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A good day in the countyside? Seven brace of pheasant. Photo: Mark Seton via Flickr.

In Defence of Life - standing up against the lust for culling wildlife

Lesley Docksey

14th Septmber 2014

British officialdom and those they serve are obsessed with the killing of wildlife, writes Lesley Docksey. It seems that whatever the 'problem', from bovine TB to the serendipitous arrival of beavers in Devon, the reflex is the same - to kill wild animals. But increasingly, the British people aren't having it. And our fightback is making waves .... more...
Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA.

Badger cull fail - government throws science on the scrapheap

Rosie Woodroffe

9th September 2014

England's 2014 trial badger cull starts today - with no independent oversight, and no gathering of essential scientific data. The government's 'science-led' policy consists of asking scientists for help, writes Rosie Woodroffe - then completely ignore everything they said, and order them off the premises. more...
Badger seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr.

Labour will tackle bovine TB - without the mass killing of badgers

Huw Irranca-Davies

18th September 2014

Speaking in Stroud this week, Huw Irrancas-Davies MP delivered a withering attack on the Government's badger cull policy - and firmly committed a future Labour government to ending the badger cull, using measures to control bovine TB that are safe, effective, and humane. more...
The bloodied corpse of badger 200, whisked away before it could be retrieved by cullers and subjected to a post-mortem that showed it had been shot in the wrong place and suffered a slow and painful death.

Defying reality - Natural England authorises 'unlawful' cull

Lesley Docksey

27th August 2014

A High Court judgment on the lawfulness of the 2014 badger cull is awaited. A criminal investigation is under way on the dangerous and illegal behaviour of culling contractors. Obviously, writes Lesley Docksey, it's the perfect time for Natural England to authorise another round of culling. more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

NFU and cull companies out of police control rooms

The Ecologist

18th August 2014

Avon & Somerset police say that National Farmers Union and cull company representatives will be excluded from the control room in the 2014 cull. Their presence in control rooms in the 2013 cull caused a major loss of public confidence in the policing operation. more...
At least this badger at the British Wildlife Centre is safe from culling. Photo: Helen Haden via Flickr.

Whistle-blowing monitor reveals: how not to run a badger cull

Lesley Docksey

14th August 2014

New revelations show that the rifle-wielding badger cullers were often acting criminally, writes Lesley Docksey - pursuing badgers with loaded weapons on both private and public land outside licenced areas, with impunity, while the IEP was apparently kept in the dark. Strict controls are essential - or just an end to the cull. more...
Photo: Jared Rodriguez / truthout.org via Flickr.

Can 'Public Interest' protect Britain's wildlife?

Lesley Docksey

8th August 2014

Last week the Upper Tribunal of the Royal Courts of Justice ordered Defra to release key information about the badger cull based on a 'public interest' argument, writes Lesley Docksey. Could this judgment open a new era of transparent and accountable government? more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust wins 'right to know' about badger cull development

The Ecologist

1st August 2014

The Government must release key documents about its secret development of England's badger cull with the National Farmers Union. The Upper Tribunal ruled that the public interest would be served by a full disclosure. more...
A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! more...
Front cover of Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham.

The beguiling magic of badgers at dusk

Lesley Docksey

25th July 2014

To live sustainably we must learn to live with wildlife, Patrick Barkham argues in his book Badgerlands. To do this we have much to learn from our ancestors - but we must also discard their barbaric practices and outrageous myths that, even today, some are so keen to perpetuate. more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust's High Court cull challenge

The Ecologist

21st July 2014

The Badger Trust will challenge the trial badger culls in the High Court next month, claiming that Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Natural England are acting unlawfully in failing to appoint an expert panel to oversee the experiment. more...
Liz Truss threatens a badger with a garden fork at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/

Truss - the badgers must die!

The Ecologist

17th July 2014

The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss flunked her first 'Green test' today as she told Parliament that the badger cull goes on. We run this excerpt from the Parliamentary record in which she states 'We are progressing with our programme!' more...

badgers: 1/25 of 44
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Owen Paterson MP with Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn. The 'Mad Dog' sign refers to a brand of lemonade. Photo: UKTI via Flickr.

Owen Paterson sacked: the end of 'badger bashing'?

Lesley Docksey

15th July 2014

Owen Paterson's departure from Government could see the end of the hated badger culls and a wider return to environmental sanity, writes Lesley Docksey. Given his disbelief in climate change and his arrogant disregard of science, it's not a moment too soon! more...
MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/.

