Updates and news

In this rapidly changing situation we are trying to ensure we keep you up to date with the latest on the badger cull here.  This will cover Welsh news on badger vaccination, the culls in England and what the implications are.

Badger by Jon Bowen

Badger by Jon Bowen

This section of our campaign pages will be regularly kept up to date whilst the situation develops.

We know that bovine TB needs to be tackled, as stock  managers ourselves we appreciate the worry and distress of TB testing.

We do however firmly believe that a badger cull will not only increase the problem but is fundamentally a crime against our wildlife. We are relieved that Wales has gone down the route of vaccination and believe that this is the route that England should also take.

  • Help us protect the badgers of Castle WoodsHelp us protect the badgers of Castle Woods
    Badger vaccination 2019 – please donate to help us raise the last £3000 to complete our programme! The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) has been vaccinating badgers against bovine TB in Castle Woods, Carmarthenshire since 2014. The vaccination is a five year programme, but had to be paused in 2016-17 due to a global ...
  • Badger vaccination resumes in LlandeiloBadger vaccination resumes in Llandeilo
    The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has just completed a third year of badger vaccination in its Castle Woods nature reserve, Llandeilo. The steep woodlands of Castle Woods are home to a large number of badger setts, and rare breed cattle graze on the adjacent pasture land, including along the fertile Tywi valley. Vaccination of ...
  • Badger vaccination project to be suspendedBadger vaccination project to be suspended
    Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans, has announced that due to a global shortage of the BCG vaccine, she has suspended sourcing of BCG for badger vaccination in Wales. The World Health Organisation has called on all countries to review their BCG usage to ensure that countries with the highest human TB rates receive ...
  • Badger Vaccination Resumes in LlandeiloBadger Vaccination Resumes in Llandeilo
    Work has just begun on the year two programme of its five year plan to vaccinate the badgers in our Castle Woods nature reserve, Llandeilo. The steep woodlands at Castle Woods nature reserve are home to a large number of badger setts, and rare breed cattle graze on the adjacent pasture land, including along the fertile ...
  • Badger Vaccination updateBadger Vaccination update
    Whilst the controversial badger cull pilots in England appear set to continue, we felt it was time to review what’s been happening in the management of bovine TB Wales. It’s a chance to review where badger vaccination has taken us in the last year- and, of course, what the future may hold for Welsh badgers. After ...
  • Badger sculpture named after celebrity anti-cull campaigner, Queen’s Brian MayBadger sculpture named after celebrity anti-cull campaigner, Queen’s Brian May
    Following the installation of the new Badger sculpture at Parc Slip Nature Reserve, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, who own and manage the nature reserve just outside Bridgend in south Wales, ran a competition amongst its members and on Facebook and Twitter to name the badger. There were many fantastic suggestions, but ...
  • Why vaccinate badgers against TB?Why vaccinate badgers against TB?
    Why vaccinate badgers against TB? It is not a cure, there are no field studies to show how effective it will be and isn’t it just as expensive as culling? We will attempt to answer some of those questions below. It is quite right that there has been no field study of the impacts of vaccination equivalent ...
  • Badger Appeal update
    As culling of badgers starts in England, Wales has thankfully taken a different route. Currently badgers are being vaccinated across Pembrokeshire in order to prevent the spread of the disease. We have started an appeal so that we can take this work further and show how management of disease can happen effectively. We have raised just ...
  • Liver fluke soars to disrupt bovine TB test resultsLiver fluke soars to disrupt bovine TB test results
    Press release from the Badger Trust As MPs prepare to debate badger killing next Thursday (October 25th) two developments show how bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is rooted in cattle. · At least a fifth of cattle herds and possibly a half may be harbouring bovine tuberculosis (bTB) even after they are thought clear of infection, according to a ...
  • Latest Badger Cull NewsLatest Badger Cull News
    The last few weeks have seen an interesting turn of events with regards to the badger cull; after a week which saw over 150,000 people sign an e-petition demanding a debate on the cull in Parliament on Sunday an open letter was sent to the Observer, composed by leading animal disease scientists, launching  an attack ...
  • Badger Cull E-PetitionBadger Cull E-Petition
    As many of you will already know, on 11th September the Badger Trust  lost its appeal against the judgment given by Lord Justice Ouseley on 12th July in respect of the Judicial Review the Badger Trust made against the Government’s decision to hold a pilot trial of the free-shooting of badgers in parts of Somerset ...
  • Latest on Badgers August 2012Latest on Badgers August 2012
    Over the last month, things have been moving apace in both England and Wales, with badger vaccination well underway here in south west Wales and a further legal challenge to plans to cull in England. The Badger Trust has been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s refusal to quash ...

