Back in November we brought you a story about the shocking consequences of the Badger Cull. As a result of David Cameron's DEFRA culling a Protected UK Species, we are seeing a rise in badger persecution in the UK. This is no surprise. If Cameron and his government are happy to kill badgers, then many members of the public will have scant regard for them either.
Whilst we were in the cull zones last year, NFA heard repeated rumours about badgers ears being required as the only proof of a kill, and badger baiters selling on the ears of abused badgers, to top up cull numbers and earn up to £100 per abused badger. This idea is almost impossible to evidence, but the idea that it is even possible under the government’s plans speaks volumes.
The vital role of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU)
It was infuriating to learn about the link between government decisions, and increased badger persecution, and the government's inability to make this connection. However it was reassuring to know that projects like Operation Badger were set in place last year to tackle this issue. The government claimed that badger persecution was a wildlife crime priority, and its National Wildlife Crime Unit was involved in training police officers in areas of wildlife crime, which they would perform on top of their extra duties.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit plays a vital role in protecting UK Wildlife. And it does it all on a remarkably small budget. Compared to the badger cull, which has so far cost the UK tax payer 20 million pounds, the NWCU runs on just £427,000 a year with the Home Office and DEFRA providing £136,000 each. So why is it facing closure within weeks?
It is 2016, yet the UK has a Prime Minister who:
But he is happy with £80,000 being spent every year printing government papers on calf skin to "safeguard our great traditions"!
We cannot stand back and let Cameron decimate our wildlife, then shut down the one unit which holds perpetrators of wildlife crime to account. Thankfully, Cameron will be gone one day. Don't let him destroy all our wildlife before he leaves.