Today should be an opportunity to celebrate badgers, which are beautiful creatures, synonymous with the British Countryside. However, thanks to the government’s irrational decision to continue and extend the culls this year, National Badger Day is a time of great sadness for animal lovers everywhere.
The public was informed that culls were “under way” on Wednesday 2nd September. It was a jaw-dropping decision, which flies in the face of science, and indeed many top scientists have spoken out against the government’s decision. Our friends running the Wounded Badger Patrols in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire say they can’t know for sure exactly when the culling commenced, and one can assume that the government wanted to keep the public in the dark. Even if shooting didn’t start until 2nd September, it is likely there were preparatory activities going on like pre-baiting and possible trap deployment before that date.
The irrational 2015 Badger Cull is expected to end on Wednesday 14th October, with the final patrols taking place through the night a week today, on Tuesday 13th. For the last five weeks, teams of dedicated patrollers in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire have gone out come rain or shine, and walked all through the night in a bid to protect our badgers. Many of them get just a few hours sleep before getting up for their day jobs, going to work, and then heading back out on patrols again. During NFA’s time on the Wounded Badger Patrols, we met people who had driven hours to take part, and even met people who were unable to walk at all but still turned up so that they could protect badger setts whilst sitting in a car overnight. There were also those who were unable to patrol during the night, so helped out by going out in the daytime. The dedication of all these people has undoubtably saved the lives of many badgers.
There is now just one week to go. If you care deeply about our badgers, and are upset and outraged by what the government is doing, then why not decide today, on National Badger Day, to join your nearest Wounded Badger Patrol? Your presence will make all the difference, and will most certainly lift the spirits of those who have been patrolling since the start. Once the cull is over, you can know you played an active role in protecting badgers from harm.
If you are unable to join your nearest Wounded Badger Patrol, please consider donating to help save our badgers.