Worry not, do more

You may be aware that the badger cull is underway. Over the six weeks they aim to kill 1,000-2,000 animals.

Lives wasted. It’s a disgrace and with it being something that you are against, you want to show your support and help fight against it. For me, I’ve watched, observed and filmed badgers locally to me for quite a few years. I know how superb they are and it makes me very upset that they’re the victims despite all science against it.

So what can you do? For starters, on the ground in the cull zones, badgers desperately need your help. Either patrolling, sett sitting, sabbing, helping at the camps or so on. This is the sort of action that saves lives and shows that we aren’t going anywhere.

If you can’t make it to the cull zones to volunteer there, you can still support the work they do by donating, tweeting or so on. Another opportunity to show how much we care and show how this cull is absolutely ludicrous is by joining Team Badger in London tomorrow. Details below.

Details for getting involved within cull zones:
Dorset:

Web – http://dorsetbandb.org

Email – dorsetbbw@gmail.com

Somerset:

Web – www.somersetagainstthebadgercull.org

Email – somersetagainstthebadgercull@gmail.com

Gloucester:

Web – www.glosagainstbadgershooting.org

Email – somersetagainstthebadgercull@gmail.com

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Badgers – species not game pieces

I go back to school next week, well my first day at sixth form. Young people and children all over the country will be going back either this week or next. I wonder what the majority of them got up to during their summer term? I wonder how many got outside more then once and interacted with nature? I bet it wasn’t many, in fact I bet it’s a scary figure.

Seeing as many would not even gone out in the countryside or considered that, they won’t be aware of the horrors that are about to begin. Another bid to vandalise the British countryside to please some senseless humans.

I’ve had a busy summer holiday but I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Obviously all wildlife related! If I wasn’t out and about travelling around to different events or writing for some reason or another I was out on my local patch or going to watch and film one of my favourite animals, the badger.

They are a superb creature and I have a great interest in them. I think when I first started setting my trail camera up a few years ago at a local sett, was when my love for them grew. I got some brilliant footage of them rolling around, playing with each other, eating and some unusual stuff too. This was amazing and got me very excited. It still does now when I set my camera up or spend some hours around the sett.

A few years back I also started to learn more about the problems that some have with this animal. Whether it’s to do with btb or because some have no respect whatsoever for them. After them having such a positive impact on me, I wanted to give that back how and when I could. This included writing about them here on my blog, getting involved with the Badger Trust, going on demonstrations and much more. As this has grown more, I plan to go out later this month to the cull zones and volunteer there.

It’s difficult to do more though as I’m still at school. I remember just a few months back when I didn’t quite have my priorities straight, I’d be down to the nearby badger sett to watch them rather then revise. I think it did me good though!

Thinking and writing about when I go and watch or film them brings me joy. It makes me realise that there is hope fighting for an animal that deserves to be here much more then any one of us.

I’ve felt pretty hopeless and down over the last week after the news, even though it was predictable. I think that’s the reason why it’s taken me almost a week to write this blog post, I just haven’t known what to write. But I wanted to write something. Even though the animals that I watch here in Staffordshire aren’t in cull zones, they’re just like those that are. They’re still the same species. Sadly though, they’re still targeted by persecution and man’s evil eye to entertain. A couple of years back there had been disruption at the sett I visit the most but fortunately all looks fine at the moment.

Even with my love for the countryside and badgers, it doesn’t make me naive and stupid. I’m fully aware that there is a problem with btb in cattle and that something needs to be done.

What makes this issue worse for everyone though is the fact that it’s this badger blame game. Wrong on every ground and it’s extremely corrupt, I really can’t understand what their game is. Well I can, we’ve got a Tory government and too many people who either don’t give a dam about what goes on in the countryside or have no idea and aren’t aware. Along with this, those that are the most ‘connected’ and have the most ‘power’ are those who are greedy. Another aspect is DEFRA (etc) have got to be seen to be doing something about btb, and badgers are the easy way out.

It’s like picking on the vulnerable or the poor, the badgers obviously have no voice. However they do have a lot friends and supporters from a whole range of backgrounds! Ones who will stop at nothing to protect them and give the badgers the justice they deserve, wanting to let them live in peace!

