The cruel and misguided extermination of wildlife continues in the UK this week, as the government has recommenced its horrific programme of badger culling – or killing, to call a spade a spade – in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
As a member of Team Badger, we are one of 25 different organisations with a total of 2 million supporters who are calling for the second year of badger culling in Somerset and Gloucestershire to be stopped.
Dr Brian May, one of the most outspoken opponents of the widely condemned cull, summarised the shocking situation:
It’s almost beyond belief that the Government is blundering ahead with a second year of inept and barbaric badger killing. TB in cattle in England is currently at [its] lowest level in 10 years, the drop being predictably the result of improved husbandry in cattle. So this is a most inappropriate moment for Cameron to be wasting tax payers’ money persecuting our wildlife against the advice of every independent scientist in the field; even the Government’s own expert panel has branded the cull as ineffective and inhumane.
Current revelations from a whistle blower damn the process even more – making it clear that the numbers the present shooters are working towards are completely unreliable. This cull is a failure and a disgrace – no more than the fulfilment of a dirty promise – which will rebound on this Government at election time.
Last year, government sharpshooters killed 921 badgers in Gloucestershire and 940 in Somerset, and this year, many more animals will likely die, despite a wealth of scientific evidence suggesting that this slaughter will probably do little to halt bovine TB, and the government’s own report concluding that the culls were “not effective and that they failed to meet the humaneness criteria”.
Badgers are shy, sensitive animals who have been living in Britain for hundreds of thousands of years. During last year’s cull, hundreds of them died, frightened and in pain. As many as 18 per cent of them took over five minutes to die, suffering for every agonising second.
It’s the meat and dairy industries that are behind the inhumane badger cull, putting pressure on the government to make wildlife the scapegoat for some of the consequences of intensive cattle-rearing practices. One way to help badgers – and cows, too – is to stop supporting industries that hurt and kill animals by switching to a vegan diet. Get more information by ordering a free vegan starter kit. And for more details about the campaign against the badger cull and how to get involved, visit the Team Badger website for updates.