badger cull music video has cullers losing their minds.

large 53MB version, suitable for broadband:

removed from Vimeo after multiple complaints from pro-cull moaners, we’re happy to now be able to broadcast the video from our own site. Enjoy.

small 14MB version, suitable for phones & slow internet:

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InfraRed drone to be used to spot shooters

In the first year of the cull we learnt that shooters use infrared (IR) lamps and torches, they use them in conjunction with night vision IR scopes so that they can spot and shoot badgers from greater distances. These infrared lamps quickly gave their locations away and they tended to use them less and less if they knew we were about.

Primarily we have always used night vision equipment to locate them, we have quite a few Gen 2+ and even Gen 3, a current fund raiser for some Gen 3 is here.

However there is quite a technologically primitive way of seeing IR light at night and that is to take off the UV filter from any digital camera, the range you get depends on the quality of the camera and how near the light source is and of course shooters are often in nearby fields, so hedges are an obstacle.

So with the price of drones dropping drastically, we thought it was time to invest in one, the DJI Phantom 3 (standard) was around £1,000 this time last year, now if you shop about you can get one for under £400

This is one of those particular drones with the UV filter taken off, remember it is nothing special, just an ordinary camera without a filter, without that filter it can spot shooters IR lamps, if they don’t have lamps on then this drone won’t be able to see them.

 

If you’d like to help us get up into the night sky and spot shooters, then please donate on this Ko-fi link. Thank you

Somerset & Glos badger culls are unlicenced & illegal.

Information on the seven new areas and authorisation letters for all ten areas can be found on this link.

Whilst you will find the licences for the seven new areas on that gov website link, what you won’t see is the licences for W.Gloucestershire or W.Somerset, both were granted in 2012
Gloucestershires was granted on 17th September 2012 and was valid until 30th November 2015:

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W.Somerset licence was issued the following month on 4th October 2012 with the same end date of 30th November 2015

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Of course Natural England can extend the licence for an extra period of time to cover this year, but they have issued no such extension.
We must assume until Natural England issue an extension or a new licence that all culling is unlawful, if you find a cage set to trap anywhere in the county of Gloucestershire or Somerset you must assume it is set to illegally trap badgers. Consider taking it into the police station and reporting the land owner. Better still, just trash it. The same goes for shooters, consider locking any gates with a shooter in the field and reporting immediately to the police. Unlawful badger culling is a serious criminal offence.

Vaccination cages to be used this year in badger cull.

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It’s becoming clear that this years badger cull that aims to kill 9,841 badgers isn’t going to be easy for the cull companies. For them to hit their targets they need to work unhindered and very quickly, with a huge amount of cages. Based on the number of cages put down to kill each badger being 15 set (which is the lowest figure they’ve managed so far) and assuming they try to kill 6000 with traps, then they would need to set 90,000 traps.

With the cull operating for six weeks then they’d need to have 2,142 traps down on the ground every day. To have that number down you need to have some being transported and some in reserve, easily bringing the number up to close to 3,000 traps actually needed.

So do they have 3,000 traps? well Defra revealed last year that even though the badger cull killing is supposed to be paid for by farmers, they had lent the cull companies an unknown amount saying:
“We did not keep a record of which of the recently purchased cage traps were loaned for use in the culls.”

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that this July, Defra requested that all cages given to groups vaccinating badgers were returned to them. No doubt those cages are now on the ground and set to kill.

Even with thousands of traps put out, the low ratio that is needed to kill badgers can easily be ramped up by activists. Every trap that is taken out this week not only lowers the overall number killed, but makes it harder for that particular sett to be targeted. In Somerset and Glos we have seen ratio’s as high as 49 traps needed to be set to kill one badger. If that was replicated it would require 294,000 traps to be set, a staggering 7,000 traps laid out across the zones each day.

Stopping the cullers from reaching their targets this year is feasible, it requires maximum numbers of people checking setts and runs for traps in the first couple of weeks.
check badgeractionnetwork.org.uk

 

can they kill 9,841 badgers this year?

licences for the ten zones here

So far over a total period of 52 weeks of combined culling in three areas over three years nearly 4,000 badgers have been killed. So is it actually possible for nearly ten thousand to be killed in the ten zones this year?

