Lots of information here, news, invitations, opportunities and dates for your diary. As an individual member of member group of Badger Trust you're very welcome, and encouraged, to get involved.
Please especially note the open letter from Peter Jackson, Chair of Badger Trust, to the UK Chief Veterinary Officer which is specifically about the Area 56 cull in Hampshire. Also, please note the next Groups Quarterly Meeting is tomorrow evening and the next Regional Groups meeting is on 25th of September. You can register for both using the links in the update.
Group News Update
Dear Badger Group Members
Many of you are gearing up for a busy few months ahead, some of you are about to release and support feed rehabilitated cubs, others are preparing for the return of the intensive cull season, and some are already facing the supplementary culls. This week we have news about some volunteer recruitment training for you, an update on the Bern Convention, and we are sharing our State of the Badger Pilot Project Briefing Guide for Groups and Volunteers (more on this exciting project in the GQM next week!). We have also sent an open letter to the Chief Veterinary Officer regarding conflicting information between Apha data and the recent comments of Secretary of State, Therese Coffey, plus we have the latest news roundup. Don't forget the Groups Quarterly Meeting (GQM) is happening next week, on 16th August, so please register in advance for that.
Groups Quarterly Meeting: Next Week!
Wednesday 16th August 2023, 7pm The meeting is next week so please register your place to hear all the latest updates including Badger Trust plans and progress, updates on campaigns and crime, and a spotlight on two new Badger Groups! This meeting will also have a session dedicated to the State of the Badger Pilot Project. We know some of you are signed up to take part in this pilot project and lots of you are interested in hearing more about it and the progress that has been made. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or bring them up on the day.
State of the Badger Pilot Project Update
The Badger is Britain’s largest remaining native carnivore. Despite being a protected species badgers have a long history of persecution, and the government-endorsed mass cull of the last 10 years has been particularly devastating with over 210,000 badgers culled. The population health of the badger, as a result, remains unknown. Without urgent action to determine the population level impacts, badgers could be persecuted to a point that they are no longer viable in some areas of Britain. Led by Badger Trust, State Of The Badger (SOTB) is a new project, which will deliver the urgent action needed to assess the population health of badgers to better inform effective strategies for their protection and prevent their ongoing persecution. Read the full Project Brief for Badger Groups and Volunteers > We are currently in the pilot stage of the project, assessing our methods and making sure that our survey design is robust. After the pilot study areas, we will move on to the larger scale project over the coming years. Don't forget to register for the next Groups Quarterly Meeting on 16th August to hear more about this exciting project!
Bern Convention Complaint Update Badger Trust, together with Born Free and Eurogroup for Animals have now submitted further evidence to Bern Convention in support of our joint complaint regarding badger culling in England. The document should appear on the Bern Convention section of the Council of Europe Website in due course. This information is due to be considered, alongside any submitted by the government, at the Convention’s Bureau closed meeting that will take place in Strasbourg on 12-13 September. All previous submissions, by both ourselves and the government, are published on the Council of Europe website. As we are sure you are aware, this is a long process and it is rare for a challenge to a government to get this far. We will of course keep you informed of any outcomes.
Open Letter to Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Christine Middlemiss (CVO), please clarify whether the APHA report is incorrect and cannot be relied upon or if the Secretary of State’s response is misleading? We've written an open letter to the Chief Veterinary Officer about comments around the continued culling in Hampshire, where Therese Coffey's (Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) recent response seems in conflict with government data. The Secretary’s response includes that the 2021 Hampshire epidemiological report attributes wildlife as the most likely cause of many of the bovine TB breakdowns in the northwest of the county as justification for the continuing badger cull. By their (APHA) own data, this simply is not true, and no evidence has been presented that this is the case. Read the full letter >
Volunteer Recruitment Training
We have an opportunity to offer subsidised 'Volunteer Recruitment' training to groups and would like to know if you are interested in this.
We know many of you struggle to attract and retain active volunteers, yet active volunteers are vital to continue your group activities. Having the skills and know-how to engage effectively and retain volunteers can only help your group and take the pressure off of those of you currently taking on a lot.
The training would explore various aspects of volunteer recruitment and show you how to:
Use compelling copy in volunteer role descriptions and promotional resources.
Tailor your recruitment to the people you are trying to attract.
Share top tips and the best places for advertising and promoting volunteer opportunities.
Maximise various online recruitment channels.
Develop an achievable action plan to recruit more volunteers.
This would be an online session on Zoom and be run by an experienced trainer from NCVO. We would need to charge around £10 per person and Badger Trust would subsidise the rest, but we would also need to fill all the 30 places for it to go ahead. Therefore, we are currently gauging interest from our affiliated Badger Groups to see whether you would like us to arrange this. Please can you let us know by emailing email@example.com if this is something you and your group are interested in us proceeding with.
* In conversation with a farming family committed to balancing farming and nature conservation * Badger Trust Q&A series shares the voices of a farming family from the West Country that have been involved in the dairy industry for generations and are also committed to working with the land and making sure farming is sustainable for generations to come. * Defra to continue badger cull if science is good, says Coffey * Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show Defra secretary Therese Coffey has given her clearest indication yet that her department will continue to cull badgers to tackle bovine TB in England, if the science shows it is working. * Farmers in Wales urged to step up on biosecurity * Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said 'progress' continued to be made with tackling bTB in Wales and asked for farmers and vets to 'redouble their efforts'. First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was not convinced a badger cull would be effective. He said there were a ‘repertoire of things' they were doing including the badger vaccination programme and cattle vaccinations coming. "I am afraid the constant refocusing of the discussion on badger culling prevents us on being able to focus on the other things we should and could be doing," Mr Drakeford said. * Queen's Brian May brands England a 'blood bath' after going on 'search for truth' in Wales * Queen guitarist Brian May has announced his latest move while praising Wales, as he begins work on a new BBC documentary about Bovine Tuberculosis (TB). * Protesters take over Chesterfield streets as 210K badgers ‘needlessly slaughtered’ * Derbyshire Against the Cull members handed out leaflets and protested against more badger killing in Derbyshire this autumn.
Badger Trust Office Details We've noticed that some of you are still using our old office address, or have it publicised in various places. Please note that our correct office address is: Badger Trust, Citibase, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 4ST If you publicise our address or send us anything in the post, we won't get it if you use our old address, so please can you ensure you are using the one above. Thank you.
Diary Dates & Group Resources! Next Badger Trust Grant Deadlines Monday 21st August 2023 More detailed grant Information >
Regional Group Online Meetings * NORTH * Tuesday 19th September 2023, 7pm. REGISTER > * WEST & SOUTH WEST * Thursday 21st September 2023, 7pm. REGISTER > * EAST & SOUTH EAST * Monday 25th September 2023, 7pm. 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