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VICTORY! Wild Justice proves that trigger-happy Tories acted unlawfully

Campaign group Wild Justice has announced the fantastic news that it has won a legal challenge against the government. The group took action after it found out that Defra had approved gamebird licences that Wild Justice knew were unlawful. Land owners who want to release pheasants and partridges near a Special Protected Area (SPA) must […]

Government set to announce ALL badgers can be culled in specific areas

Badger

The government is likely to make an announcement that it is to cull 100% of badgers in specific areas of England from 2026. Back in early 2023, we wrote about Defra’s plan, but it was yet to be officially announced. Now the Independent has stated that the news is likely to become official within the […]

122 Hen Harriers confirmed ‘missing’ or illegally killed in UK since 2018

Hen Harrier and chick

Using data from the RSPB and Natural England, the UK’s leading website on the illegal persecution of birds of prey, Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK), published the details yesterday of each of 122 Hen Harriers confirmed ‘missing’ or illegally killed in the UK since 2018. Hen Harriers are the most persecuted bird of prey in Britain […]

Post-Brexit government fails to protect nesting birds, rivers and hedgerows

As 2023 came to an end, rules that protected rivers and hedgerows expired. Now major charities are calling on the government to give basic protection to nature on farms. Until 31 December 2023, farmers were obliged to follow regulations, known as cross compliance, if they wanted to receive rural payments from the government. The cross […]

Unelected Defra ministers won’t protect wildlife

Is our government fit to protect wildlife? We take a look at two men with key ministerial roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra): Richard Benyon (on the left in the image above) and Robbie Douglas-Miller (on the right). Defra has a number of tasks, perhaps the most important one being […]

Labour pledges to end badger cull

The government’s annual badger cull is nearing an end, at least for 2023. For almost two months, cull contractors have been out in force, luring England’s badgers into fields with peanuts and then shooting them dead. Meanwhile, Labour has announced that it will end the cull for good if elected. At the start of the […]

FOIs reveal Badger cull approved in National Nature Reserves

UK authorities have permitted badger control operations to take place in England’s nature havens, according to new revelations. Freedom of Information requests involving Natural England, the Forestry Commission, and Forestry England, show that badger control activities, including culling in some instances, have been permitted in various nationally important nature areas since at least 2016. A […]

London Badger Cull Protest – Protesting a Decade of Dead Badgers

dead badgers at grafton pet crematorium

Please help protest a decade of the badger cull by coming to London on October 20th. Over the past 10 years, the government has licenced the deaths of a quarter of a million Badgers to protect the dairy industry from a disease of their own making – bovineTB. One of our most protected mammals, 260,000 […]

Defra public consultation on hedgerows

The Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra – or ‘Deathra’ as it’s increasingly known as it piles misery on misery upon England’s badgers) is holding a public consultation on hedgerows. The short online questionnaire takes just minutes to fill out (though that of course depends on some extent to the length of answers […]

Defra cosies up to grouse shooting industry

Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), the government department “responsible for improving and protecting the environment”, has announced the appointment of a grouse moor owner to what it describes as a ‘key role’. Heather Hancock (pictured above), a former Food Standards Agency chair and former Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park […]

The government has set out its stall over culling badgers, and it’s not pretty

Therese Coffey and badger cull operator shooting caged badger

Environment secretary Thérèse Coffey said that she won’t keep to “artificial deadlines” over ending the badger cull. And her words come just as plans were confirmed for tens of thousands more deaths at the hands of farmers. At the opening of the Royal Cornwall Show, Coffey told the public that she believes there is “no […]

Avian Flu: RSPB calls for ban on bird releases by shooting industry

“To help limit the catastrophic spread of Avian Influenza, the RSPB is calling for an immediate moratorium on the release of captive-bred gamebirds and Mallards for shooting in the UK this year. The call is for the UK and devolved governments and the shooting industry to take a precautionary approach to limit the spread of […]

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 […]

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’ – […]

Natural England asks for public comments on more badger culling

badger

On 20 February, Natural England launched an online survey, giving the public the opportunity to comment after it had “received applications or expressions of interest for a Supplementary Badger Disease Control Licence within the counties of Herefordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Avon.” But if you’re about to click on the survey, don’t for one moment think that […]

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 […]

Defra not giving Woodcock the protection they need

woodcock in long grass

Defra and Woodcocks – government won’t protect Woodcock so we must The government recently responded to an online petition to ‘Limit the Shooting Season of Woodcock’ launched by Wild Justice (Mark Avery, Ruth Tingay, and Chris Packham). I’ve already blogged about this petition and my hesitancy to sign it but in case you don’t have […]