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...
Model's prediction vs recorded data of (a) reactor (infected) cattle, shaded region shows 95% credibility from 5,000 simulations, and (b) distribution density of infected cattle. Image: Brooks-Pollock, Roberts, Keeling / Nature.

Culling badgers is no way to stop the spread of bovine TB

Matt Keeling

3rd July 2014

Published in Nature today, a new cattle herd model shows how bTB infects cattle and how to halt its spread, writes Matt Keeling. Most effective is the slaughter of entire herds with even a single TB infection detected. Culling badgers has very little impact. more...
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson faces a High Court appearance when his 'irrational' decision to hold the 2014 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny is subjected to Judicial Review.

Badger cull High Court challenge goes ahead

The Ecologist

2nd July 2014

The Badger Trust has been granted leave for a Judicial Review of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Natural England over their 'irrational' decision to conduct the 2013 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny. more...
These cows on the Kerry Ridgeway in Wales are subject to annual TB testing - key to halving TB incidence over 5 years. Photo: John Clift via Flickr.

Bovine TB - biosecurity works, new Defra figures show

Lesley Docksey

18th June 2014

With the 6th International Conference on Bovine TB under way today in Cardiff, Lesley Docksey reports on Defra's latest statistics. BTB in England is falling - and it's falling fastest where the strongest biosecurity measures are in place, confirming the experience of Wales and Scotland. more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

HSI calls on farmers - 'go badger-friendly' to control bovine TB

Lesley Docksey

10th June 2014

Following new research showing that even culling a single badger from a family can cause a 'perturbation' that spreads TB, a new call has gone out on farmers to give up on culling, and 'go badger friendly' to control the disease. more...
The bloodied corpse of badger 200, whisked away before it could be retrieved by cullers and subjected to a post-mortem that showed it had been shot in the wrong place and suffered a slow and painful death.

A night in the life of a badger sett monitor - Chris Tasker's story

Lesley Docksey

5th June 2014

NFU running police control rooms. Violent 'bounty-hunting' badger shooters in the woods at dead of night, none too bothered about the finer points of law. Confused, ill-informed police bearing prejudice against 'protestors' ... It's all a recipe for a big mess, writes Lesley Docksey. more...
A badger struggles to avoid drowning in the flooded river Saale, 2011. Photo: Margrit via Flickr.com.

Cull could put flood-struck badgers 'at risk of local extinction'

The Ecologist

2nd June 2014

Following last winter's severe flooding in SW England, the Government has refused to assess how badly badgers suffered - even though local populations could have crashed. If the cull goes ahead, badgers could be wiped out of some areas altogether. more...
English Badger, British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr.com.

Badger culls - who is standing up for public safety?

Lesley Docksey

14th May 2014

Senior Gloucestershire police were questioned this week about the policing of the 2013 pilot cull, writes Lesley Docksey. But the Police Commissioner never asked about the most serious problems - police bias and ignorance of the law, and culler criminality. more...
Badger sniffing daisies. Photo: Sally Longstaff via Flickr.com.

Badger cull - police face public grilling from Commissioner

The Ecologist

9th May 2014

Days after our exposé of a policing disaster at England's 2013 badger culls, the Police Commissioner for Gloucestershire is to question the county's most senior police officers. The event will be video-streamed online. more...
Unscrupulous cull contractors were adding badger roadkill to their bags. But it gets a lot worse than that.  Photo: Victoria Chan via Flickr.com.

Police, Guns, Action - how safe were the pilot badger culls?

Lesley Docksey

7th May 2014

In its report on last year's pilot badger culls, the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) judged that the culls failed the criteria for effectiveness and humaneness, but satisfied those for safety, writes Lesley Docksey. The facts say otherwise. more...
English badgers out in the early evening. Photo: Hugh Warwick / urchin.info.

Britain's vets - it's time to oppose the badger cull!

Lesley Docksey

28th April 2014

You would think vets would take animal welfare seriously, writes Lesley Docksey. So why does the British Veterinary Association (BVA) support England's badger cull - when all the science is telling them it's both cruel, and ineffective against Bovine TB? more...
Hedgehog. Photo: Hugh Warwick.

Should we cull our badgers to save our hedgehogs?

Hugh Warwick

24th April 2014

New scientific research shows that culling badgers can increase local hedgehog numbers. As UK hedgehog populations continue to decline, Hugh Warwick asks - are badgers to blame? Or does the real problem lie elsewhere? more...

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