterson said: “We need to make sure that these two trials are carried out in a professional and scientific manner and if we prove that this works we will continue.”

The Government wants to stop the animals spreading the disease which has cost the taxpayer £500m in the last decade. That figure is expected to rise to £1bn in the next 10 years.

Adam Quinney, the vice president of the National Farmers’ Union, welcomed the decision and said they had expected the cull to go ahead this summer.

“The two licences have been issued for two areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset and they still stand.

“There have been discussions about looking at alternative areas just because it is prudent,” he said.

A spokeswoman for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed: “The earliest the cull can take place is from June 1, and it will definitely be going ahead this summer.”

The cull cannot take place before then for a number of reasons, including licence restrictions and welfare concerns for badger’s caring for their young.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said they were “deeply disappointed” with the plans to cull the animals tomorrow as there is no “real proof” that it will help either cows or badgers and called for Defra to look again at alternatives including vaccines.

They said: “The Government must think again and the RSPCA will continue to campaign against the cull until it does so.

“After this year’s postponement we had hoped that the government would finally see sense and pay attention to the vast amount of scientific research showing that a cull will be ineffective, wasteful and potentially damaging to the welfare of both farm and wild animals.

“The vaccination of both badgers and cattle along with more effective biosecurity is the only approach which addresses the welfare of both cattle and badgers and the long term livelihood of farmers.

“This announcement flies in the face of the views of a huge majority of MPs who voted against the cull as well as the majority of the British public and the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. The RSPCA stands ready to work alongside all those seeking an alternative to this barbaric cull.”

News Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9828358/Badger-cull-to-begin-from-June-Environment-Secretary-confirms.html

British Badger Cull – Channel 4 News

Published on 19 Sep 2012

UK channel 4 news item with Brian May, badger supported and guitarist with Queen and Jan Rowe, cattle farmer, debating the badger cull which is taking part in the UK now. 
This programme was first shown in the UK on Monday, September 17th, 2012 
If you are against the cull please support http://www.teambadger.org

Relevant sites & petitions:-

A selection of related items, to find more, type Badgers in the search box in my blog:-

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Full-scale badger cull set to get government go-ahead

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First licence expected to be issued in policy that could lead to a third of the animal’s national population being shot

Protesters at a rally against the proposed badger cull in Bristol earlier this week. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The Government is poised to give the go-ahead to the first full-scale cull of badgers in England, under a policy that could soon mean as many as 100,000 of the animals – a third of the national population – are shot dead by farmers in an attempt to protect cattle from bovine tuberculosis.

According to Whitehall sources, the first of two licences is expected to be issued as soon as Monday for a large pilot cull area in Gloucestershire, which is a hotspot for bovine TB.

Previously, there have been localised trials to test the science behind such culls. Yet despite the mixed results of the tests, ministers have decided to push ahead with the national scheme after winning an appeal-court battle brought by campaigners last week.

In 2011, 26,000 cows were slaughtered because of the disease, which can also be carried by badgers.

A decade-long scientific trial of badger culling concluded that such killing could make “no meaningful contribution”, and was “not an effective way” to control the disease. But the government is going forward with the plan under intense pressure from British farmers.

A Defra spokesman said: “We will continue to work with the farming industry so badger control in two pilot areas can start as soon as is practical.”

As yet, no badgers have been killed as part of the cull, but with only straightforward administrative steps required after the granting of the licence, culling could begin within days.

Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, is a fervent supporter of the cull, having tabled a record 600 parliamentary questions on the issue while serving as environment spokesman in opposition.

In an interview with the Farmers Guardian on Friday, Patterson appeared to cast the proposed cull as being of benefit to badgers: “I find the attitude of those who want these wonderful animals to die of this disgusting disease [bovine TB] completely incomprehensible.”

But Mary Creagh, the shadow environment secretary, said: “The cull will cost more than it saves, put a huge strain on the police, and will spread bovine TB in the short term as badgers are disturbed by the shooting. Ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull – which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife.”

A source in Paterson’s department said the controversial policy was causing great anxiety: “The panic among senior officials outweighs anything since foot and mouth. It makes The Thick of It look tame and gentle.”

The government has refused to release numerous documents under freedom of information rules, including advice from the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, and communication with the National Farmers Union. The latter was blocked on the grounds that it was “internal communication”.

Natural England, the licensing body, said: “We are working flat out with licence applicants on processing their applications. We will issue licences to enable control activity to commence in the pilot areas as soon as is possible.”

The licence will be issued to a group of farmers and landowners who will commit to killing at least 70% of the badgers on their land for at least four years in a row.

The government’s own impact assessment concluded that it would cost farmers more to carry out the cull than to do nothing and suffer any losses from bovine TB.

