Since 2013 the Conservative Government and the National Farmers Union have spearheaded a policy that has led to the barbaric deaths of 140,830 badgers, an almost unimaginable figure. In 2020 alone more than 40,000 badgers were killed in 54 cull zones from Cornwall to Cumbria and from Lincolnshire to Cheshire. Almost the entire South West – Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire is now a giant cull zone as the dairy industry looks to scapegoat and wipe out one of our best loved mammals. Although there have been media stories suggesting the cull is coming to an end there are 7 new zones starting killing in 2021 bringing the total to 61.
Despite these awful figures the picture on the ground is more positive. In the eleven new zones in 2020, five failed to hit the original minimum kill figure and in the other thirty three zones that were in years two, three or four, eleven of them failed to hit their minimum target. This means that of the forty four zones still in the first four years of culling, sixteen failed to hit minimum targets. As usual the Government and NFU moved the goalposts halfway through culling and quietly reduced the targets for zones, when it became clear that the original minimum target couldn’t be hit, in a desperate attempt to turn failure into success.
Once the four years intensive killing is completed then zones become supplementaries and have an extended kill period of 6 months in order to keep a low badger population. There are currently 21 supplementary zones, a figure which will increase every year as more zones finish their four year intensive culls.
This year, as they have every year since 2013, local sab groups will mobilise to fight the cull. They’ll use military grade night vision and thermal imaging equipment, funded by the HSA, to find and stop shooters and they’ll walk thousands of miles looking for and neutralising traps. The HSA will again be providing thousands of pounds to support them with fuel and equipment.
Hunt saboteurs and other anti-cull activists are making the badger killers fight for every life they take. If it wasn’t for the stiff resistance they’re meeting on the ground, the number of deaths would be far higher and localised extinction would have taken place in large parts of the West Country. We’ll keep fighting until this cruel cull is gone for good.
To get involve find your local sab group here
For other resources about the cull check out the Badger Action Network – https://badgeractionnetwork.org.uk/
To donate to the HSA to help us support local groups click here.