Badger cull protesters take to Taunton streets
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Hundreds of people marched through Taunton in a peaceful protest against the badger cull taking place in Somerset.
An estimated 400-500 took part in the march, which was organised by the Somerset Badger Patrol group and the League Against Cruel Sports.
Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "It was a very good march, and what was heartening was the positive response from people who were out shopping."
Mr Duckworth spent Friday night on patrol in West Somerset and visited the camp where protesters are living.
He said groups were patrolling the area into the small hours, with reports of cull activity in woodland near Dunster.
"We had reports that infrared lights were being used in the woods, so we gathered there," he explained. "Within about five minutes, in the middle of nowhere, the police arrived. They were very nice and pleasant.
"I think that showed there was clearly something going on there, otherwise the police would not have been on hand.
"There were no sounds of shots, but what I think the patrols are doing is deterring shooting from taking place."
Mr Duckworth added: "I feel sorry for farmers. Bovine TB is horrible for the cattle and horrible for the farmers themselves, but I think they have been sold a pup here. It is the most cynical kind of politics."
The West Somerset cull began on August 26 and opponents believe the shooting in Gloucestershire started last Tuesday.
Bovine TB has ruined herds across Devon and Cornwall, and the pilots will see some 5,000 badgers, which can spread TB to cattle, shot over a six-week period.
Opponents believe the focus should instead be on vaccines and tighter cattle movement measures.