21 June 2011

Environment Minister John Griffiths has today announced a postponement of plans to cull badgers in order to undertake an independent scientific review of the evidence. Read BBC report.

The Wildlife Trust is very pleased that this review will be undertaken and hopes that the increased evidence of the efficacy of vaccination will lead to a reassessment of the best approach.

09 May 2011

The Badger Trust have recently taken the first steps towards legal action against the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) regarding the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011.

On 15 April, Bindmans LLP, the Badger Trust’s legal firm, sent a pre-action letter to WAG. This letter is available on their website.

The letter states “We have advised our clients that the Welsh Ministers' decision to make the 2011 Order and the Order itself is unlawful and amenable to challenge by way of a judicial review claim in the Administrative Court.”

It concludes that there are number of grounds on which the Order could be challenged as being unlawful. Firstly, it challenges the dismissal of vaccination as part of the process to meet the legal requirement that culling should be ‘necessary’ (to make the Order). It specifically challenges the dismissal of vaccination on the basis that it is unproven in large scale field trials, when the Order includes free shooting of badgers, which is similarly unproven. It also challenges the impacts of the Order on residents of the Intensive Action Area under the Human Rights Act 1998.

WAG are asked either to revoke the Order or to make significant amendments (“to preclude all culling, including in particular free shooting without notice or consent, on an open-ended basis including in particular a period exceeding 5 years”) with a reply date set at 13 May 2011.

At time of writing, it is still not clear what form the new Assembly will take, in the light of the elections on 05 May, or how they will respond to the challenge of bovine TB. We will let you know in the next e-newsletter how the new Assembly responds to this challenge from the Badger Trust and keep you up to date with the progress of WAG’s bTB strategy.

14 April 2011

The Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011 has recently been debated in the Assembly, after Assembly Member Peter Black laid a motion calling for the Order to be annulled.

The debate took place on 23 March. It was an impassioned session, with various AMs speaking strongly against the cull, and citing how much correspondence they had received on the subject. In the end the majority vote was against the proposal (i.e. in favour of the Order), with 42 votes against 8. You can see footage of the debate itself online, and find out how your AM voted.

This result was not unexpected, but is an important step in the fight against the proposed cull. It means that the Badger (Control Order) (Wales) 2011 came into effect as planned at the end of March.

We will keep you up to date with news of any news of proposed cull activities or legal challenges. In the meantime, it is worth writing to all your local candidates in advance of the Assembly Elections next month, to let them know your position on the badger cull. In addition, Pembrokeshire Against the Cull have done some very useful research, asking ALL candidates for their views on badger culling, and reporting them on their website. Contact details are also given, where known, which will enable you to get in touch with your local candidates.

The Welsh Wildlife Centre also re-opened on 10 April, with a re-vamped badger exhibition, which we hope will reach further visitors to the area and help make the case against culling. Do come along and have a look if you can.

14 March 2011

On 09 March 2011, Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs, laid the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011. This Order allows for a Government managed cull of badgers, alongside stricter cattle measures, in the Intensive Action Area in west Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s TB Eradication Programme. It essentially makes the legislation required to pursue a badger cull very much in line with previous plans under the 2009 and draft 2010 Orders. WAG intends that the Order will come into force on 31 March 2011.

WTSWW is obviously very disappointed that the opportunity to take a different approach to bTB eradication has been missed. Peter Black AM has proposed a motion to annul the 2011 Order and this will be debated in the Assembly later this month. WTSWW will be writing to all AMs in our patch to make the case against culling, and would invite as many others to do so as possible. For more details, please see our What can I do to help? page- we hope to have more details and guidance uploaded soon.

15 February 2011

Since the last update, we have heard little more from the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) on the progress of the TB eradication programme. They have announced that they are still compiling and analysing responses to the consultation that closed just before Christmas. We are expecting an announcement by Elin Jones before the end of February however, in which she will reveal the next steps- so it’s a case of ‘watch this space’.

