Unfortunately, for thousands of European badgers in the UK, the British Parliament disagrees.
Back in late August, the UK government went back on their promise to end their annual autumn badger cull. With blatant disregard for innocent lives, they expanded the cull’s hunting grounds to eleven new regions. For Hufflepuffs, who count the badger as their beloved emblem, this atrocity cannot go unnoticed.
The Protego Foundation’s Protect the Puffs campaign demands the British government stop massacring badgers.
Last year’s badger cull was the largest yet with the death toll amounting to 39,000 badgers.
Despite badgers having lived harmoniously alongside humans for thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of badgers have been slaughtered by the UK government for three decades. The rise in factory farming, particularly raising cattle in the meat and dairy industry, is what’s really to blame.
This cold-blooded murder marks the government’s ignorant, misinformed attempt to “protect” cattle from strains of TB that European badgers are supposedly able to “infect” them with.
But here’s the thing. Scientific findings disprove this for what it is: a flimsy excuse to justify large scale murder.
As the numbers of badgers killed in the annual culls skyrocket, so do the rates of TB in Britain’s cattle.
The November 2020 Badgers Found Dead Study (BFDS) puts the overall rate of bovine TB-carrying badgers at just 1%.
No, you haven’t been blasted with a confundus spell.
An extensive 2016 study in Cornwall found that bovine TB is not passed through direct contact between badgers and cows. Furthermore, a 2020 update from The Badger Trust has turned the entire notion of the cull upside down.
Scientific research has found that badgers are not a primary host for bovine TB as they have wrongfully been believed to be.
In other words, to truly combat bovine TB, the best course of action is to focus on cows, not killing badgers.
According to The Badger Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for badgers, badgers are “one of the most persecuted [animals] of all species.” As many as 30,000 badgers a year are subject to wildlife crime. This includes hunting, badger baiting, the large-scale destruction of badger habitats due to farming, and of course, the cull.
Badger abuse happens to such an extent that police often have to get involved in putting an end to crimes against badgers.
Vaccinations are also powerful in curbing bovine TB rates without killing badgers. Although these vaccination projects only began in 2017, they have had a positive, three-pronged effect.
We’ll put it in the simplest terms: animal culls never work.
In fact, they can and often do wage mass ecological damage. Moreover, that damage can be irreversible.
For one, the loss of badgers could also have a detrimental effect on bird populations. Without badgers, bird predator populations such as those of foxes, stoats, and weasels balloon, putting the lives of birds in jeopardy.
Now, let’s do Helga Hufflepuff proud and take a minute to learn a little more about European badgers.
Hufflepuff’s guiding values of patience, loyalty, and being unafraid of toil are just as applicable to the badgers who emblemize the House as they are to the students sorted into it at Hogwarts.
Over 100,000 badgers have been killed in the UK’s annual badger culls. And that number is growing.
Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Badger Trust, says that European badgers face the “largest destruction of a protected species in living memory.”
Dyer says the killings have escalated to such a high that European badgers are actually facing “local extinction” in areas they’ve inhabited “since the Ice Age.”
So we ask you to stand with us and stand up for badgers. We need your help to Protect the Puffs!
Whether you’re a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Gryffindor, we need you to join us to advocate for change and protection for European badgers. We need to ensure that there will be no badger cull in 2021.
Start taking action by signing these petitions.
Then, use your voice (or your keyboard) to speak up for badgers by sharing their plight. Your friends and loved ones may have no idea that any of this is happening! Use your social media platforms to inform your communities about why badgers matter and why the cull needs to end.
Lastly, consider buying an official Protego Foundation “Protect the Puffs” enamel pin.
50% of the proceeds of each limited edition pin goes to The Badger Trust to help them in their fight to end the cull and keep badgers safe all year round.
Further reading and viewing:
The Badger Trust is your premier online source for all things badger related. We highly recommend checking out their website to learn more about protecting badgers and what you can do to help.
“Stopping Badger Crime” is a film from The Badger Trust that takes a no-holds-barred approach to showing the atrocities that badgers face. This unflinching portrayal of the abuse, although devastating, could make a big difference in advocacy for badgers. However, it is a very graphic film that may be distressing. Please exercise caution if you’re sensitive to witnessing animal abuse.
Written by Protego’s resident Hufflepuff word witch, Victoria Tomis
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