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Badgers 'drowned in slurry' as police investigate animal torture

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 05, 2012

The postponement of the badger cull until next year has been at the heart of rising tempers over the morality of the planned trials

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Claims that badgers are being killed and tortured in Gloucestershire are being investigated by police.

The recent furore surrounding the badger cull and its subsequent postponement has sparked new fears the animals – protected by law – are again facing an upsurge in incidences of the illegal practice of baiting. The most recent figures show 28 incidents in Gloucestershire in 2010.

A national police chief at the head of a countrywide crackdown on persecution of the animals, blamed by farmers' groups for a rising tide of TB in cattle, has confirmed they are investigating "a couple" of county people who made comments online encouraging inhumane killings.

Ian Hutchison, who heads UK crime prevention for Operation Meles, a joint project by police and animal welfare organisations, said: "There is a lot of this going on and there will have been cruelty in Gloucestershire. There are gangs travelling through the county who think it is a macho thing to do.

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"Some have even pumped slurry into setts effectively drowning the badgers in excrement. It is the most cruel and sick activity.

"There have been some people inciting this sort of behaviour online, suggesting ways in which to kill them and we are monitoring them."

Mr Hutchison stressed he wasn't pointing the finger at farmers.

Police have not ruled out a snare trap discovered at Robinswood Hill on October 8 as being the most recent example of badger cruelty in the county.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said: "We do not believe the incident was an attempt to harm badgers but we cannot rule it out. We are aware of this issue and that there have been incidents in the past.

"The force has specially trained wildlife officers with expertise in these type of offences and wherever reported they will be thoroughly investigated."

A cull of badgers planned for trial sites in Gloucestershire adn Somerset was last month abandoned for the year after estimates of animal numbers in the area – and therefore the payments to be made for each one shot – proved to be wildly inaccurate.

The NFU and many farmers are keen to see the trial begin again next autumn.

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  • grannyonline1  |  November 07 2012, 10:22PM

    http://tinyurl.com/adndc42 sorry the last link doesnt appear work, hope this one does.

  • grannyonline1  |  November 07 2012, 10:18PM
  • stefanu  |  November 07 2012, 8:11PM

    I feel I must answer 2ladybugs outburst "Stefanu you are talking rubbish",Tuesday, November 06 2012, 11:20PM. First of all the facts, there are 62.6 million people in the UK. On the 25th of October, MPs voted 147 to 28 to postpone the badger cull. It worries me when MPs cannot be bothered to vote on an enormously emotive issue. Most people do know where their food comes from, maybe there are some children whose parents keep it from them. Now for the polls, you do not state where these were done or by whom, just "There has been some independent polls done up and down the country. In a poll conducted by TiG on the 4th October it states "At the time of going to press yesterday, an overwhelming 2,100 said no, while just 227 said yes. A further nine were undecided. I know enough about badgers and their habits to know that a cull would be an erroneous course of action, so pleased it has been put on hold. If you think I was wrong, then 'misinformed' would be better than 'lies', thankyou.

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  • grannyonline1  |  November 07 2012, 4:55PM

    Dr David Gregory-Kumar Environment correspondent, BBC News -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So why would anyone kill three badgers? Badgers are highly protected under UK law and deliberately killing one carries the threat of a fine and six months in prison. Of course it's unlikely the offenders will be identified in this case. There just isn't enough evidence to link anyone to the crime. What we can say though is if those responsible think ad hoc killing of badgers will help reduce the spread of bovine TB then they are wrong. The Krebs trial of culling here in the Midlands showed that killing a few badgers can cause the remaining animals to abandon their sett. If any of those animals are infected with bovine TB they then spread the disease. Killing badgers like this won't control the spread of bovine TB. It will make the problem worse.

  • FreeRadical1  |  November 07 2012, 4:20PM

    Oh, and I'd also like to point out that this was SUPPOSED to be a discussion about the torture of badgers, and yet almost all of the comments turn out to be about the pros and cons of culling them.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  November 07 2012, 4:17PM

    There is currently only one TB vaccine licensed for use in either humans or animals, but there are about 10 or 11 others that are in the process of being developed. Additionally, I'd like to point out that badger vaccination is currently being tested, so we don't know whether or not it will be a viable alternative to culling; I hope that it will.

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  • herefordalf  |  November 07 2012, 12:45PM

    We're not going to see any changes until "county folk" lose the mindset that animals are either there for sport or food, anything else is considered a menace. I'm not interested in debate as I consider farmers, on the whole, to be arrogant, uneducated, greedy, selfish fools. And just to clarify, I'm not a city boy, I grew up on a dairy farm, which is why I've been vegan for the last 30 years.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 07 2012, 11:23AM

    @eyeopener BVA Volume 171, Issue 18 Article Veterinary Record 2012;171:432 doi:10.1136/vr.e7345 The second paper was published in the October issue of the online journal PLOS Computational Biology. It describes how researchers at the University of Cambridge and the AHVLA applied mathematical modelling techniques to surveillance and testing data recorded in Great Britain from 2003 to 2005, to gain a better understanding of how bovine TB persists and is transmitted within herds (Conlan and others 2012) The study focused on the transmission of bovine TB within herds rather than how it is introduced and, as such, cannot shed much light on the relative role of cattle movements and wildlife in spreading the disease.

  • Charlespk  |  November 07 2012, 9:59AM

    You are welcome. Just because they know about caterpillars and millepedes, doesn't mean they know ZILCH about tuberculosis and the BCG. They obviously haven't got a a clue.

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  • Freeborn_John  |  November 07 2012, 9:43AM

    Lucky Charles is here to put us right... there was me about to believe Lord Robert May, a former government chief scientist and president of the Royal Society and the current government chief scientist, Professor Sir John Beddington, Professor Rosie Woodroffe, of the Zoological Society of London to name but three... Thanks Charles!

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