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Hundreds rally in Gloucester for anti-badger cull protest

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 20, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

  • Hundreds of protesters rally at Gloucester Park

  • Sam Swift with his badger costume

  • Vaccinate not exterminate, say these badgers

Comments (20)

HUNDREDS of badger cull protesters from around the UK have rallied in Gloucester Park to warn that their campaign this year will be ‘bigger and bolder’.

They came from as far away as Scotland, Wales and Manchester to send a clear message to the Government’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson that they will not tolerate further culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset this year.

Protesters are now armed with a special badger battle bus which will tour the country to recruit an army of volunteers who will watch out for culls taking place. To aid them they even have special night vision cameras.

VIDEO: Badger cull protest breaks into song

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Jeanne Berry, spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: “Our message is loud and clear – we are going to be bigger and bolder and we are going to have a clear strategy.

“Our aim is to stop the cull from coming back to Gloucestershire.

“It has been devastating for the county and it has broken communities. It has even created rifts between members of farming families.

“We know that it is inhumane and the badgers have taken too long to die. Enough is enough.”

Dominic Dyer, from Care for the Wild, was one of several speakers at the event which attracted up to 300 people. He said: “We have 18 marches across the country over the last eight months and we have brought thousands of people together.

“This has now become the biggest animal welfare campaign in Europe.

“It has already been very successful because the Government is no longer going into 10 new cull areas and there are MPs who previously supported the cull who are now saying that it won’t work. They are looking at the science of it.

“But our fight now is to try and stop the cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset.”

Sam Swift, who is originally from Gloucester but now lives in West Wales, donned a giant badger outfit for the protest. He said: “The anti-badger cull movement can sometimes be seen as being a bit intimidating so I am here to attract the families, showing the softer side if you like.”

Defra’s own independent assessment has shown that the two pilot culls last year were ineffective and raised questions about their humaneness.

The Government said it would no longer expand the cull to other areas in a bid to reduce TB in cattle.

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20 comments

  • mmjames  |  May 11 2014, 11:36AM
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  • mmjames  |  April 22 2014, 11:11PM

    oldlongdog | April 20 2014, 11:27PM Public support to stop this pointless cull is growing every day. Patterson, the CA and NFU have scored a massive own-goal because the public isn't stupid, we can read the science and evaluate it for ourselves. **You might be able to read reports word for word but you either deliberately adulterate them or you simply don't understand what you've read. Farmers and rich landowners are simply scapegoating badgers to draw attention away from the real causes of the spread of bTB in cattle - 'modern farming practices'. With 13 million cattle movements a year in a national herd of c.10million **My word, that amount of travelling takes some beating, must be all the dairy and beef farmers taking their cattle on holidays. Perhaps you'd care to re-check the truth of those figures – or rather what the figures ACTUALLY refer to. and a skin test that only works 70% of the time you have a problem that's bound to erupt. But missed tests, illegal movements, spreading TB infected milk on the land, poor bio-security, over-wintering cattle in crowded barns a foot deep in slurry, over-milking and vast herd sizes means the problem becomes an epidemic. **Skin test works everywhere in the world where wildlife is not endemically infected.... EVERYWHERE but the UK – perhaps you'd care to explain that? Cattle are being kept in barns 24/7 more and more commonly to keep them FREE of Zoonotic Tuberculosis. Get up to date – try "Incarcerated but safe" in a search. The role badgers play in all this is infinitesimally small yet this is all we hear from farmers. Why? Because they are too stubborn and vain to admit bTB is all their fault. They want to continue receiving our money to clear up yet another mess they've made (BSE, F&M and now this). Well you can run away from the truth for a while but you can't hide from it forever. The scientists and public already know culling doesn't work but stricter farm controls do **Really? Where? If you want to tackle bTB in wildlife then vaccination is far cheaper and much more effective, as the results from Wales show beyond any doubt. **Not according to the Welsh vets – far too early for vaccination to be making any difference. Wonder how many badgers are now left in the Welsh hotspot areas that are testing clear at last?

    Rate   39
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  • NicoleWarren  |  April 22 2014, 1:09PM

    great to see the ranks of anti cull campaigners swelling. The truth is out. This year's cull will be even more of an unmitigated disaster as these people take to the fields to stop this farce.

    Rate   -25
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  • oldlongdog  |  April 21 2014, 10:45PM

    Ok, mmjames; which bits of my post are untrue? You're so full of excreta you can taste it, my friend. There's no point having a go at me because the truth about the cull is so widespread now, it doesn't matter what you write here. I'm sure your patience is wearing thin; why wouldn't it when you're proved wrong again and again and again? I'll never tire of telling the truth about culling badgers - it doesn't work, it will never work and it never has. The longer tis goes on the more and more people know the truth; bad farming has caused the spread of bTB in cattle (and to wildlife) and it is only good farming that will rid us of it. Your lies and dissemblings only diminish you; the truth is what it is and you can't change it by your petty attacks.

    Rate   -24
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  • mmjames  |  April 21 2014, 6:22PM

    Patience wears thin after a while of reading tripe and blatant untruths. There are so many in your last post oldlongdog | April 20 2014, 11:27PM that I can;t be bothered to take them one by one and answer.

    Rate   37
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  • oldlongdog  |  April 21 2014, 3:18PM

    Wondered when you'd wake up mmjames. I see you've resorted to posting fatuous remarks about peanuts now... Sad, really.

    Rate   -25
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  • mmjames  |  April 21 2014, 9:54AM

    Thought you might like this, old doggie :) It contains about as many facts as your rant, probably more. http://tinyurl.com/2xul7m

    Rate   35
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  • oldlongdog  |  April 20 2014, 11:27PM

    Public support to stop this pointless cull is growing every day. Patterson, the CA and NFU have scored a massive own-goal because the public isn't stupid, we can read the science and evaluate it for ourselves. Farmers and rich landowners are simply scapegoating badgers to draw attention away from the real causes of the spread of bTB in cattle - 'modern farming practices'. With 13 million cattle movements a year in a national herd of c.10million and a skin test that only works 70% of the time you have a problem that's bound to erupt. But missed tests, illegal movements, spreading TB infected milk on the land, poor bio-security, over-wintering cattle in crowded barns a foot deep in slurry, over-milking and vast herd sizes means the problem becomes an epidemic. The role badgers play in all this is infinitesimally small yet this is all we hear from farmers. Why? Because they are too stubborn and vain to admit bTB is all their fault. They want to continue receiving our money to clear up yet another mess they've made (BSE, F&M and now this). Well you can run away from the truth for a while but you can't hide from it forever. The scientists and public already know culling doesn't work but stricter farm controls do. If you want to tackle bTB in wildlife then vaccination is far cheaper and much more effective, as the results from Wales show beyond any doubt. Notwithstanding that, as Owen Paterson himself admitted in Parliament, the vaccination programme in Wales only covers 1.5% of the herd there so the massive reductions in cattle infections there (and elsewhere in the UK) are 99% down to improved cattle controls (given vaccination is 40-80% effective). So let's stop pretending badgers have anything to do with either creating or curing this disease. It's a farming problem and the solution is, and will continue to come from, improving farming practices.

    Rate   -22
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  • Toast77  |  April 20 2014, 9:10PM

    Stormkettle, he probably arrived early at the Park and had to nip off to another job. I spotted the Gloucester Review photographer at several points around the route so there might be a better spread of pics in the Review on Friday.

    Rate   -21
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  • stormkettle  |  April 20 2014, 8:22PM

    There were hundreds of people at this demonstration , though these photos do not show many , why would that be ?

    Rate   -25
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