NEW PRE-ACTION LETTER SENT TO NATURAL ENGLAND
As we sail past our latest fundraising target, it is confirmed that a new solicitors letter was sent to Natural England yesterday, this time regarding the badger culling licences issued in 2017. Detailed scrutiny of redacted environmental information indicates concerns over the licences issued for the first time this year and what the secret information might show. Eleven licences issued in Sep...Read More >>
Our government has escalated badger culling in England this autumn on an industrial scale. Badgers are gone from woods, banks and meadows in a growing series of brutal bloody countryside purges. Bags and piles of mostly healthy badgers are mass-slaughtered using your taxes. Resting on dubious science and decisions. The legally required safeguards on English wildlife from removing our top-tier predator remains hidden from us. Natural England, the agency who issue licenses to kill badgers say they have no written description of their approach and that areas assessed must remain confidential for fear of landowner intimidation from anti-cull protest. This, despite an official ruling by the Information Commissioner that it would not; that Natural England is, yet again mistaken.
Will you join over 300 people who are already fighting to reveal the hidden information? If you are already part of the badger crowd can you help further? Could you run your own small-scale fund-raiser to add to our total? Might you gain support locally from as wide an audience as possible, remembering that the vast majority of the public reject badger culling as ill-founded?
With crowdfunding income from our first appeal, we have successfully completed paperwork, legal scrutiny and applied for Judicial Review of the 2017 Supplementary Culling licenses that allow further badger culling for 8 months of the year for five years. We are also challenging the consultation process for Supplementary Culling and are still looking at possibilities for challenging other new badger culling licenses issued this year.
Together we successfully climbed the first mountain of the costs of preparing for legal action. We are also raising funds for the Information Commission tribunal into Natural England secrecy, to be held this December. Helped by badger friends around the UK we met the need for a first tranche of payments this month (October) with generous donations totaling over £150 per day over the first four weeks.
But we need to pull out all the stops now to raise £12,000 before the end of this year in order to be fit for a Judicial Review Hearing, if it is granted to us. We need to fund the lawyers for work during future court appearances and to protect against costs that could be awarded against us. Many local Badger Groups and The Badger Trust are continuing to support this effort and I will update you on that next week with a separate charitable crowdfund for the JR that can attract gift aid on donations. Our combined efforts should see sufficient funds banked in order to take on all of the challenges worth pursuing.
We are positive regarding the prospects of stopping decisions that we feel are unlawful. But we cannot hesitate to begin building our funds up again as there are now just a few weeks to prepare. With the help of many, we have got to this first important stage. But we cannot rest for a moment. For the sake of badgers and for common sense; to protect England’s wildlife and to stop the wasteful, unscientific killing of badgers. Be one of the crowd and recruit others to become a part too. Thank you on behalf of our growing crowd. Together we can protect our precious wildlife.
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NEW PRE-ACTION LETTER SENT TO NATURAL ENGLAND
As we sail past our latest fundraising target, it is confirmed that a new solicitors letter was sent to Natural England yesterday, this time regarding the badger culling licences issued in 2017. Detailed scrutiny of redacted environmental information indicates concerns over the licences issued for the first time this year and what the secret information might show. Eleven licences issued in September 2017 covering areas in Cheshire, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire are now in question.
This adds to the growing list of legal concerns already raised with Natural England and Defra. This development adds to our workload but is necessary in order to provide the clarity that the government states is essential in public consultation on major plans and programmes.
The badger culls are now one of the larger coordinated single-species disruptions of British Countryside in modern times. We are only three weeks away from the Freedom of Information Tribunal to be held in London, with Natural England still refusing to hand over the information on environmental checks. We get closer to exposing the truth about what has been going on behind closed doors over the last four years.
More generous support from Badger Groups
A second update on the same day but with good reason - the anonymous donors have turned out to be Badger-Trust Sussex, coming in with perfect timing to help 'double your money' over the last few days as promised.
Also a great £750 from North East Essex Badger Group. My points of contact with these two groups are Jeff, Pat and Renee but with them are small armies of kind caring folk who understand badgers and who work tirelessly to make the word that bit less brutal for them and to protect their environment.
Just as important are all the folk who have donated hard-earned smaller individual amounts that add up to more badger power. Thanks again to you all. This leaves just £465 to find over the next couple of days. I am sure we will find it, so that we can move on to make our future ambitions realistic and achievable.
Great Badger Progress - we are heading to smash our next target!
Monday morning again and the fund has done extremely well over the weekend - we are now around £750 short of reaching our current target by Wednesday of this week when £2,000 from a major donor will be added to trigger our longer stretch target.
So well done and thanks again. It seems that the whole badger community as one has risen in unison to the challenge. Thanks also to the messages of support that are ever increasing.
People are shocked by the way BBC Countryfile handled the update on the badger cull last night. No mention of numbers of badgers that the government authorised to be killed, no mention of the new potential for Phage RPA testing. No mention of how the government policy continues to fail in England but is working in Wales where gamma testing has been thorough. Well done to Dominic Dyer and the Badger Trust for trying to balance the folly.
Countryfile just arranged a simple repeating of what George Eustice said at EFRA questions a few weeks ago, that the public should follow the modelled results rather than the real results - that there is no evidence so far of it working. Just stop and think about it. Never mind what actually happened on the farm, we will get someone to adjust that and to ‘pretend’ that bovine TB came down and it works. Is that where we are with science in 2017? With the public paying? Surely we are better than that?
As an official compliant goes in to the BBC we will not be distracted too much from the immediate challenges. The Natural England Tribunal is just three weeks away and preparations are going extremely well. We will fight this nonsense in the media, in the courts and tribunals and in the light of the facts and truth.
Please see also that the Badger Trust combined appeal is now up and running. You can give with the bonus of gift aid to the Tribunal and Judicial Review fund and we will manage the best location for the funding at any given time. Here is the Link:
A very generous offer of help for our badger appeal
Some very encouraging news. An anonymous donor has just offered to match any further donations from 1 pm today until next Wednesday pound for pound. So any new donations will be worth double and with £4,200 to raise by the middle of next week, we now need just £2,100.
This is incredibly helpful and makes our task that bit more realistic.
So please alert everyone that you can - let's use this generous offer while we can to get to the next important stage. When the fund hits £4,400 the remainder will be paid!
Together we are standing up for badgers and their natural communities across England.
Best wishes, Tom
Our Appeal is off to a good start
Just a quick update, firstly to thank everyone who has donated to get the second appeal up and running. We need to pick up some speed with this, so please do everything you can to alert others to the appeal.
I spent this weekend at the Badger Trust conference in Preston, Lancashire to present information on the Judicial Review and ICO Tribunal cases and there is growing support behind the initiatives. We have not quite got the appeal that takes gift-aid on personal donations ready yet but it is being worked on. So for those who have been in touch about this, please be patient, it should be up and running very soon and I will do another update when it is in order to give you the Link.
Most of the main culls are over this year but sadly culling is continuing in several areas, and unlawful culling has been stimulated it is suspected in several areas.
We will work constantly to restore justice to the countryside on behalf of you and the badgers,
Regards, best wishes and thanks again for all your hard work and support, wherever you are.
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