National Badger Rally Attended by over 300!
|Hundreds were out in support of the Welsh badgers at Viva! National Rally!|
A huge thank you to everyone who attended Viva!'s National Rally for the Badgers on Saturday, June 28, 2008. The response was overwhelming, with over 300 people gathering on the steps of the Welsh Assembly's Debating Rooms. The message was resounding and echoed right across Cardiff Bay - No badger 'cull' in Wales (or anywhere else in the UK for that matter!).
Badgers descended on Cardiff Bay in their hundreds. A mother and father 'badger' were joined by children dressed as baby badgers. Surrounding them were hundreds of animal and wildlife lovers from across Wales and the rest of the UK. All were wearing eye-catching badger masks and holding dual-language signs saying 'Stop the cull!' and 'Atal Y Cwlio!'.
The peaceful protestors were calling on Elin Jones (Minister for Welsh Rural Affairs) to act on the available science and cancel the cull.
Messages were read out from sympathetic politicians, including Lorraine Barrett AM, as well as celebrities such as Wendy Turner-Webster, Joanna Lumley, Rose Elliot, Jenny Seagrove and Benjamin Zephaniah.
During the Rally peaceful protestors handed out Viva! leaflets, showing the public that that the proposed cull of badgers will be an animal welfare disaster of immense proportions that will do nothing to solve the problem of TB in cattle (bovine TB - bTB) in Wales - it may even make it worse.
Viva!'s director and Welsh resident, Juliet Gellatley, spoke at the rally and told protestors: "In their eagerness to blame anyone but themselves for the bovine TB epidemic, farmers are targeting wildlife when they should be looking closer to home.
"The rush to intensify animal agriculture has led to this disastrous situation. Dairy cows suffer the dual burden of pregnancy and lactation during much of their lives. Their immune systems are shot to pieces and they are physically exhausted and killed after just two or three lactations, at four or five years old. Add to this unreliable bTB testing that is inaccurate in one-third of cases and you start to see the real causes of the problem.
"A cull of badgers in Wales will decimate wildlife, cost a huge amount of taxpayer's money and achieve nothing. It is quite incredible that the Welsh Assembly simply ignored the available science in its rush to mollify dairy farming's Neanderthal tendency.
"We not only call on Ms Jones to reverse the decision but are calling on consumers to reject meat and dairy - the very things that are driving this problem."
After the Rally, we took the protest to the streets and marched back to a nearby hotel, where the talks continued and we discussed how to move the campaign forward and achieve our ultimate aim - stop the massacre of badgers both in Wales .
What can you do to help?
Click here to find out what else you can do for badgers!