The Artful Badger in collaboration with Martin Usborne and Network for Animals has staged an underground ‘die-in’ to highlight the plight of thousands of badgers due to be shot in England on June 1st.
The die-in, a dramatic display of massacred beauty in symbolic locations of our city’s underground, is a response to the Government’s plans to shoot thousands of badgers in a misguided attempt to tackle TB in cattle. Just like the badgers who will retreat, wounded, to their setts to die, our ‘beautiful badgers’ echoed their distress in our underground world.
The cull is intended to tackle the problem of bTB in two pilot areas of West Somerset and West Gloucestershire before being rolled out across the country, despite the fact that evidence from a ten-year study of badger culling concluded this method would only provide a 12-16% reduction in bTB in a best case scenario.
The pilot culls will see mainly healthy badgers lured to bait points during the night and shot with high-velocity rifles. We call the efficacy and humaneness of this ‘free shooting’ method into question and wish to highlight the brutal reality of a cull which will see thousands of badgers injured or killed and cubs left orphaned underground in their setts.
Christina Dixon, Campaigner at NFA, says, “Many badgers will be killed outright, but others will retreat underground to die painfully in their setts. This wanton cruelty towards wildlife is not the solution. Effective biosecurity, improved animal husbandry and cattle vaccination are the only sustainable options for tackling bTB. Anything else is just a shot in the dark.”