Whilst dropping into Tewkesbury during the 2016 badger cull in Gloucestershire we spotted a vehicle we know from the cull. ‘M80 CJD’ as we know them are prolific Gloucestershire shooters also known for swerving across a road in order to run over a hedgehog in front of sabs during the 2015 cull in the same area. The team seem somewhat less confident when faced with a terrifyingly polite question than when they’re up against small mammals…
The SHH hounds have been returned to the hunt kennels after they’ve been closed for the summer since the undercover investigation…
We’re keeping a close eye on the hunt and an ear to the ground about what the hunt are up to – certain hunt members were recently spotted out with the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt cubhunting. Other campaigners have been working on exposing the hunts in various ways and the vicar, Neil Patterson, has also had a few articles written about his involvement with the hunt, for example this article in The Express and this one in the Telegraph and this one in the Daily Mail
Here he is refusing to bless the hounds at a joint meet of the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt and the South Herefordshire…
It’s all about to kick off again in the killing fields of the badger cull zones and it’s not like it’s been a relaxing summer what with dealing with blocked badger setts, sett-surveying, hunt exposes, snares and badger baiters. The licenses have been issued and the numbers of badgers to be killed in each zone identified. Hunts are starting to train their hounds by hunting fox cubs. But we’re ready to go and will be in the fields from this afternoon until the end of the culls, then sabbing hunts 4 or 5 times a week up until the beginning of April.
Please note that Gloucestershire Badger Office’s evening meeting points in Newent (7pm) will be up and running from tonight onwards – if you’re coming along but will be late, please let them know. If you already know where you’re heading in the zone and don’t need to meet anyone in person, there’s no need to go to the meeting point as people are needed out in the fields before dusk.
If you spot any hunts out in the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire or North Cotswold zones, please give us a shout as we may be out with the hunt or looking for them and your call could save lives: 07891 639803 or 07954 404702.
Our preparation for the culls has been intense and we could not have done it without the support of people online and in person. If you can help us out financially in the work we’ll be doing daily against the culls and hunts in the three counties, please do so by donating or sharing our latest appeal and by sharing our sabbing reports (keep an eye on the page and website).
Preparation has also helped us uncover other forms of animal abuse, for example when sabs discovered badger baiters at a sett just over a week ago. The sett is in the Gloucestershire cull zone and has been heavily targeted in the culls. Unfortunately since the sett was targeted by the baiters we haven’t seen any sign of the badgers – we’re still unsure how culls can be allowed in areas where hunts and baiters are increasing perturbation and killing badgers illegally, how the numbers of badgers to be culled are then decided (especially as the government admitted themselves that they got it so wrong in the first year!) and how badgers continue to be blamed for the spread of tb – these baiters alone ran through several fields with soil from this sett on their spades, clothes and boots. Hunts also spread biological material across land and yet they continue to go about their activities in ‘high-risk’ areas and cull zones…
Since the digging, the hole dug into the sett has been filled back in – all 5 feet deep and 4.5 feet wide of it… We’ll be keeping an eye on it!
It’s going to be an intense autumn, but we’re prepared. See you in the fields!
A brief, but important, request as the cull looms closer.
Three Counties Sabs attend various hunt meets within the three counties – Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire – as well as communicating well with other groups sabotaging and monitoring fox and hare hunts in those counties.
If you are working in the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire or North Cotswolds badger cull zones in the coming months and spot hunting activity, please call us immediately on 07891 639803 or 07954 404702. Hunts in the three counties are prolific sett-blockers – we will be contacting those coordinating the anti-cull campaigns in the areas concerned when we hear of hunt meets so that nearby setts can be checked for signs of blocking and / or digging.
We need to know about sightings of hunts for intelligence gathering (knowing where and when hunts have hunted) and also in case we’re out in the field with them – we may be out with a hunt, lose sight of them and your phone call could mean we find them again! On a couple of occasions in the past a phone call from a local has meant we’ve stopped a dig-out or intervened to stop a fox being chased and that communication is vital to our effectiveness.
If you call us and it’s a hunt we’re not out with we can give you advice / information and if it’s hunt that another group such as Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch, the independent Hunt Monitors or West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, who also work in the three counties, we can quickly pass on the info to the relevant people.
Thanks and good luck out there in the fields!