Here's the latest news update for member groups from Badger Trust. Very excited that North East Hants has been added as an additional area under the State of The Badger pilot. If you've not already signed-up to help with this citizen science project looking into the health, occupancy and density of badgers in England and Wales, please do that by clicking on the link below. And please think about registering for the last Groups Quarterly Meeting of 2023 which is happening online at 7pm on Wednesday 22nd November. It's an especially important one as it'll include a dedicated session on the Badger Trust "cull report" Tackling Bovine TB Together - Towards Sustainable, Scientific, and Effective bTB Solutions. (publication/launch date imminent)
Dear Badger Group Members
Autumn is well and truly here, bringing the wet weather with it; nice for the badgers, especially those in intensive cull zones who can emerge without fear now these have ended. We spare a thought for the badgers and badger groups who are still living through supplementary culling until January. This e-news has more information on badger population monitoring in cull zones and the Bern Convention complaint, our Groups Spotlight, News Round-up, a PhD Opportunity and, for those thinking ahead to Christmas, a reminder of the fabulous gifts in our Brock Shop. Don't forget we have the final Groups Quarterly Meeting of the year coming up on 22nd November, which will have an exciting session dedicated to our much-anticipated cull report: Tackling Bovine TB Together. See below for how to register. Cull Update: Badger population monitoring and Bern Convention
Who is tracking the English badger population to avoid local extinction events? As we write this, the intensive badger cull period for 2023 has now just ended, but supplementary cull zones continue with cage trapping due to finish on 30th November 2023 and free shooting as late as 31st January 2024. Badger Trust recently published an article which showed that it is the cull companies themselves that are trusted to keep track of badger populations and ensure they are sustainable despite having a clear conflict of interest in killing badgers for profit. Alongside this revelation, and in a clear warning to Defra, the Bern Convention on Animal Welfare announced this month that it will continue to monitor the UK government’s approach to badger culling in England. The complaint against the UK government, brought by Born Free, Badger Trust and Eurogroup for Animals, alleges the government is in breach of international wildlife treaty obligations after failing to consider the cull’s impact on the badger population. The complaint remains on file through to 2026, an unprecedented decision. The convention also drew attention to the facts that:
The population monitoring of badgers in badger cull areas was unclear and needed to be clarified to ensure badgers were not under threat of local extinction.
The link between badgers and the spread of bTB was unclear and not justification for the scale of culling of a native species.
Groups Quarterly Meeting Registration The last 'Groups Quarterly Meeting' of the year takes place on Wednesday, 22nd November 2023 at 7 p.m. The meeting is your place to hear all the latest updates, including Badger Trust plans and progress, updates on campaigns and crime. This meeting will also have a dedicated session and an exclusive look at our new report: Tackling Bovine TB Together - Towards Sustainable, Scientific, and Effective bTB Solutions, which will be released very soon! Register your place now > There will also be dedicated time for a Q&A session, so if you have any questions, you can email them in advance to email@example.com or bring them up on the day.
Badger Trust Shop
Brock Shop is open! This a reminder that we have a wonderful array of gifts and products in Badger Trust's Brock Shop > You can find unique gifts for yourself or your loved ones, and you can shop with us, knowing that 100% of the profit from every purchase helps us protect badgers for generations to come. All the products in our shop are designed in the UK by local artists and artisans, so – like us – you’re supporting British talent as well as one of our beloved badgers!
Our group spotlight is dedicated to the Northern Ireland Badger Group. Mike and his fellow team have been integral to the fantastic news that the judicial review relating to the proposed badger cull in Northern Ireland has been successful. A high court judge has quashed a decision by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) for a badger cull, with the judicial review being brought by Wild Justice with huge support, expertise and dedication from Northern Ireland Badger Group. The legal challenge was granted at the high court on the grounds that the department's consultation was flawed. The NI Badger Group and Wild Justice argued that a proper consultation on the strategy of the cull was not carried out, and a judicial review was granted on this basis. Up to £35,000 in legal fees is to be paid by the department to the groups involved. A huge thank you to Northern Ireland Badger Group; we are proud to have you as affiliated members and thank you wholeheartedly for all you have done in this battle.
PhD Opportunity 'Occupancy and density of the badger in Britain' PhD CASE Studentship opportunity, of which Badger Trust are the CASE Partner with Durham University. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested. Full details of the opportunity and how to apply >
Latest News Round-up
* Labour promises to end badger cull in England * Guardian Exclusive: Shadow farming minister says party would eradicate bovine TB using a range of other measures. * Farmers Guardian: Labour pledges to ban badger cull * NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw said it was 'something the union had been fearing'. * Letter from USPCA chief executive Nora Smith * A badger cull which aims to tackle the spread of bovine TB will be ineffective, expensive and inhumane. * Politicisation of bTB criticised by farmers, vets and union * Livestock farmers told Farmers Guardian future policy on controlling bTB should not be part of ‘the political debate to be used as a vote winner'. * Belfast High Court judge quashes Northern Ireland Badger Cull plan * A high court judge has quashed a decision by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) for a badger cull. * Badgers delay building of new super prisons * Planning appeals at three new rural sites means super prisons will not open until 2027 at the earliest. * Stroud News: Letter of the Day * The political life of badgers is shocking.
Diary Dates & Group Resources! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can profile your wonderful work nationally. Sally Jones Groups Coordinator