By Greg Dawson
Police are ensuring the public that the fight is not over after a week of wildlife awareness brought on by a series of wild animal killings in the area.
Last month a mutilated fox was found with a hacked-off tail and another where a badger was shot in the head and dumped in the road.
The week was used to raise more awareness around rural wildlife crimes which often go unnoticed by residents and local police forces.
PC Caroline Newsome has to lead the campaign to get residents to report suspicious activity in rural areas. “Wildlife crime causes immense pain and cruelty to our animals.
“We have over 20 specialist offices across West Yorkshire and we work with partner agencies such as the RSPCA, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPB.
“Examples of wildlife crime include badger persecution and sett disturbance.
“Baiting badgers with dogs, which causes horrific cruelty, hare coursing, bats in their roosts are persecuted and raptor persecution, which would include shooting, poisoning and trapping birds of prey, are all things that are not accepted.”
??????Week of #wildlifeandruralcrime awareness is over – THE FIGHT IS NOT!?Hares will still be coursed, badgers barbarically baited, birds of prey shot, foxes hunted with dogs, mammals/birds poisoned, etc. ?SPEAK UP FOR THEM AND REPORT! #wildlifecrime #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/MODcQjujSX
— PC CJ Newsome ?? (@WYP_CNewsome) October 14, 2019
In the UK the killing of badgers is a controversial subject, badgers legally culled around the country to reduce rates of TB in cattle. The killing of badgers without a license has been illegal since 1973, but many are still divided on their status as pests.
Badgers are often seen as pests by landowners as they dig large burrows in gardens and often kill and eat small mammals such as rabbits and hedgehogs.
They have been hunted for sport or “baited’ throughout British history, often small terroirs are used to dig out their setts and kill the badger. This often leads to horrific injury or death of the dogs which, rather than receiving veterinary treatment, are stitched up by their owners without anaesthetic.
There has also been debate over the effectiveness of the badger culling’s to reduce TB in cattle: https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/17962807.farmer-led-badger-culling-linked-lower-rates-tb-cattle-study-finds/
Kirklees Badger Protection Group, members of the badger trust, has been protecting and encouraging tolerance of badgers for over 30 years.
Adrian Potter of KBPG released statements after the shooting of the badger on the 5th:
“Although this incident is highly unusual in the annals of the KBPG and, in all likelihood, fueled by the government-condoned wholesale slaughter of badgers in the south of the country, the insidious threat to our precious wildlife and fragile ecosystems from money-making concerns, especially the construction industry, is an ongoing struggle.
“Wildlife crime comes in a variety of guises, all of them rooted in ignorance.
“All wild creatures have their place in the scheme of nature and always have had long before we started to mix things up. Badgers do not get out of hand; they live in self-regulating societies which maintain numbers at a natural equilibrium.
“On the other hand, if numbers are artificially reduced, cross-breeding between rival clans which keeps the species genetically viable becomes problematic and populations may crash to below sustainable levels.
“Ecosystems without predators are unstable.
“As well as being a joy to watch and learn about, badgers have much to teach us about not living beyond our needs and means and living in harmony with the environment.”
To find out more about KBPG visit: http://www.kirkleesbadgergroup.org.uk