The Con-Demn coalition appears determined to push through their immoral, un-scientific cull of badgers this autumn causing the death of thousands of these innocent creatures and creating deep divisions in the countryside. Dairy farmers, rather than take responsibility for their animals and invest in proper and rigorous bTB screening, have instead decided to try and pass the blame onto badgers.
The cull will be carried out in two pilot areas, one in Somerset and one in Gloucestershire. The results from these pilots will determine whether or not the cull is rolled out to bTB hotspots nationwide in future years, Defra is prepared to kill at least 70% of the badgers within cull areas; this may effectively kill all the badgers in those areas. Badgers will be shot, at night, with high powered rifles which may pose a threat to local residents, pets and other animals.
After the previous large scale cull of badgers in the UK, the Krebs trials, Professor John Bourne, head of the Independent Scientific Group concluded: “careful evaluation of our own and others’ data indicates that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better. Second, weaknesses in cattle testing regimes mean that cattle themselves contribute significantly to the persistence and spread of disease in all areas where TB occurs, and in some parts of Britain are likely to be the main source of infection. Scientific findings indicate that the rising incidence of disease can be reversed, and geographical spread contained, by the rigid application of cattle-based control measures alone." (Source: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/isg/report/final_report.pdf )
The Krebs trials lasted seven years and cost UK tax payers millions of pounds yet the Government still ignore the findings of the Independent Scientific Group and forge ahead with further culling of badgers, costing more money and leading to chaos in the countryside.
Lord Krebs, who is one of the government's most respected scientific advisers, said that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is administering the current cull, has no way of knowing how many badgers there are in the area, so will not know when they've killed 70% of the badgers in the area.
"I would go down the vaccination and biosecurity route rather than this crazy scheme that may deliver very small advantage, may deliver none." he said.
Professor Bourne and Lord Krebs are two of the leading experts on badgers, and badger culling, in the world but the Government have decided to totally ignore them, and all the scientific evidence they have presented, in their blinkered desire to placate the powerful farming lobby.
Please see http://badger-killers.com to see what you can do to stop the cull and visit http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/index.php/get-involved/localgroups to find your local sab group who will be involved in campaigning against it.
Heythrop Hunt Supporter Found Guilty Of Criminal Damage
A car salesman who rides with the HEYTHROP HUNT, Thomas Edward Hastings Macfarlane of Wootton, Woodstock, Oxfordshire was found guilty of criminal damage at Banbury Magistrates court on 12th September 2012.
Whilst Hunt Monitor Mrs Judy Gilbert of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire was observing the Heythrop hunt on 7 January 2012, Macfarlane approached the rear of her vehicle and used a sharp implement to surreptitiously cut the wall of Mrs Gilbert’s rear offside tyre, bursting it and causing it to deflate. This action effectively immobilised her, preventing her from monitoring the hunt for the rest of the day.
This is not the first time Mrs Gilbert has suffered criminal damage to her property whilst observing the Heythrop Hunt. On two previous occasions a total of four of her tyres have been deliberately destroyed.
Mrs Gilbert said, “ I am very pleased with the verdict and that at last someone has been brought to justice for an attack on my vehicle. To suffer this kind of attack is very upsetting and such abominable behaviour should not be tolerated.”
Thomas Macfarlane lives with Rebecca, Marchioness of Blandford at Wootton, Woodstock. Rebecca Brown was previously married to Charles James Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford was born on 24 November 1955. He is the son of John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough owner of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock.
Following last week’s attempt by Surrey Union riders to knock people down and issue death threats, six sab groups convened for a return visit to show we will not be intimidated. The groups from South Coast, Brighton, Croydon, Chicester and Guildford descended on the Surrey Union kennels at 5 am and waited for the hunt to leave.
Surrey police who did nothing last week, decided that these actions could be classified as intimidation, unlike death threats, but we stood our ground, and no arrests were made for these dubious reasons. A single hunt supporter did drive her car at speed at saboteurs and then take photos from a distant, which was again not seen as problem by the police.
As the sun rose high in the sky it was clear that the hunt was not going to leave the kennels so all groups left.
If any hunt tries to stop our members by threats and physical violence watching their activities it is clear they are up to no good. Such hunts will receive similar treatment and find themselves with many more sabs than usual to contend with.
On Monday 14th May, at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court, 3 Crawley & Horsham Hunt members were found guilty of 5 counts of illegal hunting. 2 were fined £1,000 each and must pay £2,500 each in costs. The third, Andrew Phillis is on holiday but must attend court later for his sentencing. Rachel Holdsworth was found guilty of 2 counts of illegal hunting (18th & 25th January) and fined £500 on each count, Neil Millard (joint master) was found guilty of one count of illegal hunting on 25th January and fine £1,000 and Andrew Phillis (ex huntsman) guilty of 2 counts of illegal hunting on 18th & 25th January but not guilty of illegal hunting on February 15th. On leaving court the hunt members refused to comment but Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance said that they thought the expert witness, Prof Harris, had got it wrong and that the hunt was trail hunting and the kill had been accidental.
During the trial, held over 7 days at Horsham Magistrates Court, prosecution witnesses had given evidence as to how the hunt had chased foxes with hounds on several occasions at 3 locations in Sussex as well as killing a fox. An independent witness who lived close to the woods where one incident took place had given evidence that she and her husband had been walking in the woods when they saw a fox closely followed by hounds and heard the horn blown by the huntsman. Professor harris, an expert witness, had also given evidence that, in his opinion a fox hunt rather than a trail hunt was taking place.
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