Meanwhile the latest TB statistics released for 2010 show that the levels of the disease have been falling. The statistics show that, between January and October 2010, 6,587 cattle were slaughtered across Wales because of bovine TB. This compares with 9,146 slaughtered during the same period in 2009. This change has also been pronounced in the Intensive Action Area (IAA) in north Pembrokeshire where WAG are proposing to undertake the badger cull.

Pro-vaccination group Pembrokeshire Against the Cull have also looked at the 2010 Defra figures in more detail, and shown that they reveal a reduction in West Wales of 35% compared to the equivalent period in 2009 and that since the introduction in 2008 of the stricter testing regime and subsequently improved cattle control measures, the proportion of cattle slaughtered had fallen by over 51%.

It is a sobering thought that had the original badger cull progressed as WAG had intended, it would not have been possible to determine whether these changes in TB infection levels where because of or in spite of the cull. Elin Jones has already said of these figures, “While any reduction in the TB statistics is welcome, it would be premature to suggest a turning point has been reached in Wales, based on the available data, particularly whilst the GB trend is very similar. Statistics must be used and interpreted with care and the TB statistics need to be analysed over time to observe a trend. TB is a long term epidemic and historically the trend has been upwards. We have seen short term falls before – for example in 2004 and 2006.” She acknowledges that the stricter cattle controls, increased testing of cattle and other measures introduced by WAG over this time period are probably having a positive impact (see website for details), but that the exact impact cannot be teased out from other factors. Had the cull gone ahead, this would have confounded the analysis still further. A positive impact on TB levels would be used as evidence to continue the TB eradication progamme, but with minimal additional evidence to demonstrate which elements are genuinely contributing to the observed change, and adding little to our knowledge of how best to tackle this disease.

For now, we must wait for the forthcoming announcement on next steps, before deciding our own.

15 January 2011

Since the last update in December 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government’s consultation on controlling Badgers in the Intensive Action Area has closed, with final submissions on 17 December 2010.

In the weeks preceeding the deadline, WTSWW received an extremely welcome (and even greater than expected) feedback from members, and other members of the public, all in opposition to plans to cull badgers. Some were requesting further information about the issue, and others copying us into their own responses to the consultation. We’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to get involved. Reading other peoples’ responses has been really encouraging. All objected, and gave good scientific reasons. Many also had ethical objections, and raised concerns about the economic impacts of culling.

The Trust has submitted its own, detailed response to the consultation. We also worked with Pembrokeshire Against the Cull to encourage even more respondents- more on the PAC webpage.

The Trust also simultaneously sent the Minister for Rural Affairs a petition that many of the readers of this e-newsletter will have signed- it had been running at our Wildlife Centre near Cardigan (within the IAA where the cull would take place) all year. At the final count it had received a fantastic 2285 signatories. The petition not only rejected culling as a primary course of action, but actively supported vaccination as an alternative.

What is clear both from the response to the consultation and to our petition, is that there is an enormous amount of public support for badger vaccination, and huge opposition to culling. At time of writing, we are awaiting the decision of the Minister and considering our future steps. We will continue to keep you up to date with progress in future editions.

15 December 2010

Media Release: 15 December 2010 

Wildlife Trust finds evidence of ‘huge opposition’ to the badger cull

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has announced that it has received massive feedback from its members, and members of the public, in opposition to plans by the Welsh Assembly Government to cull badgers in north Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The Trust, which is submitting its own detailed opposition in response to the Welsh Assembly Government consultation on culling badgers, says it has been inundated with requests for information about how the public can raise their objections.

Dr Lizzie Wilberforce, Conservation Manager for the Trust, said “we have always supported the Welsh Assembly in its aim to tackle bovine TB in cattle, and that we understand the devastation it causes to farming families. However, we continue to object to the proposals to cull, because we believe a better alternative is available, in vaccination.”

“As our position has become more widely known, we have been receiving a great many requests for information from members of the public about how to object, and have been sent copies of a great many peoples’ responses to the consultation, objecting to the cull on scientific grounds. Many also had ethical objections, or had reservations about the massive cost implications for only short term gain.”

“We ourselves have recently sent the Minister for Rural Affairs a petition that has been running at our Wildlife Centre near Cardigan- within the IAA where the cull would take place- which has received 2285 signatories. The petition not only rejected culling as a primary course of action, but actively supported vaccination as an alternative.”

