Throughout the English countryside there is an underground movement. For nearly a decade, members of the public have taken to using direct action to protect one of the country’s most iconic wild animals - the badger. The culling of badgers is part of the UK Government’s controversial bovine tuberculosis eradication program. It has so far, according to Government documents, resulted in over 140,000 killed since the program began in 2013 and is set to continue until 2026. In its first year, culling took place in two zones and has since expanded to 61 zones across the country, resulting in yearly increases in badgers killed. In 2021 alone, over 75,000 badgers could have been killed.
Scientists, conservationists and even politicians are continuing to challenge the legitimacy of culling badgers as an effective means of controlling the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis. However, it is the efforts of this underground movement that is actually taking action to stop it. They make great personal sacrifices and face considerable risk. Their efforts deserve our recognition.