badger cull licences put on hold, but why?
Farmers weekly this morning:
Defra is expected to make an announcement on the resumption and expansion of the badger cull around mid-September.
A spokesman for Natural England said it had received 13 applications for culling licences in new areas for 2017.
But she added: “I am unable to confirm any further details as Natural England is currently considering these applications, as part of the usual licensing process.
“There is no set date for when the outcome of these applications will be announced.”
In the history of these badger culls, this is unprecedented. Licences are always published before 30th of August each year. Culling usually begins last week in August or the first week in September.
You can check previous years licences and explanations of the target number to kill here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bovine-tb-controlling-the-risk-of-bovine-tb-from-badgers
Supplementary licences have been issued for Somerset and Gloucestershire, you can read more about that here.
So we are left with the question, why are Somerset and Gloucestershire now licenced to go, but none of the other 8 culls zones which are already liceneced. Why should those previously licenced areas be put on hold whilst Natural England makes decisions on new licences.
It’s not only baffling anti cull activists, it’s creating a massive stir inside the farming communities, we have recieved multiple pieces of information all saying very similar things, that their is a serious issue between Defra and the Police. Cull company organisers are having emergency meetings and thats not surprising, when you have a badger cull organised and a team of employees who have been contracted to start the end of August.
Our best guess based on what we know is that the serious issue is a safety issue, that safety issue if it was related to free shooting, could mean that gloucestershire and somerset go ahead with only cage trapping until the free shooting issue is resolved (this is a guess and we would urge people in both areas to remain vigilant, nothing is known for certain at this point).
We can’t think of any other element of the badger culls that the police would be involved with other than safety. Perhaps ministers need to sign off on something before the culls can go ahead, MP’s are back in the house of commons on September 5th.
We can exlusively release the badger cull contractors risk assessment.
What is clear from reading the contractors risk assessment is that time and again shooters have to report to base during any incident and they must always have a radio and a phone. Experience tells us, that cage trappers didn’t get radios after the first year, but the free shooting contractors did.
With safety of the shooters hinging on their radios, perhaps the recent expose that they use emergency services radio kit paid for by the taxpayer really is a very vulnerable weak point. Saboteurs are keen to get into the field with tetra detecting equipment and one fact we do know;
Defra & the NFU are very unhappy.
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