What is clear, the Trust says, is that not only do the proposals to cull have no exit strategy for the long term sustainable reduction of bovine TB, but there is massive public opposition. In contrast, a vaccination strategy could make a real contribution to the elimination of the disease, and bring the public on board at the same time.

***ends***

For more information, contact:

Dr Lizzie Wilberforce

l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org

07970 780553

More information on the Trust’s position on the badger cull is available at:

https://welshwildlife.org/IntroductionToTheCull_en.link

Notes for editor

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Walesis the largest charitable organisation working exclusively on all aspects of wildlife conservation in South and West Wales. Registered Charity Number: 1091562.  www.welshwildlife.org

The Wildlife Trust works for a better future for all kinds of wildlife across South and West Wales. Our mission is to protect and improve habitats and wildlife in our local area as well as helping people to enjoy and understand their local wildlife.

We achieve our aims by:

Acquiring and managing nature reserves- we currently manage over 90 nature reserves throughout South and West Wales (including Skomer and Skokholm islands).   From ancient woodland to wetland, wildflower meadow to marsh, reed bed to heathland, they contain a rich variety of species, many extremely rare. These nature reserves form a land holding equal to approximately 4,000 acres.  Of these reserves10 lie within Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, seven are National Nature Reserves (NNRs), 40 are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and five are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Acting as wildlife champions - by advising on policy and planning, campaigning on wildlife issues, and protecting wildlife beyond our reserves.  We provide habitat and species management advice directly to those managing land and we also work with key partners and local people to promote habitat enhancement and restoration.

Helping people understand, protect and celebrate their environment-the Trust promotes the view that people from all sections of society should have access to wildlife and the natural world for enjoyment, learning, and well-being.  We invest in the future by helping all ages to gain a better understanding of nature. Our work with schools and our junior club, Wildlife Watch, is enjoyed by hundreds of children.

20 September 2010

Obviously the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is extremely disappointed by the latest announcement by the Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones, that she intends to pursue the route of a non-selective badger cull. We will continue to oppose this badger cull, because the science does not support it. However we hope to work constructively with the Welsh Assembly Government to develop the possibility of vaccination of badgers as an alternative strategy. We will be responding to the consultation on the badger cull, launched today by the Minister, and we would urge as many people as possible to do the same. In due course we will release additional information about our position and information to assist with consultation responses.

15 September 2010

In the last update, we let you know about the forthcoming auction being held by Pembrokeshire Against the Cull, in partnership with WTSWW, to raise funds for the legal battle against the badger cull in north Pembrokeshire.

We’re delighted to report that the event, which was held at Castell Malgwyn in Llechryd on 19 August, was a great success. Many people had visited the exhibition of lots in the days beforehand, at the Welsh Wildlife Centre. We were particularly pleased to see so much interest in advance, as it demonstrated great interest in the event- but also, critically, strong local support for the fight against the cull.

A huge number of lots had been donated, including many by Wildlife Trust members. Donations varied from paintings and photographs, to holidays in the Pembrokeshire area, books and more.  Chris Linney, who was the auctioneer for the event, said that he was impressed by the scope and the quality of the items on offer. We would like to say a huge ’thank you’ to everyone who donated, or helped with the organisation of the event, and contributed to its huge success.

On the night, over 200 people packed the auction room and many remote bids had also been sent in beforehand.  People were incredibly generous, and in the end over £7,000 was raised towards the legal costs incurred in the successful challenge against the Welsh Assembly’s TB Eradication (Wales) Order 2009. This is a really significant contribution to the total campaign costs, and a fantastic result.

Meanwhile, of course, the issue of culling badgers has far from gone away. Headlines recently have focused on England, but with the Welsh Assembly Government returning imminently from recess, we are fully expecting a statement from the Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones, on the ‘next steps ‘ in Wales. We will of course be monitoring the situation closely, and will continue to bring you updates and news of our activities via this newsletter and our other publications.

15 August 2010

Pembrokeshire Art & Gifts Auction in aid of badger campaign legal costs

You are invited to an auction on Thursday August 19th at 6.30pm at the Castell Malgwyn Hotel, Llechryd, Cardigan, SA43 2QA

The planned Badger cull in north Pembrokeshire was thankfully stopped at the last minute by the successful Appeal made to the courts by the Badger Trust. This auction is specifically to raise funds towards their legal costs, and some campaign costs of the partner organisations. Art and gifts including holidays have been generously donated by many renowned artists, photographers and local businesses.

