The Times Hair DNA story with a bit of extra background
4th of March
We’ve sabotaged badger cull before it starts, say activists
Animal right activists claim to have successfully disrupted the trial
culling of badgers before it has even started.
The number of badgers to be shot in the culls this summer has been cut
back substantially after campaigners sabotaged the research that
formed the basis for the experiment.
The Coalition of Badger Action Groups said that its protesters had
forced government scientists to drop the number of badgers thought to
be in the cull zones by a third in one area.
The licences issued last week by Natural England, the body assessing
the culls, revealed that the number of badgers to be killed in West
Somerset, one of the two trial areas, had been significantly reduced
from last year.
The protesters claim that they cut the kill targets by stealing fur
samples whose DNA the researchers used to calculate the number of
animals in a survey last autumn.
Lord Krebs, who led a study into culling, said the uncertainty risked
tipping the culls into disarray. “To know where you’ve killed 70 per
cent of the badgers, you have to know how many were there in the first
place,” he said.
And this is the background story NOT in todays times
As soon as we heard FERA were in the cull zone last year doing “hair DNA traps” to ascertain the badger populations we knew we had to interfere, Natural England in the last few days has announced much lower badger population figures. Why? because we removed the hairs from the traps.
To find the traps we initially did a ring round of the farmers pretending to be FERA as usual it only took a few minutes to find a farmer only too willing to tell us exactly where and when FERA were turning up to inspect the traps.
Working backwards from that location we followed FERA workers to the other traps for over 3 weeks, Not only destroying the population study but also finding out which farmers are involved in the badger cull.
Good work as usual and hats off to researchers and ears in the field.
Below are the pics of FERA vehicles and one pic of FERA operatives in the field.