Possible 29 new cull zones? North Cotswolds is one…
Last week the government announced it had received 29 new applications or expressions of interest for new cull areas, in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Cheshire. We hear from one group in Gloucestershire:
Public meeting hosted by Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting
in Evesham Town Hall 7pm Thursday 25th February
Research suggests that the North Cotswolds will be one of the new roll out zones for the badger cull in 2016. This means that, as early as June 1st, free running badgers will be shot at night using high velocity bullets. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) is hosting a public meeting to raise awareness of the impact of the cull and how local people can protect their wildlife through a range of groups, including GABS.
Alongside the direct concerns about the impact of the cull on wildlife and its failure to control bTB, there is also an impact on local communities during a cull as well as the serious health and safety implications. As the location and timings of the cull are not announced publicly, the very real risk of a local person, their livestock or pet being shot is inevitably increased.
GABS has worked successfully as part of the coalition of badger protection groups in Gloucestershire who have opposed the cull since 2013. GABS’ Wounded Badger Patrols and sett monitors have been out protecting badgers every night of the last 3 years of the cull. We are a peaceful and law abiding organisation which comprises a very diverse range of volunteers from students to the retired, firemen to doctors and teachers to lorry drivers. We have an equally wide ranging set of vital roles with people who patrol on foot, people who monitor setts, car patrollers and an equally important series of support roles. There literally is a way for anyone and everyone to help protect our wildlife. The meeting will be a valuable opportunity for new people to meet groups who have fulfilled a wide range of roles in wildlife protection.
We are delighted to present a very eminent panel of speakers who will explain the background to the cull, the cull so far and viable alternatives to ineffective culling:
Mark Jones – Veterinarian and Policy Manager at the Born Free Foundation:
‘Almost 4,000 badgers have been killed over the past three years in a misguided and unscientific attempt to control bovine TB in cattle, and at a cost to the taxpayer of around £25 million. Bovine TB clearly needs to be brought under control, but the solutions lie in the farming industry’s own hands. Badger culling is an expensive, ineffective and inhumane distraction.’
Pauline Kidner – Founder and advisor from Secret World Wildlife Rescue who was a dairy farmer with experience of a bTB breakdown in their herd:
“The millions of pounds wasted on badger culls could be used to subsidise farmers with bio-security in place, experiencing break downs and to fast track research into a cattle vaccine which is the answer alongside draconian cattle strategies.”
Ian Redmond OBE – Tropical field biologist and conservationist:
“The badger cull is a waste of money, time and badger lives when all the evidence suggests this policy is wrong. Killing healthy badgers will do nothing to reduce the risk of bTB transmission to cattle, and may even increase the risk. Far better to help farmers improve bio-security to keep cattle safe from more likely sources of infection.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting. We look forward to greeting new people who are interested in finding out how you can help your local badgers as well as people who simply want to find out more about the cull which is coming to a field near you soon.