The catalogue is available for viewing online at www.pembrokeshireagainstthecull.org.uk

For further information, please contact info@pembrokeshireagainstthecull.org.uk

or telephone Lizzie on 07970 780553 or PAC on 01239 805020

A big thank you to all who are making this event possible. Please come and support us with your bids.

13 July 2010

News has just broken that the Badger Trust appeal against the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG)to quash the TB Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 has been successful. WTSWW really welcomes this news and hopes that this provides an opportunity for the WAG to reconsider their strategy for dealing with bTB. WTSWW continues to support increased biosecurity and vaccination as key tools for combating the disease. Read our press release and our leaflet about why we support vaccination as an alternative

15 June 2010

The most significant event to have occurred since our May update is the news that the Badger Trust have been granted leave to appeal against the judgment handed down by Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones in the Judicial Review against the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). After initially announcing that they would continue their work towards the cull, WAG have now suspended work pending the court case which is due to be heard in late June. We wish the Badger Trust luck and hope that the appeal is successful.

Many of you will have seen the recent footage of events at Brithdir Mawr, within the Intensive Action Pilot Area, filmed by S4C amongst others (see footage), when sett surveyors arrived wearing balaclavas and accompanied by a large number of police officers. Three local landowners were arrested for obstruction and attempted theft. WTSWW have given their official refusal of access to WAG, but since our meeting with their officials we have had no further contact and as far as we know, sett surveys on our land have not yet been undertaken.

Further results have also been published from the latest 6 months of data from the Randomised Badger Culling Trials. These new data seem to show that whilst the beneficial effects of culling on TB levels in the trial areas had previously almost disappeared, in the last 6 months, some positive effects have reappeared. These data have been promoted heavily by WAG in support of their cull, but in fact the authors themselves say “there is no clear explanation of the unexpected pattern” and we do not know whether this will be sustained. They also go on to say that at least 11.1 years of post-culling benefits will be required just for the five years of culling using cage trapping (the same approach to that planned in Wales) to break even- in other words, the cull cost many times more than it has saved.

While the Badger Trust’s legal action progresses, we are pressing on with events, working closely with Pembrokeshire Against the Cull. Lizzie Wilberforce was recently pleased to speak against the cull to an incredibly well attended PAC public meeting in Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran. We are also working with PAC on an auction to raise funds for the campaign (including supporting the Badger Trust legal action). This auction is currently planned for August and will include art and other items of interest. Watch this space for further details, but if anyone thinks they may be able to help with the donation of items for the auction, please contact Lizzie on l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org

The subject continues to take up many column inches in both local and national papers. Many of you are doing a sterling job of writing in to papers to express your opposition to the cull. Many thanks for your efforts- and please keep it up! We need to make sure that this issue stays in the media spotlight and that we keep getting our message out there.

Meanwhile the ‘Saying no to the badger cull’ exhibition at the Welsh Wildlife Centre continues to receive many visitors, who are taking away ‘No Badger Cull’ car stickers and signing our paper petition against the cull. If you have not yet signed our petition, do either drop into the Wildlife Centre, or download the petition form. While the court case goes through we will be keeping the petition open for a little while longer!

14 May 2010

Since the last update, we have heard the incredibly disappointing news that the judicial review brought against the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) by the Badger Trust had been unsuccessful. This is a blow to the opposition movement, but it is incredibly important to remember that this judicial review was testing the legality of the process, not the appropriateness of the decision. Mr Justice Lloyd Jones concluded that WAG did indeed have discretionary powers to carry out the cull, but noted that it was for the Ministers, rather than the court, to undertake a balancing exercise between the costs and benefits of the proposed cull. The court said that the Badger Trust clearly had a legitimate public interest in bringing the case. There has been some misinterpretation of the judgment in the public arena, implying that the judgment supported the decision to cull, which is not the case, and this is a consideration for the Badger Trust in the decision to appeal- would losing spread this misunderstanding further? However the Badger Trust has now decided to appeal, and we await further developments.

One aspect of the judicial review looked at the expected reductions in bovine TB breakdowns as a result of badger culling, as there is a requirement for the proposed cull to ‘eliminate or substantially reduce’ the disease for the decision to cull to fall within the law. The court decided that the expected reduction of 6-9% was indeed ‘substantial’, in so much as it is ‘more than insignificant or trivial’ and thus found in favour of WAG.