The licence area must also have “hard boundaries”, such as rivers, to prevent badgers fleeing and potentially spreading the disease and making the situation worse.

The government pointed to the 16% cut in bovine TB found at the end of the 10-year trial but the new culls will use a different killing method. Instead of trapping then shooting – considered expensive – the badgers will be “free shot” by marksmen. The deaths have to occur before 1 February, when the close season for badger shooting begins and runs till 31 May.

But the start of the cull could be halted by a legal challenge to the licence. The Badger Trust, which unsuccessfully challenged the government’s cull policy in the appeal court last week, stated: “We will continue to pursue all legal means to stop culling. We will closely study any licences issued by Natural England.” The trust was successful in a previous legal action against badger culling in Wales. Campaigners are also pursuing a complaint against the government in Europe under the Bern convention, which governs wildlife and habitat protection.

A licence for a cull in Somerset is thought to be taking longer to process due to a legal issue involving the crown estate, but sources said they did not expect that to prevent the licence being granted in due course.

Animal rights campaigners are determined to halt the trials through protests at the cull sites, whose location is not being made public. Volunteers plan to patrol the zones and stop the badgers coming into the open.

The Gloucestershire and Somerset culls are trials meant to test whether free shooting is as effective as trapping and shooting.

Critics say the short time of the trials will be insufficient for comparison with the decade-long trial, but if the government calls the trials a success, killing will happen across affected areas in England and is expected to end the lives of 70,000 to 105,000 badgers – from an entire UK population estimated at 300,000.

A badger vaccination plan is replacing the Welsh cull. Vaccination is also being tested in Devon by the National Trust, and by the Wildlife Trust in Gloucestershire.

The last Labour government said an oral badger vaccine would be ready by 2015. The coalition cancelled five of six trials of injectable vaccines, and said a viable oral vaccine was “years away”.

News Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/16/badger-cull-government-go-ahead

Petition:-https://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=122&ea.campaign.id=12310

Petition:-http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2214

Petition:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/wildlife/badgers

More Info:www.backoffbadgers.org.uk

More Info:-http://badger-killers.co.uk/

Brian May heads to Bristol for badger cull rally

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Queen guitarist to front event that marks launch of national campaign called ‘Stop the Cull’ led by animal welfare charities opposed to cull

Queen guitarist Brian May will be in Bristol next week as part of a rally against government plans to introduce a cull of badgers.

The rally marks the launch of a national campaign called ‘Stop the Cull’ – led by animal welfare charities opposed to the cull, including the RSPCA, League Against Cruel Sports, Save Me and Humane Society International (UK).

Campaigners will wear badger costumes at the free event. The charities are urging local people to come along and demonstrate their opposition to the cull.

The pilot culls are designed to reduce tuberculosis in cattle. Farmers and the government say the disease, which can be spread by badgers as well as among cattle, has become a huge cost to the industry. In 2010-11, nearly 25,000 cattle were slaughtered in England at a cost of £91m in government compensation.

But the charities say scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing the disease and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas.

Research undertaken by the Independent Scientific Group that took nearly a decade, cost approximately £50million and the lives of 11,000 badgers concluded “badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain”, they say.

The Stop the Cull campaign is pushing for the government to rethink their policy and implement a vaccination programme, along with increased levels of testing, improved farm biosecurity and stricter controls on the movement of cattle rather than culling 70% of the badger population, the vast majority of which are disease free.

Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA and many other organisations oppose the cull of badgers for both scientific and animal welfare reasons. The campaign is rapidly gaining public support and over 100,000 objections to the cull have been recorded to date. The Government should look at the science, the results achieved in Wales and change their policy to one of vaccination – let’s cure and not kill.”

Meanwhile, their campaign has drawn cross-party support from Bristol, including leading Conservatives. Bristol24-7 reported in March that the Conservative Party spokesman in Bristol West had urged the coalition government to scrap its controversial plans.

Graham Godwin-Pearson’s statement came after Conservative think-tank the Bow Group unveiled a major paper saying the culls were likely to be more costly and less practical to conduct than ministers believe.

Mr Godwin-Pearson, the principle author and Tory spokesman in the Bristol West constituency, added the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) focus should be on vaccination instead.

The rally on Tuesday will take place at College Green from 4.30-7pm.

News Link:http://www.bristol247.com/2012/09/07/brian-may-heads-to-bristol-for-badger-cull-rally-81576/

HM Government Petition:-http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257

Kill the Cull, Not England’s Badgers

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Published on 5 Sep 2012 by 

Time is running out for England‘s badgers — 7 out of 10 are slated to be shot in two trail areas; if the full policy is then rolled out up to 130,000 badgers in England could be killed. Not only is the government’s policy misguided, HSI is greatly concerned that many thousands of badgers could be injured and left to suffer a slow and painful death. Live in the UK? See how you can help

http://www.hsi.org/issues/badger_slaughter/?utm_source=desc090412&utm_med…

What can you do?

badger cullHundreds of supporters attended the successful badger cull public meeting hosted by the League in Taunton on Friday 20th July read more>>. A second successful meeting followed on Wednesday 25th July in Tewkesbury.

