(In homage to William Blake, a compassionate man who would have strongly opposed a badger cull – and his magnificent poem ‘The Tyger’.)
Badger, badger blazing white
In the woodlands of the night,
What indifferent hand or eye
Would take your precious liberty?
In what pseudo-science lies
‘Proof’ that all your kind should die
On what grounds dare they acquire
The ‘right’ to slay you in your byre?
Wiping out your ancient part
In our landscape, like the hart
Blaming you for some great feat
The rise of TB. How they cheat!
Now see the politicians feign,
Twist statistics, smear your name
Hoodwink farmers, make them gasp
The blatant truth, they rasp and rasp
Intensive farming through the years
Sick animals, worn down by fears
Did He who made us want to see
You trapped and shot at for a fee?
Badger, badger, blazing white
In the woodlands of the night
What trigger-happy hand or eye
Dare take your sacred liberty?
~ ©Heidi Stephenson member of QCA and Totnes Meeting
This poem has also appeared here: http://internationaltimes.it/the-badger/
The terrible atrocities against our poor badgers are about to start again – despite the fact that: – Only 1.7% of badgers actually have a strain of TB serious enough to infect cattle.
– That only 0.5% of the national herd is actually bTB infected at the moment.
– That last year’s laws to tighten up on farm biosecurity have made a very significant difference and that bTB rates have been steadily dropping.
– That laboratory and field studies have demonstrated that vaccination of badgers by BCG injection reduces the incidence of positive seriological test results by 73.8% (and that the vaccine and vaccinators are ready – and vaccination would cost £2200 less per badger than so callously killing them.)
Here is an important update from Gloucester Against Badger Shooting:
The cull can now start at any time between now and the autumn, but we have no clear information on a likely start date. The coordinators of the Wounded Badger Patrol teams are now prepared and able to respond to help look for wounded badgers when the cull starts. We will need as many people as possible to get involved again now to help save as many of our badgers as possible when the cull starts.
The Badger Trust legal challenge is still being considered by the courts and we are likely to know if the courts are prepared to hear the full case sometime next week.
Our focus is now on the patrols, recruiting new people, fundraising and raising awareness as well as supporting groups looking to vaccinate badgers.
- Night patrol practices Saturday 14 June & Saturday 21 June.
As part of our preparation for this year’s cull, we are organising two patrol practice nights as above. One is in the Eastern zone (from Bredon to Gloucester east of the River Severn) and the other in the Western zone (from Newent to Tewkesbury west of the River Severn). They won’t be the normal, long patrols but just a few hours of preparation so that we’re all as ready as we can be.
As well as providing us with an opportunity to practice some of the scenarios we are likely to meet in the cull, including finding a wounded badger, it’s also a great chance to send out the message that the cull is still on and we are still here and ready.
More details are available from Fee & Ali – and if you are able to attend please can you let them know on our new patrol email:
Following the great success of the Badger Ball we’ve carried on fundraising to help raise funds for equipment for our patrols and support other groups working on vaccination and we think we’ve made good progress. Our GABS shop has extended its range and can be seen via:
Lush, the cruelty-free animal products company have been supportive for the last 2 years and are currently raising funds from badger groups via their charity pot products so do look into their shops if you’re passing.
Jeanne and Nick. On behalf of the GABS Leads Group