Photocall Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008 Time: 12.30pmLocation: Outside St David's Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff (near main entrance)
A DAY of Action is taking place across Wales on Saturday (September 20) to encourage the Welsh Assembly to rule out a "cull' of badgers in a misguided attempt to control bovine TB. Supporters of animal group Viva! will be taking to the streets across the country to force the issue back into the headlines and get Welsh people behind their wildlife. In central Cardiff, a giant "badger' will be joined by Viva! staff and city residents holding signs saying "no cull' in Welsh and English. They will be handing out leaflets asking people to write to Welsh politicians to reject the proposed "cull'. Hundreds of Welsh animal lovers will be following suit across the country, hosting stalls, talking to the public and door-dropping leaflets. Supporters in Britain are also getting behind the campaign. Viva!'s aim for the day is also to show the real reason behind the proposed massacre: pressure from the meat and dairy industries. Campaigns Manager, Justin Kerswell says: "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 taxpayer's 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.' For more information about Viva!'s campaign to save badgers in Wales, please visit www.viva.org.uk/badgers or call 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm). ENDS Copies of photographs will also be available upon request after the event. Notes to Editors For more information about this media release and the photocall, please contact press officer Helen Rossiter or Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. On the day, please contact Helen Rossiter on the following mobile number: 07977 463057. The Day of Action follows Viva!'s National Rally for the Badgers on Saturday, June 28, when over 300 people gathered peacefully on the steps of the Welsh Assembly's Debating Rooms to say no to the badger 'cull' in Wales. Visit www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/badgers/rally to see pictures from the event or visit http://blip.tv/file/1056824 to view a short film. Viva! has been putting pressure on the Welsh Assembly to follow UK Food & Rural Affairs Minister Hilary Benn's lead and rule out a "cull' in Wales before thousands of animals are needlessly killed later this year. Viva!'s campaign is supported by Welsh AMs Lorraine Barrett (Cardiff South and Penarth) and Trish Law (Blaenau Gwent). Quotes are available from them and from celebrities including Twiggy, Joanna Lumley, Wendy Turner-Webster, Benjamin Zephaniah and Rose Elliot. A fully referenced Viva! fact sheet on badgers and bTB can be read on-line at http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/badgers/factsheet.htm To download Viva!'s Welsh badger leaflet visit www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/badgers/welshleaflet.pdf .