Sign our petition against the cull. You can alsodownload a paper version of the petition to get your friends and family to sign.

If you can help out the campaign by joining one of our local groups, holding a street stall, talking to your MPs or writing letters to the press then please get in touch with our campaigns team.

If you live in one of the cull areas of west Gloucestershire or west Somerset then please sign our declaration stating that you will not allow the cull on your land.

 sign up

 Why are they going to cull badgers?

The trials are part of government efforts to tackle the spread of bovine tuberculosis amongst cattle. The disease has a devastating affect on farmers and tens of thousands of cattle are slaughtered each year as a result.

Badgers were discovered to be infected with bTB in the mid 1970s and they have since been implicated in the transmission of infection to cattle.

Following a ten year study in which 10,000 badgers were trapped and culled to establish whether localised culling of badgers helps to reduce bTB the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) who carried out the experiment concluded that ‘badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain’.

Read some of the scientific arguments from both sides about the effectiveness of badger culling.

What will happen in the trials?

The trials are designed to test the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of the controlled shooting of badgers. If after a year free-shooting is ruled out, then farmers will be legally obliged to continue the cull on a much more costly ‘trap and shoot’ basis for the remaining years of their licence.

If the trials go ahead then shooting will start in autumn in two areas the first in west Somerset, partly in Taunton Deane and the second mainly within the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury, and partly in the districts of Wychavon, Malvern Hills and west Gloucestershire. The trials will take place over six weeks.

The shooting will take place at night, and will be carried out by trained marksmen using high-powered rifles. Their remit will be to kill at least 70% of the badgers in each of the trial areas. The killing will be non-selective, but the majority of those killed will be healthy. Of the small percentage of badgers which may be carrying bovine TB, very few will be infectious and therefore capable of transmitting the disease.

News Link:-http://www.league.org.uk/content/643/Badger-Cull

Petition from The League Against Cruel Sports:-https://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=122&ea.campaign.id=12310

Can you help the Badger cull ? YES YOU CAN…

Please only sign this declaration if you live in the pilot areas of west Gloucestershire and west Somerset. 

You can Downloadable materials that can help you, help them!

There’s plenty of other things you can do to fight the badger cull, write to your MP (find out who represents you here), collect petition signatures or even display a window poster!

Download some of our materials using the links below.

Petition:- Urge David Cameron To Stop The Cull:http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/wildlife/stop-the-cull?source=CAMP_Badgers_030912%20remainder&utm_source=Campaigns&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ButtonTakeAction&utm_campaign=CAMP_Badgers_030912%20remainder&spMailingID=4750847&spUserID=MTQ2MTQ0OTMwOTkS1&spJobID=285750438&spReportId=Mjg1NzUwNDM4S0

Three in court over badger baiting

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THREE MEN HAVE appeared before a court in Co Down today after they were arrested by PSNI officers on suspicion of animal cruelty.

The men, aged 19, 21 and 42 have been charged with animal cruelty offences concerning the unnecessary suffering of a terrier dog and a badger. They have also been accused of interfering with a badger sett.

The BBC reports that the men were ordered by the judge to desist from hunting activities and to maintain a 9pm-7am curfew. A fourth man due in court could not attend for medical reasons.

The arrests were made in connection with the UK-wide Operation Meles, which aims to disrupt badger baiting activities.

What is badger baiting?

Badger baiting is a bloodsport in which badgers are hunted from their setts and pitched against dogs in a fight. It usually ends with the death of the badger, though the dogs can sustain serious injuries in the fight.

Sometimes, baiters cause serious damage to the badger by crippling it or breaking its jaws to prevent injury to the dogs.

Badger baiting is illegal in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, and it is illegal to interfere with a badger sett.

Baiting is quite widespread across Northern Ireland, with thousands of badgers being killed this way ever year, according to David Wilson of the USPCA.

“The people who are involved and doing the damage are generally criminal gangs from urban situations who go out into the environment,” Wilson told TheJournal.ie. “Badgers are strange creatures: they will stay with a sett for hundreds of years and for generations, so they’re not hard to find. These people will open the setts a bit with spades and sent small dogs down to seize the badgers.

“They don’t even care about the danger to their dogs. Badgers are extremely powerful animals and some of the injuries on the dogs are beyond life-threatening – they just have to be put to sleep.”

He said that anyone who suspects badger baiting is happening should contact the police immediately.

