Badger cull: No let up in wounded badger patrols
CAMPAIGNERS against the badger cull are not stepping down their efforts to protect the animals, despite reports marksmen are ‘giving up’.
Liz Gaffer, from Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said she will continue running wounded badger patrols in the county.
She said: “There is nothing to suggest the cull has stopped.
“We think it’s still carrying on and we will be out every evening, looking for wounded animals.
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“And we will be out for as long as the cull goes on.
“We have not found any wounded badgers, maybe Defra haven’t shot as many as they wanted to.
“But we still think they will be shooting badgers and the Government hasn’t said that the cull will stop.”
Liz said she was pleased so many people were still volunteering to go out on the patrols with GABS, which sticks to public footpaths.
Protesters have claimed that a combined effort by groups against the cull had succeeded is stopping marksmen shooting badgers.
Under the licence, which is held by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) marksmen cannot shoot if there is a risk of hitting a human being.
With more than 900 people in various cull zones throughout the last three weeks, groups have claimed the marksmen have given up.
The cull is being carried out by marksmen from private companies.
Defra had said before the shooting started they expected 2,856 to 2,932 badgers to be culled during the six-week window.
Drew Pratten, from Stop the Cull group, said: “I think they might have quit. I think they have not managed to shoot enough badgers.
“At the moment, we have not heard many gun shots, and we have managed to keep a lot of the shooters away. It’s brilliant news.
“We have people all over the cull zones, and that has put them off.
“The sheer effort of everyone has been brilliant. Defra can’t be hitting their targets.
“We have had all sort of people, from older people to teenagers. I think it just shows how much people care about the cull.”
Defra, Natural England and the National Farmers Union have said they will not comment on operational matters and the cull will carry on its course.
A spokeswoman from Defra said: “We won’t be giving out detailed information about the pilot culls while they’re going on but a full report will be published after the culls have finished.”
Bovine tuberculosis claimed 1,930 cattle in Gloucestershire last year.