Two important DEFRA consultations closed early April. The government plans to abandon any 'brake' on expanding the cull to new areas along with permitting culling in low risk areas 'on demand' if there is an outbreak of bTB. It is gradually legalising the widespread, prolonged slaughter of England's badger population on the grounds of 'hoping' to improve disease control.
Click the map to read her blog about what the proposals mean.
Over the past 5 years, 35,000 or more badgers have been needlessly shot under licence across England, as part of the government’s strategy for reducing bovine TB in cattle. The vast
majority of these badgers (over 85%) are likely to perfectly healthy and TB free and there is little evidence that the tiny proportion that are TB infected pose any major risk of
disease transmission to badgers or cattle.
After five years of culls that are estimated to have cost the tax payer over £50 million, the government has failed to provide any reliable evidence that the indiscriminate cruel slaughter of tens of thousands of badgers is having any significant contribution on lowering the level of bovine TB in cattle in or around the cull zones.
The Badger Trust considers badger culling to be cruel, scientifically ineffective and hugely costly to the tax payer. If the government continues to roll out the badger cull to both high and low risk TB areas across England hundreds of thousands of badgers could be killed by 2020, which could result in local extinction of the species from parts of the country which they have inhabited since the ice age
Natural England is considering extending the Cull to Oxfordshire and other areas with low BTB rates. It will be open season. In the cull zones shooters are licenced to kill 70% of the badger population. Almost all will be healthy.
Last year our government culled badgers on an industrial scale. They are gone from woods, banks and meadows in a widening series of brutal bloody countryside purges. Policy based on dubious science and decisions that undermine the law and help encourage all manner of brutal wildlife crime.
What can you do?
Donate—Oxfordshire Badger Group is fundraising to support the ongoing legal battle and direct anti-cull action
Sign up—for news and calls for action including sett surveying and possible patrolling during the cull months
Report & watch — setts, badger sightings, incidents
Lobby your local Councillors, MP & DEFRA— Badgers have friends who VOTE
Email DEFRA and copy to your MP:
The government seems hell bent on rolling the cull out to more and more regions every year. There is no scientific justification and the costs - to badgers, people, communities and to taxpayers are horrendous. Badgers are being needlessly demonised and crime is rising as a direct result. We join the Badger Trust, Team Badger, leading scientists and majority of the public in opposing the cull.
The cull succeeds on only one level. A protected and much loved species is being killed under licence
The badger cull is a political issue. There is a powerful lobby wanting to weaken wildlife and environmental regulation and place control in the hands of landowners and the farming industry. Badgers protected status makes them a very inconvenient animal.
A property developer leads at Natural England. The Minister in charge of DEFRA is committed to deregulation and has volunteered to accept funding cuts. So it is no surprise that property developers, the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Countryside Alliance are - literally - calling the shots. Thousands of 'ordinary' people are already taking part in organised, peaceful effective opposition. Increasing this effort is the best and only rational response to any increase in culling.
We can't save badgers if we don't know where they are.
The cull will almost certainly come to Oxfordshire in 2018.
The good news is that the best way to prepare is to update and verify our sett records. That's business as usual for a badger group. The bad news is that we have records going back 40 years, nearly 1000 setts to check out and one year to do it.
Do you have time to go and check setts in your area? Can you spare a moment to report sightings to us? Will you write to your MP and help keep badgers a political hot potato?
Volunteer. Report. Lobby. March. Do something.
Save our Badgers