• Badger Trust Staff Team

Thousands to descend on Downing Street

Thousands of people are expected join a peaceful protest march through central London to Downing Street on Saturday 12 August. The march is being held to coincide with the start of the grouse shooting season, beginning of the 5th year of badger culls and the ongoing illegal killing of fox cubs with hounds.

The 'Make Badger Culling, Fox Hunting & Driven Grouse Shooting History' march is being supported by the Badger Trust, League Against Cruel Sports, International Federation of Animal Welfare, Born Free Foundation and Save Me. The protest will focus on the increasingly negative impact of farming, hunting and shooting on British wildlife.

From the mass killing of badgers as a result of intensive livestock farming and poor disease control, to the continued hunting of foxes and fox cubs with hounds and the illegal killing of highly endangered hen harriers on grouse moors, wildlife is being cruelty targeted across Britain today. 

Naturalist and Broadcaster Chris Packham will lead the march and speak at Downing Street alongside other leading figures including actor and animal rights campaigner Peter Egan, President of Born Free Foundation, Will Travers OBE, Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust and Philippa King Acting CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports.

Speaking before the march Chris Packham said:  ‘A rapidly growing number of people have had enough cruelty and criminality in the UK countryside . We’ve had it with snares , lead shot , illegal persecution , we’ve had it with a lack of scientifically informed decisions and animals being ripped to pieces with dogs , we’ve had it with our dwindling wildlife being wasted by psychopaths who kill for pleasure . Killing wildlife for fun is a dying business - please come along and help drive another nail in its vile coffin’

Peter Egan said:  "The greatest war being waged at this time, is the war waged on animals, of all species, by humankind. industrialised farming kills billions of animals yearly. Millions are used for experimentation and millions more for the appalling fur industry. Animals are humiliated in Circuses, Zoos and destroyed to extinction in the shocking and disgusting business of canned hunting. The animal entertainment industry, which includes organised dog fighting, shames all of us human animals. We must call a halt to this war. We must respect the right, of all other species on this our wonderful planet, to enjoy the one thing we all share, the right to life.

There is no animal welfare, as there is no human welfare, without the right to live a life of freedom, without fear"

Will Travers OBE President Born Free Foundation said: 

"The world is moving fast but not always in the right direction. The small, the weak, those without a voice, are increasingly marginalised. And that includes individual wild and domestic animals who suffer in more ways than we can imagine. But I believe a change is coming. A movement is growing that will not be ignored.  My invitation to every person with a beating heart is to join this movement so that, together, we can stand against, cruelty, suffering and exploitation, and stand up for universal values of tolerance, respect, compassion and freedom." 

Dominic Dyer CEO Badger Trust said:

"We are about to see the 5th year of badger culling in England. To date 15,000 badgers have been killed at a public cost over £40 million. Many have been killed by a free shooting method resulting in badgers taking over 5 minutes to suffer long painful deaths from bullet wounds, organ failure and blood loss.

None of the badger killed have been tested for TB and the vast majority are likely to have been free of the disease. The government can provide no evidence to prove that the mass slaughter of badgers has had any impact on lowering bovine TB rates in cattle in or around the cull zones. 

The badger cull is a national disgrace and has been a disastrous failure on scientific, cost and animal welfare grounds. It's time the government stops playing politics with wildlife and brings this pointless cruel slaughter of our precious badgers to an end"

Philippa King Acting CEO of League Against Cruel Sports said: 

“In this country we care about animals, we have a sense of fair play, and we want to see things done in the right way. You should not be allowed to kill thousands of protected badgers without compelling evidence to show it is necessary – and that evidence does not exist. You should not be allowed to kill thousands of grouse for sport, and you shouldn’t be allowed to snare or poison hundreds of thousands of animals simply to ensure those grouse make it alive to the killing fields. And you shouldn’t be allowed to kill up to 10,000 fox cubs a year simply to train hounds so they are ready to hunt adult foxes illegally during the hunting season. We care about animals in this country, but we have so much more to do to protect them. The League Against Cruel Sports is proud to be joining this wonderful gathering of caring people – and we hope the government sits up and pays attention.”


The protest will start at Cavendish Square with speeches at 1pm. The march will start at 1.30pm moving down Regents Street to Pall Mall around Trafalgar Square into Whitehall and end at Richmond Terrace opposite Downing Street where final speeches will be made at 2.30pm

For press enquiries on the march please contact Dominic Dyer on 07876 596233 or dominicdyer@aol.com

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