Each zone now can kill for more than 6 weeks, but not much killing is likely to happen in November as badgers come out far less frequently. So at most there is 10 weeks in which to kill these ten thousand badgers, no doubt the areas that have had culls in previous years will manage to reach their very low targets this year:
the minimum number of badgers to be removed in Area 1- Gloucestershire in 2016 is 228.
The minimum number of badgers to be removed in Area 2-Somerset is 75.
The minimum number of badgers to be removed in Area 3-Dorset is 390.

 

The roll out targets can be found on p16 of this link
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After 2013 it became obvious to everyone that free shooting isn’t an effective method of killing, the idea was that only 10% of badgers would be killed in traps where shooting was difficult. All the data from previous years shows that roughly half of killing is done with traps, last year more than half was done with traps in the first year of killing in Dorset.

On average cullers in Dorset were setting 158 traps every day during the cull last year, so if that is replicated across all the areas to achieve about 60% killed with traps. Around 2000 traps need to be set every day. Some traps go missing and a number are always being transported from sett to sett and there is usually a reservoir of traps kept, so in total we’d expect this years cull to be relying on about 3,000 cage traps.

Our intelligence tells us that they don’t have that many traps, which means that they have to share traps within zones and with neighbouring zones. This means that more than ever, the destruction of cage traps is going to have a massive impact on this years cull, every single trap that is taken out in the first week could be stopping many many more badgers being killed in the ongoing weeks.

Traps are being found now in zones as they are put down before culls start to get badgers used to them, play your part. Find the traps.

for advice on how to help: http://badgeractionnetwork.org.uk/

Save lives now BEFORE the cull

Every year before the cull starts the cull companies put down many many traps, they are wired open so that they can’t catch any badgers. The reason they do this is because badgers are shy creatures and anything new in their environment they treat with suspicion.

Many of us are now wondering, with a roll out to 6 new areas, how we can be as effective as we were in the past, to stop culls from reaching the minimum targets, If we are to learn from previous years, having a look at data is quite important. This spreadsheet may help:

akilllist

 

One of the really important figures to try and understand for the roll out areas is “traps set”, in 2014 there were 5,359 set in Glos and 7,598 set in Somerset although some won’t be in use every day and of course some go missing, if we divide those number by 42 which is the number of days of culling we can see there were approximately 131 traps set every day in Gloucestershire and 180 set every day in Somerset.

A total of 311 traps in use in total every day across both zones in 2014.

If we then look at 2015 when there was a roll out:
Dorset had 6,661 traps set, which is 158 traps set per day
Somerset had 3,667 traps set which is 87 traps set per day
Glos had 3,143 traps set which is 74 traps set per day

A total of 319 traps were in use across three zones in 2015.

These numbers are averages, so there could be more or less in each zone on one given day, obviously a number of traps will be getting transported each day and so not in use and many will need replacing due to anti cull activists destroying them, so Dorset for example may have 200 traps a day to begin with and less as culling went on.

We know from intelligence that cull companies in the roll out zones have put a lot of resources and time into training farmers to do the cage trap culling, one area is aiming at 70% of killing to be with traps another is aiming for 80%

Something we need to be very aware of is that in Dorset last year more than half of the badgers trapped and killed happened in the first week, the figures are on this link.

For the cull companies to replicate what they did in Dorset last year is now very difficult due to them not having a thousand extra traps, even if they did have one thousand extra traps, it’s still roughly only 150 in each zone.

If we get out into the fields this week and start looking for them and neutralising them, it is very possible that we could stop them reaching their targets, we must also when culling starts put maximum effort in roll out areas into working during the day, especially if an area still needs sett surveying.

By thinking AND acting strategically in the roll out areas, we really can make a big difference this year. If you need help to find your local group or area contact: http://badgeractionnetwork.org.uk/

If you find traps but aren’t able to deal with them yourself, please contact someone as soon as possible from a local group.

 

To buy the writer a cup of coffee, click the link below, thank you

Badger culls to start next week

Culling in  Gloucestershire is expected to start next week on the 1st of September and a week later in North Cotswolds on the 8th of September.

Culling has in previous years started between 27th August and 8th of September.

Our advice currently for booking time off work for the remaining 7 zones is to book it from Monday the 5th of September, Its vital that we get maximum numbers of people into cull zones for the first week, So please do aim to start coming into roll out zones for Friday September 2nd.

