WESTERN MORNING NEWS
13 September 2013 by Adam Walmesley
Campaigners against the controversial killing of thousands of badgers have released new footage from the cull zone, in an effort to win the “hearts and minds” of the public. Leaders of the League Against Cruel Sports joined members of the Somerset Badger Group in the Westcountry at the weekend in a show of solidarity against the badger cull.
Footage was released by the animal welfare charity from its visit to the camp in Somerset where badger cull protesters are living.
Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The strength of public feeling against the shooting of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire is immense, with individuals from all walks of life coming together to voice their opposition and help look out for our black and white friends.”
Around 500 people marched through Taunton on Saturday in a peaceful protest against the cull currently taking place in Somerset.
Adrian Coward, of the Somerset Badger Group, said: “We’re all about trying to win hearts and minds. We know the Government won’t listen to science, won’t listen to political pressure, and is trying to ignore public opinion. What we’re trying to do is to make them realise we’re winning hearts and minds. People who really care about what is happening have got very, very angry.”
The charity said it made the film to demonstrate the “overwhelming opposition” to the cull and its determination to fight the Government’s “ludicrous” policy.
Mr Duckworth added: “The successful rally and on-the-ground badger groups and patrols demonstrate just how determined people are, and like us are not prepared to take this policy lying down.”
An online petition started by Queen guitarist Brian May against the culls has collected around 300,000 signatures to become the most signed on the official Government website.
Mr [Dr] May said: “It remains a clear indication of the depth and continued growth of public outrage over Environment Secretary of State Owen Paterson’s plan to kill thousands of badgers in the UK.”
Mr Duckworth added: “The one lesson I’ve learned [from the cull zone trip]: these badger patrols and the other work going on in the cull zones is working. It is deterring the shooters and perhaps saving badgers’ lives.”