At the moment, seeing as the cull is going ahead in West Gloucestshire, Somerset and now Dorset, all energy is being aimed at getting out in and around the cull zones. This includes sett sitting, patrolling, sabbing, help at the camps and much more. These are the people that are saving lives now and they desperately need as much help as possible so if you can help in any way then please do.

You can find out more and get hold of contact details by clicking here.

I’d also like to give a plug for National Badger Day which is on the 6th of October.

Save our Badgers!

A few months back I heard about a Wildlife Festival and Badger March which would be taking place in the centre of Birmingham, as Birmingham isn’t far from where I live I was eager to attend.

We arrived in Birmingham just before 10am and made our way to Centenary Square which was about ten minutes from the train station. When we got there all the stalls were set up and the speakers for the day were getting ready. By about 11am it was in full swing and it was great to see so many people who cared so passionately about saving not only British wildlife but wildlife from around the World. All the talks were fantastic and they were very inspiring, I can’t pick a favorite one as they were all so good and about very important subjects, from animal therapy and depression to stopping the cull and wildlife crimes. There was even some singing involved!

At 1.30pm the Badger March began. I was quite close the front and as I looked back it was so brilliant to see so many people on the march. Everyone made a great effort as there was lots of fantastic costumes, signs, banners and hats too. It was also great to see some other young people joining in. The march went down into the very centre of Birmingham then back to Centenary Square, as they shouted ‘Save our Badgers, Stop the Cull!’.

Once the march was back to Centenary Square Dominic Dyer, CEO Badger Trust, gave a very impassioned talk followed by many more speakers until about 4.30 when the day of talks finished with Charlie Moores from Birders against Wildlife Crime.

On Saturday all the speakers, stalls and people that went along all expressed a very important message about how we need to protect and care for our wildlife and I was very proud to be a part of that.

Here are some of the photos from the day.

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Three reasons for dummies why the badger cull won’t work.

There are many different reasons why culling the badgers by shooting them or gassing them won’t control or stop the spread of bTB (Bovine Tuberculosis) in cattle. As a young wildlife enthusiast I thought I’d do a blog post explaining three different reasons why, in my opninion, culling badgers won’t work. I want the cull to be taken no further and badgers to stop being killed for no reason. I know there is a problem with bTB in cattle but killing badgers is far from stopping this. In my opinion, shared by many others and supported by scientific evidence, vaccinating badgers will work much better and be much better for badgers as a species. Very often I hear people saying that we are against the cull because it’s killing animals; the culls the only answer; it will help other species and many other reasons which are not correct. The people making these points obviously have no knowledge of the cull, badgers or the natural world whatsoever. Here is a list of some of the main reasons into why the cull won’t work

  1. The first and main reason why the cull will not work is because of something called the ‘perturbation effect’. Badgers live in social groups of around four to seven animals and have defined territorial boundaries. Culling the badgers will interrupt these social groups which increases the risk of disease.

“Culling disrupts the organisation of these social groups, increasing the risks of disease transmission”

Here is a diagram illustration how the perturbation effect doesn’t work and only makes the spread of bTB worse.

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2. The contact between cattle and badgers is actually very rare and the problem of bTB spreading isn’t just from badger to cattle but an infected cow passing it on to another. Cattle are more likely to get the disease then pass it onto other cattle. According to computer modeling studies, herd-to-herd transmission of bovine TB in cattle accounts for 94% of cases. Also scientific evidence from the randomized badger culling trials found around 6% of infected cattle catch TB directly from badgers.

3. Badgers aren’t the only species that carry the disease, here is a list of others:

Deer = 36% positive (including farmed, wild and park deer)

Cat = 25% positive

Dog = 27% positive

Pig = 19% positive

Alpaca = 56% positive

Sheep = 44% positive

Therefore to control it by culling animals we wouldn’t just have to kill badgers, but other UK species. However, we don’t know what individuals within a species carry the disease and we could be culling any animal which doesn’t carry bovine TB.

To help our badgers in the UK there are many different ways, for example you can donate money into the vaccination programs, support the different charities opposing the cull, sign petitions against it and much more!

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