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Ireland: Badgers, wildlife crime, and a dangerous legal precedent

Rehabbed badger by Ruari O Leochain

(This post has been written in collaboration with Ruairí Ó Leocháin of ‘Stand with Badgers’. Please note Ruari’s ask at the bottom of the page.) Speaking on wildlife crime in the Irish Examiner last December, veteran environmentalist and Green Party Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan said “We are seeing […]

Badger Cull U-Turn: “Sunak now wants all the badgers dead”

badger

Sunak now wants all the badgers dead and this looks like a last chance grab at getting widespread culling back in place so it is difficult for Labour to scrap it as promised, in favour of the urgent cattle testing policy revisions that Defra have suppressed with their BTB partnership cabal which was recently exposed on the Badger Crowd website.”

Equipment Fund #10: Monitoring badger setts in Derbyshire

One of the UK’s most charismatic mammals, badgers are also one of the country’s most persecuted. Since the government began an ‘experiment’ in badger annihilation on behalf of the dairy industry (tearing up the  Protection of Badgers Act 1992), hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered (see ‘The biggest wildlife genocide of our time is happening […]

Protecting the Wild Eqipment Fund #6: Derbyshire Against The Cull

We set up the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund earlier in the summer this year to help put ‘eyes in the field‘, empowering people to protect British wildlife. We set the fund up because we know that many people who monitor are largely unfunded volunteers and often have no umbrella organisation to support them. That […]

Equipment Fund #4: Kirklees Badger Protection Group

One of the UK’s most charismatic mammals, badgers are instantly recognisable. While most people love them, badgers are also one of the country’s most persecuted animals. Despite being made illegal in 1835 badger baiting still takes place across the UK. Fox hunts illegally block badger setts to stop foxes hiding underground. And of course since […]

The biggest wildlife genocide of our time is happening right now

Badger

It’s the start of September, which means that badgers are being mass-murdered as you read this. If you’re scrolling through this article just as the sun has gone down, badgers will be coming out of their setts in the countryside near you right now. At the same time, government-sanctioned shooters will be lined up, ready […]

Oxfordshire: ‘Sad Badger’ protests government cull strategy

‘Sad Badger’, an activist from the Oxford Badger Coalition, sat under the Buttercross in Witney’s Market Square on the 17th of July to protest the government’s badger cull with placards saying ‘I am sad’ and ‘Oxfordshire’s badger shame’. The flawed and highly contested ‘badger cull’ is run by the Department for Environment Food and Rural […]

Damning new report slates government’s future plans to annihilate badgers

The government has said that it will end the badger cull as we know it by 2026. But it will replace intensive four-year culling with a plan to murder 100% of badgers in specific areas of England. Now a new report – authored by independent researchers, veterinarians, and epidemiologists – argues that these continued plans […]

Northern Ireland: men responsible for fate of badgers have vested interest in cull

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) is inching closer to culling badgers after it asked companies to submit “expressions of interests to deliver the culling element” of its bovine TB (bTB) strategy. The deadline for applications is today (21 April 2023). The government department said that it will introduce culls in […]

The government murdered 33,627 badgers in 2022. It tested zero for bovine TB

badger

The government, influenced by its farming lobby friends, continues to scapegoat badgers for the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). Yet it didn’t test one of the 33,627 badgers culled in 2022 for the disease. Natural England, which works on behalf of Defra, recently published its figures of the number of badgers murdered in the 2022 […]

Government sanctions killing of 7,500 badgers in Avon since 2019

Badger

England’s badger population is being annihilated, and one of the worst-hit areas is Avon, in the southwest. 1,521 badgers were murdered in the region throughout September and October 2022 during the government’s annual cull. Avon has two ‘cull zones’ which Natural England issues licences for. One zone was in its fourth and final year of […]

Natural England has been covertly expanding badger cull areas

dead badgers at grafton pet crematorium

The government’s annual badger cull, which began in 2013, has always been shrouded in secrecy. And now Freedom of Information (FOI) responses reveal the extent of Natural England’s underhanded tactics as it murders our beloved species. Environmental journalist Tracy Keeling accessed the FOI requests, and reported her findings in the Canary. She found that since […]

A visit to Secret World Wildlife Rescue

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful But the welcome is so delightful…” With apologies to Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, but as Storm Mathis threatened to drown the Somerset Levels and blow me into the mud-brown swollen dykes along the sides of the road (mental note to self, the M5 isn’t so pretty a route […]

As Defra ends vaccination scheme, the fate of badgers is bleak

Badger

As the government’s badger bovine tuberculosis (bTB) vaccination scheme comes to an end, campaigners have accused Defra of pulling the rug from under them. The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BAVS) was due to run from 2019 to 2023. The government provided some funding towards private projects to vaccinate badgers in the so-called ‘Edge Area’ – […]

Snared badger disappears leaving only pool of blood

Badger foraging in grass. Badgers are regularly targetted and caught by snares.