Whilst the Badger Trust continues to progress its action against the cull, here at WTSWW we have been doing our part in south west Wales.

On Wednesday April 14th, we held another public meeting to present the evidence underpinning the badger cull and why that evidence shows that the cull will not work. Speakers included Iolo Williams, Sarah Kessell, chief executive of WTSWW, Dr Dan Forman from Swansea University and Lorraine Barrett AM, who is opposed to the cull. The event was well attended, and Iolo Williams introduced the event by saying he was ‘coming out against the cull’. He later said, “Time again it has been shown that badger culls don’t work. With the scientific evidence to hand I am absolutely disgusted that the Welsh Assembly Government are going ahead with this”.

Subsequent to the Cardiff event, Trust staff have also been involved in public meetings organised by other anti-cull organisations, including working closely with Pembrokeshire Against the Cull and speaking at a public meeting in Aberystwyth organised by the Dyfi Badger Group.

Meanwhile the ‘Saying no to the badger cull’ exhibition at the Welsh Wildlife Centre continues to receive many visitors, who are taking away ‘No Badger Cull’ car stickers and signing our paper petition against the cull. If you have not yet signed our petition, do either drop into the Wildlife Centre, or download the petition form.

In the Intensive Action Pilot Area (IAPA), where the cull will take place, increased biosecurity and cattle controls came into place on 01 May. Sett surveys are now well underway, though the surveyors have not yet contacted WTSWW about access to our nature reserves. WTSWW staff Sarah Kessell and Lizzie Wilberforce, and WTSWW chair Lynda Warren, recently met with WAG staff regarding our objections to the cull and concerns about its delivery on our sites. It gave us an opportunity to officially refuse them access, though the Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 gives them legal rights to enter regardless.

We will continue to keep you up to date with progress through our newsletters and our magazines, but between publications, keep an eye on these badger pages on our website, and those of our partners:

Pembrokeshire Against The Cull

Cull Watch

Save The Badger

The Badger Trust

14 April 2010

We’ve had a great response to some of our campaigning work against the planned badger cull in north Pembrokeshire this month.

First of all we launched our new “saying no to the badger cull” exhibition at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, which re-opened on 28 March. The exhibition includes information about the cull and the reasons for our opposition, and includes the chance to sign our petition lobbying the Welsh Assembly Government to adopt a policy of badger vaccination instead of culling. We’ve had plenty of signatures already and they keep on coming. Please do visit our exhibition if you get the chance! Also, if you can help us gather signatures for our petition, please contact Lizzie Wilberforce on l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org for an electronic copy.

On Saturday 10 April, we also held a ‘Great Escape’ from the Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran, in partnership with Pembrokeshire Against the Cull. Around 50 opponents to the cull gathered to walk through the nature reserve and over the Teifi to symbolise badgers’ escape from the cull zone. We also walked into Cardigan itself and spoke to members of the public along the way. We were delighted by the level of public support we received, with passing cars hooting and waving at our banners and lots of people signing our petition, and we received some good publicity for our cause. Pictures of the event are now up on the badger pages of our website!

We have also just produced some “No Badger Cull” bilingual window stickers and black and white striped fundraising ribbons. We hope people will be willing to display the stickers in their car or house windows and wear the ribbons to express their protest to the cull. Either are available to anyone who would like one, donations (suggested £1 per item) would be gratefully received to help us cover the cost of production and to contribute to our costs of fighting the cull. If you would like either, please send an A4 stamped addressed envelope to the Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran, Cardigan, SA43 2TB and enclose a note saying which (or both) you would like!

We are also about to host our next series of public lectures against the cull in Cardiff, which will take place as this e-newsletter goes to press. We will report back on the day in the next edition!

Finally, Save The Badger has launched a petition on the National Assembly website, at http://www.assemblywales.org/gethome/e-petitions/eform-sign-petition.htm to pressure the Welsh Assembly Government to review the badger cull decision. There is nothing to stop you signing both petitions mentioned here. Please note you will have to go through a registration process to sign this petition but we would encourage you to do so.

We are still always in need of more funds to support our fight against the badger cull- if you think you can help, please get in touch with Lizzie or make cheques payable to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, and send them to Badger Appeal, WTSWW, The Nature Centre, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend, CF32 0EH. Thank you!

