March Against the Badger Cull

30 Days Wild, day 4: It's not often that I take to the streets to protest about something (in fact I've never done it before!), but when I heard that a march against the badger cull was taking place in Leeds today, I felt I had to be there. The culling of badgers is an outrage and does the farmers no good whatsoever. These iconic native animals are part of our natural heritage and need to be protected. Nobody has any right to destroy them.

 Assembling in City Square

About 100 people gathered in City Square, in the centre of Leeds. We set off for a half-hour march through the main shopping streets of the city centre, with a full police escort. Shoppers looked a bit surprised, but there was a friendly atmosphere throughout. We stopped in Briggate, where Dominic Dyer (CEO of the Badger Trust) jumped on a bench and gave an excellent speech, part of which I filmed.

 Marching through the city centre

 Dominic Dyer speaks in Briggate

We returned to City Square, where we heard talks from Logan Anderson of the local Kirklees badger group and Luke Steele, a wildlife protection campaigner, who talked about the progress made in badger protection over the years and the way this has been undermined by the badger cull. Nigel Tolley of the Badger Trust gave an update on the extension of badger culls planned for later this year and Badger Trust events coming up. Dominic Dyer then gave a final talk about the cruelty involved in the cull's methods and its futility. Low milk prices are forcing farmers to sell cattle to make a living and the increased movements of cattle are spreading TB. They are keeping larger numbers of cattle inside, where respiratory infections can spread rapidly. TB testing is inaccurate, so healthy cattle are being killed as well as healthy badgers.

Dominic Dyer rallies the troops

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