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Badger Trust Group News Update

If you can make the protest on 20th October, please do!

Dear Badger Group Members,

We have some more cull information for you after some recent FOI requests. Sadly, they show increased cull zones by stealth, even if not by new licences this year. Plus, a reminder of the cull protest on Friday, 20th October, in Westminster. Executive Director Peter attended the Labour Party Conference, so we have a brief update. The Regional Meeting notes are ready to view and saved in the Groups Shared Resource Libary. Finally, we have a fabulous round-up of your #Brocktober group activities. Next time, we will have an update on the Bern Convention Complaint and other worrying news about population monitoring.

We have been getting a lot of data via freedom of information (FOI) requests about the cull and have the latest data to share with you. The data relates to any increase in the size of the existing cull licence areas, how much they have increased, perimeter size, accessible and inaccessible land, if the number of cull participants has changed, and any additional counties affected. You can see from the information below that eight cull licence areas increased in size.

Badger Cull Protest Event Reminder 'The Badger Protest - Ten Years On' has been organised by the steadfast Betty Badger (AKA Mary Barton), and we are sure that badger groups will want to know about it to join in. When: Friday 20th October 2023, 11 am to 2 pm. Where: Old Palace Yard Westminster SW1P 3JW. Event Information from the organiser: Come along and show the government that we will never stop fighting against the Badger Cull. Over the past ten years, the government has shot nearly a quarter of a million Badgers in this cruel and unscientific slaughter of our beautiful Badgers. There was some faint hope when they promised an end to the Cull, but Therese Coffey announced that the Cull would continue. Let's make this the biggest Badger Protest since the early days. Bring your Badger suits, masks, and placards. Bring your voice and your passion. Bring your family and friends. Badger Trust will be there to support the event and speak, will you? [Nick - I'm going and also speaking so please do come along and lend your support if you possibly can]. Speakers are yet to be announced, but complete updates will be on the organiser's Facebook Event Page >

As part of our work across the political spectrum, our Executive Director, Peter, attended meetings on animal welfare at the Labour conference. Support to end the badger cull was heard from many animal welfare groups, and the Labour Animal Welfare Society, chaired by shadow Defra Minister Baroness Hayman, also came out in support of an end to the badger cull. The Labour Animal Welfare Society has produced 'A BETTER LIFE FOR ANIMALS: A Proposed Animal Welfare Manifesto for Animals and People> It clearly mentions the end of the cull, but we are yet to see if this will become part of the official Labour Party Manifesto. These are positive signs, and we will continue to put the case to end the badger cull to all politicians and policymakers in this critical year.

Regional Meeting - Key Topics Three well-attended and positive regional group meetings were held in September (North, East & South East, West & South West) and enabled open discussion on the issues you are dealing with. A snapshot of these include: Rescue & Rehabilitation: The issue some groups are facing is finding a vet to treat an injured badger and training requirements for rescue and rehabilitation. Note: We have new resources in the form of an 'Emergency Care of Badgers' Fact Sheet for vets, plus more Fact Sheets on specific rescue and rehab topics, as well as other information on this, coming out to groups very soon! Space for Badgers: The high cost quoted for sett closures under licence when in an urban garden setting where the sett is causing building damage, discussion about the new planning guidance and the need for training on mitigation options to enable groups to get the best outcome for badgers. Cull: Still one of the biggest issues groups are concerned with, and what groups can do in this next year to ensure it is on political candidates' agendas leading up to the election. Other talking points included Data recording and sharing, group governance, speakers for meetings, engaging with ecologists and councillors, and more. The full Regional Meeting Notes are ready for you to view in the 'Meetings Folder' of the Groups Shared Resource Library > The next Regional Meetings are scheduled for January 2024, and registration details will be added to the 'Diary Dates' section of the e-newsletter in November.

Badger Groups share their love and fantastic facts about badgers this Brocktober. Thank you to all who have been flooding your social media channels and sharing positive messages about badgers and how people can help them this #Brocktober. Here is a snapshot of your activity: Calderdale Badger Group have been sharing what they get up to, their events, lovely badger footage from members, daily #Brocktober facts and important myth-busting. Cumbria Badger Group celebrated #Brocktober by holding their first event, with Cumbria Vaccination Project, at Glenrothay and Badger Bar. They met lots of new people and shared the badger love! Northamptonshire Badger Group have been sharing #Brocktober facts about badger ecology, footage of the orphaned cubs they released this year and incredible thermal imaging footage of badgers they are out protecting on legal night patrols in the cull zone. South Manchester Badger Group are running a Brocktober Auction - if you're quick, you might still have time to bid! Shropshire Badger Group have been sharing some beautiful footage of the orphaned cubs they released earlier in the year into their artificial sett. North East Essex Badger Group shared photos of some badgers and cubs they have cared for and released over the past five years. Lancashire Badger Group started Brocktober well, releasing a badger they had rescued back to the wild. Lots of you have shared our key message to make #Spaceforbadgers, and if you haven't seen it already, please take a look at the State of the Badger video > and witty message from actor David Oakes, who has a lifelong love of badgers.

* 4 interesting farm findings from the Labour Party conference * Farmers Weekly quoting Daniel Zeikner: “Labour’s policy has been very clear for a long time. We don’t think badger culling is the way forward, but my commitment is to make England bovine-TB free by 2038.” * Lancashire Badger Group says compassion will always win over cruelty after convictions for badger-baiting in Burnley * * Corpses of Badgers, Birds and Otters found in Wigston man's chest freezer * * State of Nature 2023: Chris Packham leads more than 40 wildlife and climate groups in protest outside Defra HQ * Including a great photo of Betty Badger and other dedicated badger campaigners. * Man trains home camera device to repel badgers and foxes * This was also discussed on BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show >

Diary Dates & Group Resources! Next Badger Trust Grant Deadlines Monday 23rd October 2023 - Final round this year! More detailed grant Information >

Groups Quarterly Meeting Wednesday 22nd November, 7pm Join us for the last meeting of the year. Register > Group Resources The shared library has lots of resources for groups, so please take a look. Groups Resource Library > eNews links Review previous enews updates or link to them in your newsletters. Access links to previous newsletters > Please share Badger Trust news with your members or ask them to sign up for these updates.

If you have any questions about any of the information in the newsletters, need advice or support with something, or just want to chat about your group and badgers, please do contact us! Whatever you're up to for badgers, we'd like to hear about it! Let us know via and we can profile your wonderful work nationally. Sally Jones Groups Coordinator

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