Tag: badger cull

Tom Langton | High Court Challenge and ‘Next Steps’ Policy

“It’s such a sad indictment of the current way in which science is conducted and vested interests have infected our society.” Ecologist Tom Langton has been looking at the scientific and legal aspects of the dreaded badger culls since 2016, and this summer represents his fifth year working on what is being described as the worst miscarriage of UK biological science for fifty years. In this ‘shortcast’ (=short podcast) recorded for Off the Leash Podcasts, Tom explains a bit about the new 2020 policy and what exactly was being challenged – a challenge which, incidentally, has taken over a year of battling to gain permission for.

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Wales | No to badger culling

While Wales is more famous for the endless hordes of sheep that lay waste to its hills and vallies (there are around three times as many sheep in Wales than people), Wales also has substantial numbers of cattle – and not insubstantial numbers of badgers. Here in England that would mean the NFU nodding across the table to their colleagues in Defra to wave through more badger killing to allegedly tackle bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a respiratory disease of cattle of course. But in Wales they have different ideas. Fortunately. In fact, Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has recently set out a clear plan of attack to tackle bTB, which puts the blame on cattle – and farmers – for spreading the disease. Highlighting the Welsh Labour Government’s commitment in its election manifesto, which is now confirmed in their ‘Programme for Government’, Mr Drakeford stated on the floor of the Senedd that ‘Culling of badgers will not happen in Wales’. The Programme itself states that the Government ‘forbid the culling of badgers to control the spread of TB in cattle.’

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Update | Help stop badger culling adding to England’s Biodiversity catastrophe

Excellent news from the desk of one of the UK’s busiest ecologists – Tom Langton. Tom was recently given permission (after much pushback from Defra), to challenge the so-called ‘badger cull’ in the High Court and set up a crowdfunder. After a slow start the fund raising is going really well, and the challenge has been moved forward because of the government’s plans to move forward with supplementary killing of protected animals across large areas of the country. And the bit about England’s ‘biodiversity catastrophe’? Astonishingly for all our self-congratulations about being a ‘country of animal lovers’, we have lost so many of our animals (and plants) that the UK as a whole is one of the most nature-depleted countries n the world and a recent report from the RSPB, using data compiled by the Natural History Museum, published ahead of last week’s G7 Summit, found that the UK is the worst nation in the G7 for the volume of wildlife and wild spaces lost due to human activity. Which is yet another reason why we need to be protecting what is left of our biodiversity.

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Badger Crowd | High Court Challenge

The Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice has awarded renowned ecologist and wildlife campaigner Tom Langton (with whom we’ve recorded a couple of very insightful podcasts over the last four years) permission to challenge an important aspect of the 2020 “Next Steps” Bovine TB eradication policy. Tom is a professional conservation ecologist with experience in wildlife justice, and has helped bring Natural England & Defra to account in tribunals & High Court trials over badger culling since 2017. Cruel, unnecessary badger killings will massively increase from now until 2026, with huge new cull areas. Already 140,000 badgers have been shot and this will now double to around 280,000. Following on from these culls, there is a little mentioned long term policy to expand the extermination of badgers locally with reactive-style culling of 100% of badgers. This will be happening in and around our woods, fields and nature areas, perhaps even close to where you live, with multiple side effects and implications. It just has to stop.

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Badgers | Shooting starts tonight

After a brief pause the quiet that settled over the countryside in spring is about to be shattered as the free-shooting of a protected species begins again. The pause in killing was presumably to allow badgers to have a breeding season, which is both deeply ironic and nauseating given that adults and young animals will be slaughtered in the coming months: Defra’s legally mandated nod to animal welfare for a few months does nothing to mitigate the massacre that is about to take place on their watch AGAIN. Pro-cull lobbyists often mock the feelings of pro-wildlife folk on social media. A particular favourite is to say this is about science not emotion. What a telling trope that is. The UK is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. We are disconnected from Nature and from wildlife. And all the time we are being told that data matters more than how we actually ‘feel’ about wildlife and the environment. Important decisions are of course based on data but when it comes to the mass killing of badgers it won’t matter whether massacring every single one of them helps ‘cure’ a disease that impacts an industry that we all know we could actually exist without – the fact is that it ‘feels’ abhorrent, it ‘feels’ totally wrong…

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Guest Post | Clive Swinsco: Badgers – Defend Brock’s Clan

“Badgers are innocent! Unfortunately, however, their jury have been bribed and their judges are corrupt; therefore the mass execution of badgers continues. Political? Of course it’s political! Bloodsports are the ruling class “at play” and property development is one way the rich increase their wealth – Badgers are problematic “on both counts.” In spring 2020 (Vol. 38 No5) BBC Wildlife magazine published the article “Badgers – Out of the Woods?”…I responded in May – my letter was never published. There can be no doubt that the continued “official” killing of badgers by this government has given a killers/baiters “charter” to every sadist, hunter, ignorant farmer or mindless thug in the country; a carte blanche to persecute and kill any badger anywhere It’s what happens when you treat a species with abject contempt and cruelty ‘Out of the woods’? Certainly not. Not by a long way.” Guest post by Clive Swinsco

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Badgers shot and left by footpath

While studies and data might be lacking, many activists and campaigners have been saying for years that the rolling government sanction of the slaughter of badgers to prop up the dairy industry was going to unleash a brutality and ignorance that had been kept somewhat in check by legislation. The so-called ‘cull’ was predicted to greenlight a massacre in which participants felt justified to behave pretty much any way they wanted…That would be extrapolating too much from one tweet, but there are numerous reports online now of badgers being dumped just like these animals. Photographs of dead badgers piled up in plastic bags before incineration were published by the Badger Trust in October 2019 and in this October 2020 post via Derbyshire Against the Cull. The unrestrained hostility towards badgers spat out in some social media posts is shocking and truly frightening…The government are the enablers of savagery towards badgers on a national scale.

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Latest badger cull figures show highest kill rate yet

‘The reality of the badger cull is in that stark number – 38,642 badgers killed – an increase of over 10% on 2019’s figures, and 140,991 deaths overall since this policy was adopted in 2013. And the total will continue to rise, likely going beyond 200,000 by the end of 2022, with a further two years already locked into current expansion plans and four-year licences still to run. The culling policy is inhumane and unnecessary at best, and at worst it’s a smokescreen and ineffective strategy to appease farmers’.Badger Trust, Jan 21

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