15 March 2010

It’s been another busy month with regard to progress on the badger cull issue. We’ve received a copy of the Ecological Impact Assessment commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), which addresses the potential impacts of the badger cull on other species, and we’ve been studying the findings in relation to our own nature reserves. We’ve also been in contact with WAG’s TB team to try and find out more about the timescales and potential impacts on our own reserves.

We also took part in a big rally, led by Save The Badger, outside the Senedd in Cardiff on 8 March. Attended by several organisations opposed to the cull and around 200 people in total, a document summarising the arguments against the cull was presented to WAG, and a silent vigil was held with protestors putting their fingers in their ears to represent how WAG are not listening to the evidence with regard this issue. Lizzie Wilberforce from WTSWW was present, and wielded a megaphone to give the Wildlife Trust’s position against the cull. Thank you to all Wildlife Trust members who attended on the day!

Forthcoming events related to the badger cull which you might like to attend:

Sunday 10 April: we will be holding a ‘Great Escape’ at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran. The Centre reopens on 28 March and we will be launching a new anti-cull exhibition in the Centre with the start of the new season. This will be linked to the event on 10 April when we will be gathering to walk into Cardigan to symbolise the escape of badgers over the bridge over the Teifi. For more information contact Lizzie Wilberforce on l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org

Wednesday 14 April: “Saying no to the badger cull”. Following on from our successful event last November in Cilgerran, we are arranging another series of lectures, this time in Cardiff. The event will run 6-8pm in Cardiff University’s Julian Hodge lecture theatre. Speakers include Iolo Williams, Dr Dan Forman from Swansea University and Sarah Kessell, chief executive of WTSWW. For more information contact Rob Parry on r.parry@welshwildlife.org

We are also just in the process of producing some bilingual ‘no badger cull’ window stickers, so if you would like one to display, watch this space.

We are still always in need of more funds to support our fight against the badger cull- if you think you can help, please get in touch with Lizzie or make cheques payable to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, and send them to Badger Appeal, WTSWW, The Nature Centre, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend, CF32 0EH

15 February 2010

On 13 January 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) confirmed the go-ahead for the badger cull in north Pembrokeshire. Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said that “a limited badger cull will take place in a pilot area of West Wales”.

WAG also stated that “five culls will take place over a limited period each year within the pilot area, which measures approximately 288km². Culling will be carried out alongside strict cattle control measures”

“Thorough evaluation, including a post mortem examination of culled badgers, as well as detailed investigation of each cattle TB incident will be undertaken within the pilot area. Evaluation will also include assessing the impact of cattle movement measures and the social impact on farming families, and any ecological impact within the area. An annual report on the pilot area will also be provided.”

A landowners pack subsequently received by WTSWW confirmed that three of our nature reserves will fall into the cull area.

Whilst the Trust fully support strict cattle control measures, we still oppose the badger cull on scientific grounds and are now working on a new strategy to highlight our concerns.

Some of the current proposals include an exhibition and petition at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, ready for its re-opening in March, and a protest march from the Centre to Cardigan on 10 April. The other Wildlife Trusts in Wales are also working with us on this awareness-raising issue and will be holding simultaneous events across Wales on the same date.

We are also looking into an online petition to complement the paper-based petition to be held at our visitor centres, and producing new in-house literature to state our opposition and the case against the cull, for wider distribution.

We are hoping to organise another series of speakers in a venue in Glamorgan to complement the successful event held at Cilgerran in November, and hope to organise, possibly in partnership with other interested parties, a march through Cardiff later in the year.

We are looking into producing some black and white ribbons that people can wear to express their opposition to the cull and are producing some bilingual ‘No Badger Cull’ car window stickers.

We will continue to work with WAG on alternatives to the cull and are due to meet with Dr Christianne Glossop, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales to discuss this matter soon. We will continue to make our opposition to the cull known, and are in contact with other partners who also oppose the action, including Pembrokeshire Against the Cull (PAC) and Save The Badger.

Further details on our planned events and petitions will be available through future editions of this e-newsletter and other Trust publications- so watch this space!  Anyone who might be interested in assisting with the organisation of any of the above activities, please contact Lizzie Wilberforce on l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org or Rob Parry on r.parry@welshwidllife.org

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