As the hunting season draws to an end each year we compile our sett blocking data along with other individuals/groups and especially Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (and as part of our participation with Gloucestershire Badger Office).
The setts mentioned in this table are routinely blocked in the main because hunts do not want foxes to escape down labyrinthine badger setts. This is only the very tip of the iceberg and for the following reasons is just an indication of the scale of criminality against badgers and foxes much of which is within known active badger cull zones (all areas mentioned will soon become active badger cull zones)…
1. The hunts mentioned are all out 2-4 times a week. During cub hunting a couple of them have a 6 day weeks. Blocking setts and digging them out to get to a fox are carried out as part of fox hunting for 7 months of the year (including when the badger cull is operating at the same time in the same area). We can only check a fraction of setts that may be blocked.
2. Early morning patrols, the police speaking to hunt officials/landowners, us making landowners aware of sett blocking on their land, hidden cameras, reporting each and every sett block and posting about sett blocking has had a visible deterrent effect in SOME areas meaning that setts are blocked less and in some cases not ever again.
3. Bad weather has led to lots of cancellations this year meaning less hunting days this year so less sett blocking.
A couple of the entries on this table are to do with direct badger persecution and are NOT connected with hunting. We would urge all those who want to protect badgers to sett survey their own locality and be on guard against developers, hunts, those who would attack badgers for “sport”, the cull and all other persecution. Compiling and publishing data on a national level from such grim findings should form an intrinsic part of badger protection from those who would eliminate them.
For the table and further information check out our article ‘Hunts vs Badgers’.
Please continue to support us financially if you can – either message us or send something via PayPal. We will be out on an almost daily basis sett surveying, checking, keeping an eye out for illegal traps and so forth.