We are:

Badgergate is the result of a not-for profit collaboration between Amanda Barrett and Sultana Bashir. Amanda has made wildlife documentaries in many countries for both UK and international audiences. Sultana has a background in both natural and social sciences and has worked in international conservation and development for many years.

After digging deeper into the bovine tuberculosis (bTB) saga, we became increasingly convinced that culling badgers to control TB in cattle is both deeply misguided and potentially risky. Badgergate was born out of our growing concern that politics is driving the Government’s policy to cull badgers, rather than the best available evidence from science, economics and other relevant disciplines.

We created the Badgergate website partly to provide and share useful information and analyses. We were also keen to challenge the Government and mainstream media’s portrayal of all those opposed to culling badgers as unrealistic romantics, bunny huggers and animal rights extremists.

Badgergate continues to be owned and managed by us. Unless otherwise stated, the views presented here are strictly our own and do not in any way represent the views of any organisation or institution with which we are or have been associated with through membership, affiliation and/or employment.

Our goals are to:

Persuade the UK’s Coalition Government to urgently reconsider its badger control policy, including the on-going pilot badger culls, which began in 2013 and are scheduled to continue during the summer of 2014.

Provide a user-friendly information and analysis service that readers can use to:

  • decide what they think about these issues
  • communicate their views to their political representatives and others.

Highlight some of the wonders of nature, including badgers

Badgergate seeks to:

Examine key areas of disagreement over the Government’s badger control policy in a systematic, evidence-based manner

Consolidate and summarize critical information on bovine TB and bovine TB management options

Provide a platform for sharing valuable knowledge, views and experiences relevant to how we choose to manage bovine TB

Explore the importance of ‘making space for nature’ with special reference to badgers

Encourage people to get involved through all legal means to support alternatives to badger control

Collaborate with others who share our goals and our principles

One year on:

Badgergate’s first anniversary falls on 12 May 2014, on a #badgermonday as it happens (see What you can do). We had hoped that long before this day, the Government would have put a stop to a ridiculously expensive, unscientific and deeply unpopular policy, especially given the findings of the Independent Expert Panel on the 2013 pilot culls. The latter confirmed that the pilot culls were both ineffective and inhumane. There are also growing questions about the public safety aspects of the cull.

We are dismayed that the Government remains committed to pursue this policy despite these findings and the serious questions raised about the effectiveness, humaneness and safety aspects of these badger culls. So Badgergate will remain active for the foreseeable future as there is still much to be done, given the Government’s determination to push ahead with the badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2014.

We do NOT need to kill badgers to control bovine TB in cattle.

If you care about Britain’s native wildlife – and rational Government policy – then please take action.

Your voice really does make a difference.

So please stand up for Britain’s badgers. Visit our What you can do page to find out more.

And finally…

We are deeply grateful to all those who have generously contributed their time, expertise, information and feedback to bring Badgergate into being and who continue to support us.

We thank our guest contributors for their considered and thought-provoking articles as well as their delightful ‘badger tales’, footage, images, cartoons and illustrations.

We have also received tremendous support and encouragement from friends, colleagues and other like-minded people we’ve encountered along the way. We thank them all.