Hello Betty Badger Fans,
On 17th March, me and Mary met George Eustice. It was one of the saddest days of our life together. I will tell you more about it later because I don't want to start this long awaited Blog on a sad note.
Since my last Blog I have been busy going to Defra every week and helping my Cubs and Grand-cubs bring their new Cubs into the world. I am a menopausal Badger now, so I will not be having any more little ones, but I am still a very useful old Grand-Badger and I do still enjoy bit of slap and tickle with my beau Boris. The new Cubs are a handful of delightful raucous energy and we are careful to teach them about the dangerous boxes on wheels that come fast along the black Human tracks. We let the Cubs out at night when most of the Hupeople are asleep but danger still lurks from gamekeepers and Badger baiters and night drivers. Here are some pictures of Cubs to cheer us up.
This week at Defra a nice Human came along and said to us, "I suppose this is about the Badger Cull". Mary said "Yes; do you know they have killed 176,000 Badgers now?" He gave a dazzling smile and got into the back of his black Jaguar box on wheels (of course he doesn't drive himself) escorted by two young Huwoman assistants. I asked my friendly security guard friends if he was important, as he had the look of someone who felt important. They told me it was Dominic Raab who is the Deputy Prime Minister. Anyway, I am glad we had a chat. Here is a picture of him so we can all recognise him if we meet him again.
Mr Raab was wearing the Conservatory Party blue suit, the engaging smile and the look of supreme confidence that says "I am a really powerful person and you know it". Still, he was kind enough to talk to us and that is good..
Anyway, back to George Eustice, the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. You might remember that back in December I met my MP Grant Shapps outside Defra and he promised to get me an appointment to meet Mr Eustice. Well I was offered an appointment at less that 3 days notice to meet Mr Eustice on 17th March. Mary had to work day and night to gather her thoughts and talk to clever people to help her get her facts right. It was excellent timing because only that week, a new scientific report had shown that the Badger cull had made no difference to the rate of Cow TB. Oh and on top of that, it was announced that the number of Badgers killed in the autumn cull was 40,000 bringing the total of us lovely badgers killed to 176,000. Which broke our hearts, but we would not let that stop us from going and speaking out for the Badgers.
17th March was a Thursday so we were at Defra anyway. Mary had to pack her best suit and high heeled shoes and even hairspray inside my Betty Bag. I can tell you that I wasn't too pleased about that. Mary felt pretty confident as she had previously had a good discussion with Michael Gove and the new report on the ineffectiveness of the Badger kill-cull gave lots of reasons why the Badger Cull should stop.
Me and Mary were greeted by lots of our fans in the Defra and Home Office building . We were taken in a moving box to the very top if the building and then along bright sunlit corridors. A nice young Human came to collect us but they wouldn't let me in to see Mr Eustice because he doesn't like Badgers but I was allowed to sit in my Betty Bag under a desk outside Mr Eustice's door. Obviously I couldn't hear what was going on but when Mary came out she was white and trembling in fury.
Mary told me that she had started her meeting by saying that she would like an immediate halt to the Kill-Cull, especially in the light of the report which was backed up by the situation in Wales where they weren't killing Badgers yet the rate of Cow TB was going down. She also said that there was no political will to stop killing badgers because, if there were, then why hadn't they achieved the Cow vaccine as promised.by 2014 . She commented that the scientists had managed to get a Covid vaccine ready in a short time so why had they made no progress in fifteen years on a vaccine for Cow TB. Yes, a small trial has begun in Sussex, but why not have a moratorium to stop killing badgers while that test when ahead?
Mary used the expression "lamb to the the slaughter" to describe how she felt when it became clear that Mr Eustice had absolutely no intention of stopping killing Badgers and even though he had said publicly that the Cull would end in 2023. He will continue killing us through what is known as Supplementary Culls which would take place where and when he felt it necessary.
Worse, he admitted that although he had only been the Secretary of State for a couple of years, he had been driving the policy for the past 7 or more years. Clearly it was his pet project and, although it flies in the face of science, biodiversity considerations and animal welfare issues, he will not lose face by changing his mind. So hundreds of thousands of my Badger friends will still be killed. He seemed to delight in his power and his abuse of power. The policy will not change while he is in charge of Defra.
When we left the Defra building Mary began to cry and the nice security man gave her a hug. The tears were about the irrationality, cruelty and injustice of the killing ,and the loss of all those 176,000 innocent lives. I think Mary also felt guilty that she had been dragging me to London every week for nearly five years as well as to Manchester and Birmingham for the conservatory Party Conferences. I am not sad about that because I have seen so many wonderful things such as silver bullets under the London pavements and trains that look like Badgers what take us to exotic places such a Birmingham; and I have seem Huwomen walking on stilts and putting burning leaves in their mouths and the human thinly disguised mating rituals all those remarkable clothes they wear. I have learned how to write on this computer; I have learned about the Google Oracle, and the Book of faces. And I have met so many different types of Hupeople, some lovely some horrible.
Me and Mary will keep going to Defra every week until the Badger killing stops or until one of us dies. We will not be beaten by an arrogant, supercilious, wicked cruel Human who lacks integrity, compassion and only cares about getting votes and keeping his farming friends in the NFU happy. George Eustice must go.
Rather than drinking herself into oblivion Mary decided that if she couldn't save all the Badgers then she would save some more rescue Chickens from death. So, even though she had told everyone that she wouldn't get any more, on 2nd April she picked up six more to add to the eight she already has. There has been an outbreak of Bird Flu (AI) so no Chickens have been able to range freely for five months so the poor old Hens had been kept shut in crowded barns where their only entertainment was to pull each others feathers out. They were in a bit a of a state.... I have promised not to eat them even though I am very tempted. This is a picture of Willow who stole Mary's heart immediately:
I have met XR, NHS, a Refugee who wanted to camp on the grass, and Hupeople worried about fish. Here is an XR Huwoman and her son who had lost her protesting friends.
There is so much injustice and stupidity everywhere that there could be protests every day but I am beginning to wonder if they really make a difference. All these powerful Hupeople with their lobbyists and vested interests make me and Mary wonder if Humans can have a rational and honest government. Mary thinks that government should be made up of ordinary Hupeople who are chosen at random by lottery. She says it can't be any worse than the present system.
Next time I write a blog I will tell you about another battle Mary is fighting to stop barbed wire fences being put up where 200 Fallow Deer roam. You might have seen pictures of these at the bottom of Mary's garden in previous Blogs. Mary is very upset about this because they might hurt their legs as well as being prevented from walking their ancient paths. There are lots of silly Hupeople harming wildlife homes and I know that the good Hupeople who read this blog will do everything they can to stop these cases of ignorance. This is one of the fences we are worried about; it gets in our way too but we Badgers are very strong and good at digging and we won't be put off walking our ancient paths by a bit of wire
Love from Betty.