Take Action to Save UK Badgers From Cruel and Ineffective Culls

Two badgers who starred in a wildly popular BBC show could be slaughtered by marksmen currently carrying out a badger cull in England.

Bumblebee and Gnat are orphaned badgers who were adopted by a rescue center in southwest England. They ultimately starred in “Hugh’s Wild West,” a BBC Two show watched by millions and presented by chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

At the end of the show, the two adorable badgers were released back into the wild, achieving the rescue center’s goal of rehabilitation.

But Somerset, the site of their release, has now become one of the counties subject to badger culls. According to government officials, that’s because badgers are responsible for infecting cows with TB — and, therefore, must be killed.

Wildlife scientists and animal rights activists disagree and see little evidence to support these culls.

Almost 20,000 badgers were killed in 2017 — a big jump from the 10,000 individuals that died in 2016. The culls largely took place in southwest England, with the county of Devon — where I grew up – holding six culls and Somerset — where Bumblebee and Gnat were released – holding three.

George Eustice, Minister of State for Farming, Fisheries and Food, declared that the measures had been “effective,” stating:

There is broad scientific consensus that badgers are implicated in the spread of TB to cattle. This year, effective, licensed badger control operations were completed by local farmers and landowners in eleven new areas and eight existing areas.

This shows that badger control can be delivered successfully on a much wider scale than before.

Well, the culls were certainly effective in killing tens of thousands of badgers. But Eustice should take another look.

Slaughtering those cute badgers doesn’t seem to have changed the rate of bovine tuberculosis, or bTB. In fact, the number of badgers culled rose from 615 animals in 2014 to almost 20,000 in 2017, but cattle deaths from bTB increased from 27,474 to 42,000 as the disease continued to spread.

So it appears that the badger culls were ineffective at controlling disease,  bringing needless misery and bloodshed to wildlife. And now these two BBC favorites, who were lovingly nurtured by hand, could be the next victims.

The Badger Trust has been fighting the badger culls since their inception in 2013. The animal rights group reminds everyone that:

  1. Badgers are not to blame. Badgers have been used as a scapegoat and demonized in the media, despite the lack of scientific evidence.
  2. The science doesn’t support the culls: Independent experts and the government’s own research does not support the culls as an effective strategy against bovine TB.
  3. Cattle should be the primary focus: Cattle are the main carriers and transmitters for bovine TB, and we feel that the bovine TB strategy should focus more on cattle and less on badgers.

It’s way past time to put an end to these ineffective and cruel badger culls, which prove only that the government cares not at all about protecting wildlife. 

As Badger Trust chief executive Dominic Dyer stated, “No badger in England is now completely safe from the gun sights of badger cullers.” 

And that includes Bumblebee and Gnat.

Take Action!

If you want to protect the UK’s badger population, please sign this Care2 petition, calling on the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and George Eustice to end the cruel and ineffective culls.

Photo Credit: Peter Trimming/Flickr

69 comments

Liz  NO FWDS G
Liz AWAY G14 days ago

Once again vile farmers wanting rid of our beaiutiful badgers because they think they infect cattle with TB,this has never been proven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ignorant horribel farmers also ranchers in the US wanting to murder our precious wildlife so they can profit from raising cattle it seems to me that no other animal is allowed to live their lives only cattle all about money and greed,they show no compassion for the innocence and their lives it makes me upset and so angry ,what a world we live in.I see many dead badgers on the roads either been hit by traffic or killed by VILE farmers and left on the roadside to make it look like an inncent road death,b*****ds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also we have the cruel badger baiting here in the countryside in the UK mudering innocent badgers,WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The UK is no different to any other country as far as killing and cruelty to animals and wildlife goes.I always stop and remove the dead badgers,foxes,rabbits and pheasants etc and lay them to rest amongst the greenery,sooo upsetting as it happens every day while i'm out driving,bless them all.Thank you.Liz Gillard.

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christine s
christine s1 months ago

Ignorant and barbaric.

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LINDA BADHAM
LINDA BADHAM2 months ago

INNOCENT BADGERS BEING BLASTED WITH GUNS AND DIE IN AGONY !! WTF IS RIGHT ABOUT THAT !!!

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

nOTED

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Megan S
Megan S2 months ago

When I lived in the country side I knew a lot of farmers who'd run down badgers on purpose... such a waste

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John W
John W2 months ago

TYFST

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Julie B
Julie B2 months ago

Thankyou as you inform us all :)

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Julie B
Julie B2 months ago

Stop killing Badgers. I read years ago how the cows being transported are the causes of the T.B outbreaks. I believe Badgers are being used to try to distract from the truth behind the T.B outbreaks. NOW is the time to show the real reasons of these outbreaks. The public need to know. Posters and information on social media is a good way to spread the truth what you say :) Good Luck to All Badgers and Animal welfare throughout this Country thankyou

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thank you.

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