Viva! Day of Action: Saturday, September 20, 2008.
Viva! and local supporters were out in force in central Cardiff for the Welsh badgers
An army of animal lovers called for Welsh politicians to abandon the proposed 'cull' in Wales of badgers during Viva!'s Day of Action.
Peaceful support raising activities took place right across Wales, with demos happening in Bridgend, Cardiff, Haverfordwest, Lampeter, Llandysul, Porthmadog, Swansea, Wrexham (and more - with further ones in England, too). Hundreds of other people spread the word by door-dropping our leaflets and encouraging people to contact the Welsh minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones. We are asking her to take action now before animals start dying in this misguided attempt to control bovine TB.
Local supporter, Judi Hewitt, of North Wales Animal Rights took to the streets in Mold. She was pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction: "As we approached this old market town, I remember telling my companions, 'Ah well, we're going straight into the lions den..' How wrong I was; such lovely people, and not a single nasty verbal attack! Not even from a young farmer who came over to talk to us; eager to let us know, that although he disagreed with us, he wasn't happy about badgers being killed.".
There were several demos in Cardiff. Viva! held one in the centre and we were delighted by the reaction of the public, who queued up to sign our petition. They were horrified at the thought of badgers being killed to appease farmers. They were even more outraged to hear that the proposed 'cull' is a fool's errand, and will do nothing to control the disease and will cost countless animal lives.
Viva!'s campaigns Manager, Justin Kerswell told reporters: "Badgers are scapegoats for bad farming practices and government failure. In their eagerness to blame anyone but themselves for the bovine TB epidemic, Welsh farmers and politicians are targeting wildlife when they should be looking closer to home. The simple truth is that dairy cows are vastly overworked and vulnerable to infection, suffering the dual burden of pregnancy and lactation during much of their lives. Add to this mass cattle movements and unreliable testing you start to see the real causes of the problem.
"A 'cull' of badgers in Wales will decimate wildlife, cost a huge amount of taxpayers' money and achieve nothing. It is quite incredible that the Welsh Assembly simply ignored the available science in the rush to pacify dairy farmers.
"We not only call on Elin Jones to reverse the decision but are calling on consumers to reject meat and dairy - the very things that are driving this problem."
See the BBC report of the day here.
What can you do to help?
Click here to find out what else you can do for badgers!