Wether you can walk 20 miles a night or sit in a car sipping coffee, everyone can make a difference and be effective in stopping the killing of badgers, contact http://badgeractionnetwork.org.uk/ for details of your nearest zone and how you can help.

Redmarley badger baiters caught red handed

 

In the run up to badger culls, it’s important especially in the week before to keep an eye on badger setts to see if they are being pre-baited in preparation for the cull. Last weekend two anti-cull activists were doing exactly that when they came across a gang of badger baiters.

 

The long handled shovels they’d been using to dig deep holes into the sett were quickly thrown to the floor, before the four men, described as having local accents, picked up the terriers that they had planned to use and ran off into the surrounding maize field.

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Police were immediately called and a police helicopter was on the scene within minutes, quickly followed by a number of officers on foot, which included sniffer dogs in an attempt to track down the wildlife criminals.

 

One of the men had been seen and overheard using a mobile phone and with the use of the tracking dogs it became apparent that the men had fled to a nearby layby and been picked up, the police dogs carried on searching and soon came across a pair of men in a nearby field who were armed with guns.

 

These two shooters are thought not to be linked to the badger baiters as they did have legitimate permissions from the farmer a Mr. Malcolm Stallard. It wasn’t long before Mr.Stallard turned up, his response to being told that there had been badger baiters attacking a sett on his land was perphaps predictable, he accused the activists of digging the hole.

 

The police don’t appear to be holding the same view as the farmer and a full scale criminal investigation is now underway, with evidence left at the scene and the baiters using a mobile phone at the location, we hope it shouldn’t be long until arrests are made.

footage from the sett, taken last year
Jay Tiernan spokesperson for the campaign group “Stop the Cull” said:

 

Time and again we find incidents of badger persecution inside the badger cull zones; snaring, blocked setts, badger baiting, poisoning, shootings have all been found and reported to the police over the last three years.

We call on the National Farmers Union and specifically all the badger cull organisers to make a public statement condemning illegal badger persecution, if they do not, we must assume that they are complicit in these crimes and should be treated accordingly.

 

 

West Dorset cull relies on Lady Townshend

Back in May 2013, we exposed the hypocrisy of Charlotte Townshend being joint master of the cattistock hunt, whilst also being patron of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. That hypocrisy caused an outcry and she had to leave the Trust.

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Charlotte is still the joint master of the Cattistock hunt, a hunt that frequently attacks hunt saboteurs. She is also one of the richest women in the UK and owns an incredible 15,000 acres. The planned roll out for a west Dorset badger cull zone, could not happen without her permission.

Extensive walks and research into her property have shown that one of her favourite hobbies is killing, right next to her home she breeds deer, then at some point each year, she invites her friends round and shoots them (the deer not her friends). The deer are kept in by a wire fence that has quite a small gauge wire, it’s so thin that the smallest of bolt cutters could make short work of them.

 

Here is a map of her house, a pin with her postcode is dropped on it, as you can see, there are a lot of footpaths, what we’ve also found out is that Charlotte really doesn’t like people coming onto the estate and wondering around, so please do make sure you have a map with you when you visit her as she find trespassers a little bit distressing.

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It also seems that Charlotte really doesn’t like people ringing her up or texting her, a webpage that had her number on was quickly removed and she managed to get the cache of the page cleared up as well, which must have cost her or the webhosts quite a lot of money. Not to worry, we kept a copy and we’d like as many people as possible to ring and text and ask her nicely not to kill badgers.

If she did change her mind, there would be no killing in West Dorset, so Charlotte will be an ongoing priority for some time.
Her mobile: 07771 507263
charlotte-townshend

 

to buy the writer a coffee, click below, thank you.

Pre-baiting found in N.Dorset

J.D Parsons
Gourds Farm, Compton Abbas,
Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 0ND
tel: 01747 811423
email: stephenparsons111@btinternet.com

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Involved in the cull last year and keen to try and kill as many badgers as possible this year, the Parsons family at Gourd Farm have already started to put down peanuts to try and get badgers used to them, so that in a couple of weeks time they can encourage family groups to come out to the piles of peanuts and then blast them to death with high powered rifles.

They have been suffering with a bTB breakdown on their farm since Feb 12th this year, you’d have thought they would have learnt after last years cull that killing badgers doesn’t help. Some people never learn…

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