Image credit: @thegreatunwashed_
The intensive badger cull is in full motion and though no new zones have been authorised, 29 will continue across in England which could result in up to 24,000 murdered in September and October on top of the 210,000 already killed since it began in 2013. However, saboteurs and activists, acting on intelligence and data from previous years, were on hand to take action to prevent killing and protect local populations. Derbyshire Against The Cull were the first to publish their disruption of free-shooting, where the wild animals are shot at night, and was soon followed by cage traps being destroyed by Underground Badger Syndicate. Multiple hunt sabotage groups from across the country have also been active day and night. Though the scale of the cull is bleak, the survival of consistently targeted setts reaffirms the importance of localised action.
Anti-cull action will continue throughout October but cannot be done without support. Many are active night and day, seven days a week. Fuel costs alone are enough to determine how active they can be so donations of any size can help go a long way. Underground Badger Syndicate specifically have set up a fund raiser for their continuous efforts throughout the cull. Tip-off’s are also incredibly important. Though there are groups and individuals specifically dedicated to the cause, anyone can make a difference simply by checking their local badger sett. You never know what you may find, including other items of wildlife destruction nearby as seen by Manchester Hunt Sabs.
The Llandeilo Farmers Hunt have disbanded following financial pressure and a lack of support from landowners. This is a reminder of how important these two factors are for the sustainability of a hunt. It was noted that the hunt attracted very few mounted riders, which is an essential stream of income, and what riders they did have were likely put off by the presence of South Wales Hunt Saboteurs. Some hunts sabotage themselves through their own actions. For example, last season the huntsman was evicted by an angry landowner as the hounds chased his sheep. Events like this act as nails to a hunts coffin. Sabotaging a hunt like this, on top of saving wildlife on the day, can also add further nails to their coffin. Some hunts may seem fair from the possibility of disbanding but, as seen by a recent confirmed amalgamation of the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt with the South Down & Eridge Hunt in England, even hunts with a history of violence and police backing can fall. It was also announced that the Ecclesfield Beagles have folded, a Hare hunt who had famously been the target of a raid by the Animal Liberation Front in the 1980s.
Throughout September, hunt sabotage groups across the UK have been active in disrupting efforts of hunts in training new hounds against fox cubs and leverets, often taking place in the early hours of the morning, with many active during multiple days of the week. This training process is vital for the main hunting season and, when left unchallenged, often results in multiple wild animals being killed during a single hunt meet. The efforts made by saboteurs not only has saved many lives, it also creates complications for the training process which may be detrimental for hunting during the upcoming main hunting season. This month has been extremely busy for groups as, in addition to this, have also been organising and taking part in fundraisers, recruiting new members and taking part in other action such as the badger cull. Donations and messages of support are always appreciated and help with expenses and keeping spirits high.