27 August 2013
The worst and most cynical onslaught ever against the British badger, a protected wildlife species, has now begun. This travesty of both science and sense is in the vain hope that killing badgers could have some meaningful effect on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in England.
The Coalition has threatened that eventually up to 100,000 badgers could be killed in the present scheme, which is at the insistence of the cattle industry supported by Ministers. The scientific necessity of short-term simultaneous killing has been ignored while an attack on cattle-to-cattle infection, the principal cause of bTB, was inexcusably delayed for decades until now.
David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust, said:
‘The Trust is determined to fight on wherever possible as we have in the past through all legal avenues. Members will scrutinise everything that happens and the Trust will continue to take the best legal and scientific advice. We urge people living in the “pilot” culling areas of West Gloucestershire and West Somerset to listen for shooting, look out for wounded badgers and report all locations as accurately as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org or via 0845 828 7878. However, on no account must anyone enter private land or attempt to interfere with the shooters and staff’.
Some badgers could be wounded either by the official shooters or opportunist criminals who may assume open season had been declared. A detailed set of guidelines for the public has been compiled by Pauline Kidner and Dr. Elizabeth Mullineaux PhD, MRCVS, at Secret World Wildlife Rescue (SWWR) at Highbridge, Somerset. It covers:
• the need to gather clinical and topographical data on finding an injured badger;
• how to contact veterinary surgeons;
• what to ask for;
• arrangements for any post mortems.
Groups and supporters are asked to contact veterinary surgeons and wildlife hospitals in the two pilot areas to ensure action is taken if wounded badgers are found and that consistent and accurate records are kept. The official monitoring as proposed is pathetically thin with only two people a night watching to ensure efficiency, safety and humaneness, but a report on the likelihood of these being achieved has been so heavily censored as to be useless.
Now that official badger killing has started the Badger Trust will use this special version of our normal logo in cull-related communications.