The culls were supposed to be rolled out in 2013, indeed in 2012 Owen Paterson the then boss of the culls wanted the cull to roll out to 12 zones in 2013 and then to 2014, what he didnt factor was the tenacity and determination of thousands of people to stop the culls and after 2013s spectacular failure to reach the targets of 5,000 badgers across two cull zones the roll out was called off. The licences for Gloucestershire and Somerset are still valid though and in 2013 the Dorset cull zone was marked down as a reserve area and the required public consultation took place. Dorset has now been given the go ahead.
The licence went to two cull companies to free shoot badgers for a 6 week continuous period between June 1st and 31st of January and cage trap badgers between 1st of June and 30th of November. Badgers very rarely come out of their setts through the winter, this semi hibernation starts usually after a hard frost around the third week in November and we would expect the cull to be finished by then IF it goes ahead, so we expect a start date before the middle of October.
Please help us to stop this cull from becoming a national wildlife disaster and an international embarrassment.
To keep right up to the minute with the campaign please visit this facebook page:
We are all about direct action specifically we are looking to disrupt the cull by lawful means using Non-Violent Direct Action.
Our intention is to patrol the cull zones and using Cree LED torches and noise disrupt the illegal shooting of badgers, We will assume that all shooting is illegal until we have been notified by a government body that a farm is licensed. When we have been notified of which specific farms within the zone are legal we will monitor the cull & using Cree LED torches and noise notify marksmen of our presence, not to disrupt the shooting but to make sure everyone is safe. Please read our legal guide to understand the laws and stay within them.
If you would like to come out and patrol the zones, in Gloucestershire click this link and in Somerset this one and in Dorset this one, please also look for your local hunt sab group, if you are unable to come out please consider finding your local group anyway and support them, the hunt saboteurs association has been saving wildlife for 50 years this year.
The licence has a major clause which can stop the cull before it starts:
7. Natural England must be informed immediately, in writing, about any land that is withdrawn or which otherwise ceases to be eligible to participate in licensed operations. No operations authorised by this licence may commence unless at least 70% of land in the Control Area, as defined in Annex A, is accessible for action to be taken under this licence.
It is our understanding from well placed sources that Gloucestershire is only just above the 70% mark of land ownership needed to keep the licence valid. The government are so nervous of our success that they are currently trying to licence a third zone in N.Dorset as a backup. They are well aware that every day we increase in number and they know we can
STOP THE CULL
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“Through Operation Meles, police,
animal protection and welfare charities have joined together to present a united front in the fight against badger persecution. But there is a further dimension to animal crime: the perpetrators are frequently found to be involved in other kinds of serious criminality,
sometimes on an international scale.
“But in the end we need public vigilance to ensure that all incidents are reported to the
police so that, despite stretched resources, they can be investigated, offenders prosecuted
and the informants told of the result”