Podcast: Dominic Dyer | Cruelty of badger cull exposed

Since the start of the badger cull – the government-sanctioned killing of a protected species to control Bovine Tuberculosis, a disease of dairy cattle – tens of thousands of badgers have been shot: either cage trapped then shot at close range or shot at night as they move around their territories. The vast majority of these animals have not been tested for TB and most are likely to be completely free of the disease. In September 2018 Chalrie Moores talked with Dominic Dyer about footage of a cage-trapped badger being shot obtained by the Hunt Investigation Team.

Continue reading

Podcast: The Badger Cull at the end of 2017

In September 2017 the Badger Trust wrote on their website that “DEFRA [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs] has announced the continuation and expansion of the killing of thousands of badgers across England. 11 new zones have been confirmed with a maximum number of 32,247 badgers to be killed in 2017 alone! This means that, by the end of this year, 47076 badgers will be dead as a result of the cull”. Charlie Moores sat down to discuss the extension of the cull, the reasons for it, its impact on the countryside, and the resistance to it – perhaps as consumers looking at which foods we choose to buy – with Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Badger Trust, and Tom Langton a consulting ecologist who has worked in UK and international nature conservation for 40 years.

Continue reading

Podcast: Dominic Dyer | Badgered to Death

In November 2016 Charlie Moores was invited to interview chief-executive of the Badger Trust, Dominic Dyer, about his new book ‘Badgered to Death’ in front of a small audience at Waterstone’s bookstore in Cambridge. ‘Badgered to Death’ looks unflinchingly at our somewhat chequered past with the UK’s largest surviving land carnivore and of course details how badgers have got caught up in the history and politics of bovine tuberculosis control. Well-received by readers and critics alike, this is Dominic’s first book, and as well as badgers and the cull we discussed whether he enjoyed the writing experience and whether there’s really still a place in the campaigner’s armoury for dead tree publishing…

Continue reading

Podcast: Road Verges Campaign | Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife Botanical Specialist

Most of us are aware now that biodiversity is in decline. Plant biodiversity here in the UK has especially suffered: wildflowers have been lost from huge areas of Britain, and so have the pollinators and other invertebrates that depend on them. Conservationists are having to look to protect what’s left of our wildlife in areas that may not be optimal, but that nevertheless holds a surprisingly important range of flora and fauna. Along with our gardens, one of those areas is our rural road verges, those largely county council-owned strips of land next to our roads which, according to the UK charity Plantlife, make up a network that is equal to half of the country’s remaining flower-rich grasslands and meadows.

Continue reading

Pauline Kidner | Grey Squirrels and the Invasive Alien Species Order 2019

In the eyes of the law, the Grey Squirrel is an invasive species which means that it is illegal to release one into the wild except under licence or allow it to escape after capture. And now the law is getting even tougher on them. Under legislation called the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 release licences will no longer be issued to – for example – animal rescue centres. What does that mean on the ground to rescuers and carers, to vets, to the welfare of Grey Squirrels themselves (and they are sentient animals whatever your personal opinion of them might be)? Charlie Moores went to Secret World Wildlife Rescue to talk with its founder, Pauline Kidner,

Continue reading

Podcast: Gill Lewis | Eagle Warrior

Following a relatively short career as a vet, Gill Lewis took her love of wildlife and the natural world and became a strong and highly effective voice against wildlife persecution and environmental degradation. Now a multi-award-winning children’s author, her young heroes and heroines share the pages of her books with Moon Bears, gorillas, and – of particular interest – birds of prey. Her books about wildlife crime on grouse moors, Sky Dancer and Eagle Warrior, feature a Hen Harrier and a Golden Eagle respectively, and Gill creates wonderful tension between carefully-drawn characters, birds of prey, and the landscapes both find each other in.

Continue reading

Podcast: Richard Peirce | Lions, Bones, and Bullets

The Lion: King of the Jungle, the Big Beast, star of the Lion King, one of the world’s best known and best-loved animals – or perhaps more accurately a wild cat of the open plains whose population, according to a 2015 statement by the IUCN, has declined approximately 42% over the past 21 years, and the unwitting star of the chilling 2015 documentary ‘Blood Lions‘, which uncovered the realities of the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa. From magnificent predators we have turned Lions into inbred animals farmed in miserable conditions across southern Africa, animals rented out to be cuddled by so-called ‘voluntourists’ then sold on to be shot in their enclosures by trophy hunters in canned hunts, animals whose bones are boiled down to service the demands of traditional Chinese medicine now that Tigers have been exploited to the point of extinction.

Continue reading