Last Updated on 20 January 2022 by Badger
2022 is a milestone year for Somerset Against the Badger Cull as it marks the tenth year of badger culling in the county.
In 2012, there was still hope that the policy wouldn’t be implemented but in August 2013 any such ray of hope was squashed. Since then, of course, the heinous policy has spread to many other counties and the number of badgers killed has sky-rocketed. However, every black cloud has a silver lining and the monstrous badger cull is no exception.
Each person involved from the beginning has their own story to tell but there are common threads. Strong and enduring friendships have been forged bringing people together united in a common cause.
Ten years on, many of these friendships have gone from strength to strength. Whilst Secretaries of State for Defra have come and gone as have Presidents of the NFU, core people using experience learned from the first culls in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset have passed on hard-won experience to others who’ve formed their own groups nationwide to protect their local badgers in Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and so many other places.
Much has been learned by many about badger behaviour and ecology, how to find setts and to tell what badgers have been eating and where.
More people than ever before are engaged in protecting their local badgers from both persecution and development.
Many of us are involved in projects to help nature recover in parishes all over the country and have learnt much more about conservation concerns relating to hen harriers and other persecuted animals.
We’ve learnt to use our collective voices to raise awareness about the badger cull amongst local councils, in Westminster and within the general public.
We’ve discovered how best to raise funds to help our cause and we’ve learnt how to work with the police in order, we hope, to achieve fair and impartial policing as well as maintain public safety.
At the outset, the Government insisted that badgers were valueless. In their initial cost benefit analysis, the value of a badger was considered to be £0. We have shown this is not the case.
Without us, there would have been virtually no letters written to MPs, there wouldn’t be the longest-running police operation in the country since the Second World War and the NFU plus cull companies would have slaughtered badgers with almost no-one knowing what was going on.
It’s been incredibly tough at times but through freedom of information requests and collective action, we have managed to reveal some of the awful acts against badgers imposed by a government keen to keep their unscientific, immoral, and unnecessary badger killing policy hidden from view and accountability.
Despite the death of untold thousands of badgers, that is something to be proud of and to celebrate!
The biggest celebration of all will take place when this hideous policy runs its course and the badger cull finally, ends.
Somerset Against The Badger Cull is a year-round campaign that aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the badger cull, locate setts and help protect Somerset’s badgers. During the period of the cull, it runs Somerset Badger Patrol to enable people to make a powerful, but peaceful protest against the badger culling policy. It also helps to save badgers simply by being in the cull zone.
We started our opposition to the badger cull in 2012 in the hope that the preliminary badger culls in West Somerset during 2013 would stop before they began. Since then, we have worked successfully during the subsequent culls of 2014 to 2019. In this time, we have saved countless badgers as well as lifting the lid on the chaos, unscrupulous behavior and criminal activity that occurs during and after each cull period.
Take some time to explore the site to learn more about the issues and how you can get involved.
Stand up for badgers, conservation and science!