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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...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr.

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...
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...
Wild beavers caught on film in the River Otter, Devon, by Tom Buckley. Photo via BBC News and Youtube.

Let England's wild beavers be!

Oliver Tickell

1st July 2014

A family of wild of beavers has established on an English river for the first time since Henry VIII. But now the Government has decided to trap them and consign them to captivity in a zoo or wildlife centre. Defenders of wilderness are now demanding: keep our wild beavers free! 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...
If Europe's farms, like this one near Ludlow, England, provide benefits to wildlife, it's no thanks to the EU's agriculture policies. Photo: Robert Davies via Flickr.

The 'greening' of Europe's farms is a shameful failure

Lynn Dicks & Tim Benton

17th June 2014

The EU's farming policy is being touted as 'greener than ever' - but it's no such thing, write Lynn Dicks & Tim Benton. The 'green reforms' pay farmers for actions (and often inactions) that do not benefit wildlife, and contain no real or effective measures to help. 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...

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Back after going missing for more than a century: the New Guinea big-eared bat. Photo: Julie Broken-Brow.

PNG: 'Lost' bat species rediscovered after 120 years in the wilderness

Luke Leung, Julie Broken-Brow & Catherine Hughes

15th June 2014

A 'microbat' that has remained unrecorded since 1890 has been discovered in Papua New Guinea. But with the country's forests under growing pressure from logging and for conversion to plantations, this and thousands of other biological treasures are at risk. 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...
Tiger skin being processed at Xia Feng. Photo: © EIA.

China's lethal wildlife trade loophole

Vicky Lee

21st May 2014

A little-known licensing scheme allows over 100 Chinese companies to trade in wildlife products like tiger skins, ivory, bear bile and musk deer glands. Vicky Lee shows how the system provides cover for the lucrative illegal wildlife trade to reach wealthy buyers. 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...
Contented cow at Three Cliffs Bay, Penmaen (near Swansea), South Wales. Photo: Mélanie via Flickr.com.

How Wales is defeating bovine TB without killing badgers

Jan Bayley

14th April 2014

Wales has an enviable record of declining BTB in cattle - without having to kill a single badger. Jan Bayley explains how Wales's combination of frequent testing and exacting biosecurity has succeeded - and how England can learn from Wales's experience. more...
Paterson should have listened! Badger Cull Protest outside Parliament, June 8, 2013. Photo: David Clare via Flickr.com.

Lies, damn lies, and Owen Paterson's badger cull

Lesley Docksey

10th April 2014

Paterson's speech to Parliament on the continuation of the badger cull was not so much a masterpiece of deception, writes Lesley Docksey, as a crude botch-up of errors, wrong statistics and a failure to understand the very real problem of TB in cattle. more...
Dominic Dyer addressing a public meeting against the badger cull in Exeter. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Dominic Dyer, badger champion

Lesley Docksey

9th April 2014

Anyone working to protect badgers from culling will know of Dominic Dyer - wildlife advocate and new director of the Badger Trust. Lesley Docksey met him 'on the hoof' at a recent march - and found out just why the badger campaign is so important to him. more...
Badger sniffing daisies. Photo: Sally Longstaff via Flickr.com.

Paterson's plans for a national badger cull bite the dust

Dominic Dyer

4th April 2014

Owen Paterson's bold plans for a national badger cull rollout are now in tatters, writes Dominic Dyer, as he stands condemned by both sides in the debate. Wales shows the real way forward, with biosecurity, cattle movement control, TB testing and vaccination. more...
Owen Paterson. Photo: Jamie Grey via Flickr.com.

Badger cull will resume - but no new areas

Owen Paterson

3rd April 2014

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told Parliament today that the badger cull will continue - and with no independent scientific oversight. However it will not move to new areas. Here we reproduce his full statement to the House of Commons. more...

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