Essex Police are investigating after blood was found by a snare. A member of the public reported finding a badger trapped in the device. But by the time police arrived, the creature had gone. As local paper the Daily Gazette reported, the incident occurred on 25 February and involved a dog-walker finding a badger struggling […]

Stark images of a snared badger highlight the need to ban snares now

Badger caught in a snare lays on a wet's table

A badger was found caught in a snare on the outskirts of a town in Northamptonshire. And images of the creature reveal just how cruel the devices are. On 3 February, Northamptonshire Badger Group said on Facebook that it had spent five hours searching for an injured badger “through fields, brambles and thick hedges”. The […]

Badger baiting: yet another arrest made

badger

It’s thought that more than 10,000 badgers are murdered by baiters every year in the UK. And on 25 January yet another man was arrested on suspicion of badger baiting in North Yorkshire. Yorkshire Live reported that the man, in his twenties, was found with three injured dogs. The news website reported: “Police found a […]

Badgers face daily persecution recently blocked setts show

Badger

Police in two counties are appealing for information following the discovery of blocked badger setts. And it’s a reminder that one of Britain’s most iconic mammals continues facing daily persecution. On 23rd January, news reports came out of blocked badger setts found in both Lincolnshire and Worcestershire. LincolnshireLive said that police had launched a public […]

A badger rescue story shows why snares must be outlawed immediately

Woman puts badger into cage after rescuing the badger from a snare.

A young badger was trapped for days and left struggling to escape from an illegal snare in Scotland. Images show a worker from a local animal hospice rescuing the creature. And now the woman that rescued her wants an end to the practice of snaring altogether. Scottish paper the Daily Record reported on 5 January […]

Two brothers were jailed after using a spade to ‘bludgeon’ a badger

Badger in woodland

A magistrate has handed two brothers jail terms for badger baiting. Both denied their criminal activities even as they were convicted. But details of the incident revealed a scene of abject horror. The trial, brought by the RSPCA, was originally held on 16 November. Evidence presented that day revealed that brothers Dale and Michael Rickerby […]

Baiters in Norfolk are torturing badgers to gain social media status

Masked-up groups in Norfolk are setting their dogs on badgers to kill them, according to local news website Norwich Evening News. The website reported that the gangs are often livestreaming their kills so that viewers can bet on the outcome of the fights between the badgers and the dogs. Norwich Evening News said: “Kevin Murphy, […]

Hero left for dead by badger baiters receives award

A heroic former sab violently attacked by badger baiters last year has received an award for his work to protect badgers and other wildlife. Daniel, who at the time was colloquially known as ‘Puffer’, was knocked unconscious by a group of five badger baiters in Darcy Lever in April last year. He discovered the men […]

Investigators expose reality of the badger cull

In their own words: investigators expose the reality of the badger cull In October 2022, badger cull investigators sent Protect the Wild video and photographs taken using hidden and handheld cameras at what is described by its owner – Mick Wills, a former huntmaster of the Grafton Hunt – as a pet crematorium. The undercover […]

Charities warn badger cull could lead to local extinctions

Charities fear badger cull could lead to local extinction. Charities have warned that going ahead with the badger cull again this year could place badgers at risk of “local extinction” in parts of England and have called for a suspension of the programme.   The Badger Trust is leading a call to immediately suspend the […]

Speaking up for badgers at the Court of Appeal

speaking up for badgers outside court of appeal

Speaking up for badgers at the Court of Appeal On July 21st I posted a podcast (Badger Culls, Biodiversity, Birds, and the High Court) with ecologists Tom Langton and Dominic Woodfield which looked at the background to a challenge they were taking to the Court of Appeal on July 26th (yesterday). The conversation was complex […]