Care for the Wild’s Badger Cull Campaign
Care for the Wild has been very busy fighting the UK badger cull. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing:
- Why the Badger Cull is Missing the Target – new campaign leaflet
- If you care… New campaign badges
- Cure Not Kill – the campaign to vaccinate badgers
- Bodger and Badger return! We helped the TV favourites produce an anti-badger cull special
- Badger-friendly dairy products
- Organic produce, the Soil Association and the badger cull
Stop Press: Care for the Wild Campaign Champions
We’ve been getting a lot of offers of help on our badger campaign from people around the country – many of whom can’t come into our office because they are too far away! So we’ve started our Campaign Champions scheme, which means wherever you are, you can help us to help animals! Can you be a Campaign Champion? Take a look!
Exclusive! New Campaign Materials
Our new leaflet, Why the Badger Cull is MIssing the Target, sets out why it is the bTB testing – not badgers – which is leading to cattle getting sick. Read more here about Why the Badger Cull is Missing the Target.
Our new pin badges are stunning and can be worn by anyone with a love for badgers. If you’re planning a protest or an event and you’d like to share our leaflets and badges, please email and tell us how many you need! We’ll send them out to you for free. With many thanks to the wonderful Gopromotional for donating these badges to us!
Cure Not Kill
With other animal welfare groups, Care for the Wild have been working on a plan to vaccinate badgers, so they will not have to be culled. While we strongly believe that the main causes of Btb are lapse farming practices, such as security on farms and unchecked movement of cattle, we do accept that wildlife like badgers may act as a ‘reservoir’ for the disease and thus have an additional impact on the problem. Recent studies however showed that vaccinating badgers can reduce the rate of badger-cattle infection.
Exclusive! Cure Not Kill Merchandise
Show your support for our Cure Not Kill Campaign with these fantastic beanie hats!
Buy them via Ebay or call 01403 249832 (office hours).
- Beanie hats: £6.75
- Postage free
Badger Vaccination Initiative
We are still working on this project, called the Badger Vaccination Initiative, but the basic details can be found in this submission to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Here’s an excerpt:
The BVI would deliver in specific areas a targeted programme run by trained volunteers but financially backed by Team Badger members to vaccinate badgers who would then likely become resistant to the disease. The disease would therefore be reduced in the badger population and any risk of transfer to other badgers, and to cattle, would be reduced.
Fore more information on why we should Cure Not Kill badgers, take a look at this video from Care for the Wild’s Policy Advisor Dominic Dyer:
Bodger and Badger
A huge hit for ten years across the 1990s, the hilarious Bodger and Badger were massively successful on BBC children’s Tv – and just as popular with adults!
Simon Bodger – also known as Andy Cunningham – decided to bring back his creation when he heard about the proposed badger cull. After chatting with Care for the Wild about how he could help, Andy came up with a script which we believe is both hilarious and touching – an ironic look at the government’s plan, as seen from the point of view of Badger. With, of course, plenty of mashed potato!
Many people still don’t know about the cull, so you can really help by sharing Bodger and Badger with your friends, workmates – anyone you know who you think will enjoy a good bit of old fashioned mash-in-the-face fun!
Where can I buy ‘badger-friendly’ products?
Animal lovers who don’t want to buy milk or other products from farms where badgers have been culled have some difficult decisions to make.
In a bid to discover which of the main supermarkets would be able to stock milk guaranteed to come from outside the 2013 cull zones (Somerset, Gloucestershire), Care for the Wild questioned each of them.
Our enquiries to the major supermarkets showed that Asda, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer were the only ones which could guarantee that their own-brand milk would come from farms outside of Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and the Co-op were unable to offer customers that choice. Additionally, the Soil Association, which certifies most organic produce, said they could not guarantee that organic milk would be from outside the cull area.
As we move closer to a bigger cull however, please bear this in mind:
- Some experts say that NO big supermarket chain can guarantee where their farm products come from, because of the distribution methods they use
- As the cull zones get bigger, there will be even less choice for those wanting badger-friendly products.
Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild, said:
The reasons why supermarkets can or can’t offer this might be to do with luck rather than policy, or it might be to do with complicated supply chains which, frankly, shouldn’t be so complicated that they don’t actually know where the milk has come from.
Either way, customers should be given choice – a choice to buy cage-free eggs, a choice to buy free range pork, and a choice to buy badger-friendly milk. I think when they are given that choice, many will take it.
He added that many of the supermarkets were unwilling to take a stand on the cull to avoid upsetting farmers.
We got a lot of standard replies about this being a difficult issue for the farmers, which it is. But they seem to be forgetting that all of us are their customers – neither the farms nor the supermarkets would exist if it wasn’t for the people who buy their products. That seems to have been forgotten in the rush to defend this policy.”
Particularly disappointing has been the Soil Association’s refusal to guarantee that their organic produce would be badger-friendly, said Mr Mansbridge.
Organic produce is already seen as having higher animal welfare standards, so I think a lot of their customers will be surprised – and disappointed – to know that organic milk may come from cull-farms.
It is worth noting that some in the farming industry suggest that because of the way milk is distributed, none of the big supermarkets can genuinely claim that their milk, or milk-related products, are from outside of the cull zone, as it is all mixed together. That’s another conundrum, and reflects on the distribution processes which mean we cannot really tell exactly where our food has come from.
This piece in Wildlife Extra picks up the story about badger-friendly produce.
This website gives more detailed information about where to buy badger-friendly products.
And here’s another website offering details of badger-friendly farms.
Head back to our main Badger Cull page for more information.
You Gov Poll shows Cull is £175m risk to Organic Sector
In order to raise public awareness of the Badger Cull issue and engage with the retailers, we commissioned a You Gov poll asking respondents about whether they would boycott organic milk and dairy products if they knew it was sourced from a farm where the culling of badgers had taken place.
The results were significant!
The poll showed that 35% of people who buy organic produce were ‘likely’ to boycott organic dairy products from farms that choose to cull badgers.
To support this, we’re asking supporters to demand clearer labelling and have created our Badger Friendly – from Cull Free Farms logo. This means consumers can have a choice – if they don’t support the cull they can choose badger friendly products and vote with their wallets and their feet, when choosing what they consume.
We encourage supporters to contact their favourite supermarkets and manufacturers of dairy products and ask them:
- Are their dairy products sourced from any farms taking part in the Badger Cull – and if so, why?
- Will they start using our Badger Friendly logo to make it easier for consumers to make an educated and clear choice – and if not, why not?