Culling

There is a badger cull in place in the Republic of Ireland as part of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to tackle TB in cattle. However, some researchers say there is little evidence of culling having an effect in the eradication of bovine TB.

Conn Flynn of the Irish Wildlife Trust told TheJournal.ie that a 12-year study in the UK found that culling badgers has no significant contribution to cutting the level of bovine TB. Instead, culling can force the highly-territorial animals to flee and spread into other areas, potentially spreading the disease.

The study found that cattle measures are the best way of controlling the disease, but there are restrictions on vaccination cattle due to export regulations.

Flynn says that a study is underway in Ireland to examine the effects of the oral vaccination of badgers.

He also says that tackling badger baiting is very difficult for gardaí, but that it happens all over the state and the Trust has received a number of reports of baiting in Meath and Offaly in particular.

News Link:-http://www.thejournal.ie/psni-badget-baiting-animal-cruelty-operationmeles-434490-Apr2012/

Viva – Badger Cull – Bio-security Investigation

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We uncover what could be the real reason for the TB epidemic – and it’s not badgers!

We have long suspected that Biosecurity failings at markets plays a much bigger role in spreading the disease than contact with wildlife. Biosecurity measures are put in place to minimise the risk of spreading disease on clothing and foot wear.

In March/April 2011, we filmed at three markets in and around the Intensive Action Area in Wales (where the killing of badgers will take place).

Click this link to see my recent post on the good news that badgers will not now be culled in Wales:- Badgers

Welsh markets

As part of the investigation we uncovered the following:

  • Carmarthen market

    At Carmarthen market 97 per cent of people attending ignored a biosecurity measure (disinfectant foot dip) (only 7 out of 277 dipped their feet even though this goes against official advice and may even be breaking the law as they all entered areas that housed animals)

  • Whitland Market

    At Whitland Market there was no biosecurity measures in place as animals were unloaded, even though it was a TB/Red Market where TB infected animals are traded for slaughter

  • Whitland Market

    At the same market we speak to an Animal Health Official who admits she was left “seething” after observing serious biosecurity infringements (where tested and untested animals were allowed to mix extensively against guidelines)

  • Cardigan Market

    At Cardigan Market (which is inside the Intensive Action Area) we did not observe a single person dipping their feet (bar our investigator) – and we spoke to a man who admitted that sheep tag swapping is widespread (cattle tag swapping to keep high yield infected cattle is under investigation in England)

Sign here to help stop the badger cull in England:- Stop the badger cull in England

Badger cull in Wales scrapped for vaccination programme

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A controversial cull of badgers in Wales aimed at cutting TB in cattle will no longer go ahead, Welsh environment minister John Griffiths announced on Tuesday, with the plan replaced by a multimillion-pound vaccination programme.

The decision was met with delight from animal rights groups, and came following a review of the science behind an original government study saying the cull should go ahead. Farming groups and rival politicians have accused the government of “betraying” the rural community with the U-turn. Bovine tuberculosis leads to the slaughter of thousand of cattle a year and costs taxpayers millions. England is pushing ahead with culling plans, which environment secretary Caroline Spelman argues may reduce infections in culling areas by 16%. 

But Griffiths, who stressed he was “personally committed” to the eradication of TB in cattle in Wales, told the Press Association he was not satisfied that the mass killing of badgers, who can carry the disease, would bring a major halt to its spread. “Bovine TB has a significant financial and social impact on farmers and the wider community in Wales,” he said. “Last year alone, the Welsh government paid out just over £12m in compensation for cattle slaughtered. But I am not at present satisfied a cull of badgers would be necessary to bring about a substantial reduction in the incidence of bovine TB in cattle.”

Mark Jones, veterinarian and executive director of the Humane Society UK, said: “At last, a genuinely science-led policy to tackle to bovine TB without slaughtering thousands of badgers, and one that will actually help to solve the problem instead of making things worse. This puts added pressure on Caroline Spelman to withdraw its disastrous plans to cull English badgers.”

Brian Walters, a spokesman for the Farmer’s Union of Wales, said: “Culling has consistently been shown to reduce bovine TB incidences in cattle herds, and since the 1970s thousands of herds have achieved TB-free status following badger culling. When Welsh assembly members previously voted in favour of a badger cull, it demonstrated that Wales was willing to take positive steps to eradicate TB, even if those steps were controversial.”

Tuesday’s announcement marked another twist on the issue of bovine TB in Wales. The focus is an “intensive action area” of north Pembrokeshire and neighbouring parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, where officials say the disease among cattle and badgers is rife. In 2010, the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition government was forced to shelve a cull after the Badger Trust won a legal appeal. But Elin Jones, then rural affairs minister, said she would be pushing ahead with a new order

Read the rest of this article here via Badger cull in Wales scrapped for vaccination programme | Environment | guardian.co.uk.

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