England: Latest Senseless Badger Killings Finish – A Simple Mess Up Ploy For Farmers Votes From David cameron ?



badger artwork

Link:  http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/11554698.Question_mark_over_future_of_badger_cull/

Question mark over future of badger cull

First published Thursday 23 October 2014.

THE roll out of the controversial badger cull across the country remains uncertain after shooters failed to meet minimum targets in one of the cull zones.

The second year of the controversial badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset ended after six weeks at 12pm on Monday.

The culls were part of the Government’s plans to tackle bovine TB in England, which saw over 26,000 TB-infected cattle slaughtered last year.

Marksmen had targets of killing a minimum of 316 badgers in Somerset and 615 in Gloucestershire.

The Humane Society International/ UK said that figures were revealed to Team Badger by a source at Natural England, and show only 253 badgers were shot in Gloucestershire while in Somerset gunmen killed the minimum number.

Defra is yet to confirm the number of badgers killed but previously Environment Secretary Liz Truss said the outcome of this year’s culls would determine if they were rolled out nationwide.

Sources close to Defra are said to have told the BBC that plans to extend the cull will not be rolled out if targets had been missed.

It is also not yet known if there will be an extension to the culls like last year, which still failed to meet the 70% target set by Defra.

No application has yet been made to the licensing company Natural England to extend the culls.

There was added anger from those opposing the cull this year after the Government announced there would be no Independent Expert Panel.

Last year the IEP found the culls to be inhumane and ineffective, and the Badger Trust is waiting a Court of Appeal judgement which will rule whether or not the Government has acted unlawfully by not using an IEP.

A spokesperson for Defra said: “The minimum numbers for this year’s culls have been set using the best available evidence gathered by local experts and signedoff by Defra’s chief scientist.

“All aspects of the culls are being independently audited.

“The numbers of badgers removed during the culls will be analysed, quality assured and audited before release.

“The information on safety and humaneness will also be analysed, quality assured and signed off by the Chief Veterinary Officer.

”Opponents have been out day and night to try to distract shooters. A spokesperson for Somerset Against The Badger Cull said: “During the last six weeks our members have spent uncountable hours walking the walk along the footpaths and lanes of Somerset to register their opposition.

“There’s absolutely no way that this year’s cull can be deemed a success apart from the fact that no member of the public was killed or seriously injured and we hope that today marks the end of this senseless badger cull for good.

“So far, just under 1,300 badgers have been killed in Somerset during the official culls of 2013 and 2014 in a policy labelled crazy by one of the country’s leading animal disease experts.

“And we sincerely hope that 2015 doesn’t see the resumption of badger culling in Somerset or Gloucestershire but if it does we will be out and about campaigning against the badger cull once again.”

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England: EU Response To Our Letter and Evidence To Commissioner Borg Re Live Animal Transport.





Photo – Valerie Cameron.

Friday 24 October 2014

We have now had a response from the DG Health and Consumers to our evidence submitted to Commissioner Borg on 8/8/2014.

Original SAV references are as follows:



The EU response dated 16/10/2014 from Mr. Van Goethem, Animal Welfare Director at the DG for Health and Consumers (who have responsibility for animal welfare issues in the EU) can be seen below.

EU envelope letter Oct 14_NEW

EU letter 1 Oct 14_NEW

EU letter 2 Oct 14_NEW


In the past we have provided evidence to Mr. Van Goethem relating to live animal transport; and we thank him again for his most recent response to our submittal.

On page 2, last paragraph of his latest response, Mr. Van Goethem  refers to a report which we provided relating to the lack of visibility (signage) on livestock transporters carrying live animals for export through eh port of Ramsgate, Kent.  Our report was titled “Now you see it, now you don’t” and was clear proof that live animal transporters were using ‘deceptive behaviour’ (words of the EU DG) to get round the fact of identifying that they were carrying live animals in their vehicles.

Despite what Mr. Van Goethem declares in his final sentences regarding this issue being the responsibility of the UK member state; the UK being the location of the export vehicles; we have had no response or clarification from UK authorities (ie. Defra / Animal Health AHVLA) that they have taken ANY action against these same hauliers; despite the sealed ‘box trailers’ to which we provide evidence for in our report still being used for the export of live animals out of Ramsgate port.

The following is a copy link of the front page of our report.  For obvious reasons we are not publishing the content as this is an on going issue with the EU.

 Front Page

Finally, we question the statement made by Mr. Van Goethem (3rd para) that limiting animal transport to 8 hours for example would ‘improve animal welfare’.  We know that a reduction to 8 hours would vastly improve animal welfare; but the basic fact is that regarding enforcement of the regulations such as identified in our report of lack of signage, we CANNOT RELY on so-called ‘competent authorities’ such as Defra /AHVLA to ensure that all the requirements of Regulation 1/2005 are being adhered to by export hauliers.

In the UK, Defra / AHVLA are ignoring some of their responsibilities to ensure that issues such as clear signage are complied with on box type trailers.  If national ‘competent authorities’ are so incompetent; how can we rely on them to ensure that animal welfare standards re met in Europe given the current regulations ?

We will continue to push for an 8 hour maximum journey time despite what EU DG says; and we are forwarding this information to our friends and campaigners at Ramsgate port to ask that they pay particular attention to the signage; or rather the complete lack of; on the sealed box trailers as still seen using the port for the live export of UK animals on a weekly basis. 

We trust that Ramsgate campaigners will take particular note of ‘box trailer’ signage situation (or most probably the lack of signage) and that they will as a result report discrepancies to UK competent authorities; stating as necessary the evidence previously provided in our report “Now you see it, now you don’t”.

UK competent authorities need to take action on the issue of signage; something which it is clear they are NOT doing at this present time; or have ever done in the past.

Box trailers containing live animals, and with a clear lack of signage indicating such can be seen in the following very recent footage taken at the port of Ramsgate, Kent:


Note that the trailer shown in the following contains hundreds of live sheep. 

Where is the signage to indicate this ? – ask UK so called ‘competent authorities’ why they are ignoring the requirements of Regulation 1/2005 and the declarations made by Mr. Van Goethem at EU DG for Health and Consumers:


Watch the latest Ramsgate (Kent) live export protests via the following link: