Posts Tagged ‘badgers’

Environmental politics: a rise in ‘green blobs’ needed to keep on badgering?

October 12, 2014

I wonder how many of you subscribe to environmental campaigning newsletters or conservation blogs from the likes of Mark Avery or Miles King, George Monbiot or Naomi Klien?  Hen Harriers and badgers appear to be the top of the list in terms of species ‘popularity’ at the moment, and quiet rightly so if you have been following the issues which has brought attention to their plight?  Miles King has recently written a very short but certainly eye opening post about spending cuts and the debt.  It questions the claims that the national debt is being paid off, yet by providing part of a letter from the UK Statistics Authority it is clear that under the ConDem Coalition the Public Sector Net Debt has increased by nearly 50% during this Parliament.  Rightly King questions the privatisation of the Royal Mail, large parts of the NHS and selling off of public land and askks what has this achieved, clearly not a reduction in the national debt.  Yet departments like Defra have had cuts of around £800m between 2010 and 2016.  Was it the banking bail out which began the drain on the public purse?

Owen Patterson, badger hater and master climate change denier should perhaps be given a copy of Klein’s latest book.  This Changes Everything Capitalism vs. The Climate is an expose, an explanation and perhaps even a call to arms to the environmental movement after its austerity derailment.  The Shock Doctrine ought to have been an influential and inspirational motivational book but maybe it was a lost as austerity hit?    Here in the UK we seem to have lost momentum, what happened to the promised aftermath of the State of Nature?  Various other reports have been published, including the recent Living Planet Report 2014 Species and spaces, people and places but where is the inspirational rally to create critical mass and effect a challenging conservation collaboration to achieve change?  Where are the party manifestos in which the natural environment features as a priority?  We hear that the badger cull is the fifth most written about issue to MPs, but how many people have written about the Hen Harriers and driven grouse shooting, how many have called for reform of agri-welfare payments and HLS to landowners who are unable to demonstrate public benefit?

It’ll soon be Christmas …. perhaps when Santa asks you what you’d like, This Changes Everything ought to be up there on that wish list?  Then you can begin to draft up your series of New Year Resolutions which collectively and collaboratively we can, as a critical mass, make those purporting to represent us do just that?   If they fail then we hold them accountable?  Listen to Klien’s resume of fracking and how our politicians are pandering to capitalist corporations at our expense.

The Guardian article in which is embedded an interview with Klien explains how UK Ministers’ rewriting of the law will allow fracking to happen beneath people’s homes without their permission flouts basic democratic rights.  Klien said that the UK government’s changes to trespass laws, to speed up the ability for shale gas companies to frack beneath landowners’ property, was energising resistance to fracking in Britain.

But, despite the mess that we the voting public permit politicians to create, just occasionally enjoy the fresh air (while we still can) and remember that there is beauty around us, and that we should strive to live with our natural neighbours ….

The image above shows two tunnels, that on the left the beginning of a chamber.

The image above shows two tunnels, that on the left the beginning of a chamber.

I spent the afternoon with a great bunch of passionate people determined to help poor beleagured brock, it was a healthy reminder of why we must keep badgering the politicians into doing the right thing, that is for people and not for profit.

In Klein’s words  …. “I think we need to be very clear about this – the only way you can win against forces with a huge amount to lose is to build a movement of people, many more people, with a huge amount to gain.”  The issue of Scottish independence, brought out around 85% of the electorate.  The two and a half party system will remain just that whilst apathy remains and the Westminster village refuses to reform?


A Tale of Blue Bigots and Green Blobs, might persuade you to think about things that you might be able to do, be it for badger, hen harriers or the bigger political picture?  Small steps build momentum and collaborative endeavours build movements ….. be part of it?


‘Moor’ badger persecution ….

May 8, 2013

The sick ‘sport’ of badger baiting has, sadly, long been practiced across South Yorkshire and just when you think things are quietening down there’s a call for ‘legalised’ culling and a resurgence of illegal culling …. an equally sad fact is that Doncaster has the reputation of being the worst place in the Country for badger persecution.

On Friday 3rd May, a member of the public reported two badgers caught in snares on Thorne Moors.  The RSPCA, the Police and members of South Yorkshire Badger Group attended to find the badgers badly injured but still alive. They were taken to the vets where one had to be euthanized.  The other was taken to an RSPCA Centre which has a resident vet.


Snares can still be used to trap foxes and rabbits. Most legal snares can be adapted to become illegal self-locking snares but the snares in question, which were left on a badger sett, were not adapted but illegally manufactured from the outset. Such snares become tighter and tighter until the animal is strangled, injured, decapitated or disembowelled.

South Yorkshire Badger Group believes that all snares should be made illegal as they are cruel and indiscriminate. Sometimes even cats and dogs get caught and are injured or killed in snares.

We need the eyes and ears of members of the public to report anything suspicious if we are going to combat animal cruelty and save Doncaster badgers from extinction.

Recent publicity about bovine TB and the impending badger cull is sometimes used as an excuse for killing badgers, but a few things should be made clear, not least that:

  • as yet there is no bovine TB in Yorkshire and remember also that
  • the badger cull is an experimental trial confined to just two areas of the West Country. Everywhere else badgers are protected and persecution can carry a 6 month prison sentence or a fine of £5000.

Despite this, badgers in the Doncaster area are heading for extinction due to the actions of a few misguided farmers and game keepers, but mainly due to an underclass of thugs with dogs, who patrol the fields looking for something to kill just for their warped entertainment.

PLease if you see suspicious activity, do not put yourself at risk but try to note down any vehicle registration numbers, the site or grid reference (smart phones or phone apps are great for this), if you are able to take photographs then please do so discretely.  Contact the South Yorkshire Badger Group on their 24 hour helpline number of 07722 590184  Or crime stoppers on 0800 555111.  The Police can be contacted on 101 but if a crime is actually in progress, ring them immediately on 999.

They are wonderful creatures, persecution is still illegal in this area.

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Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

UK and Ireland Natural History Bloggers

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