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Anti-badger-cull charity awards money to vaccinating volunteers

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project is free to farmers. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Badgers will continue to be vaccinated against TB in Dorset, after volunteers were given a grant by a wildlife charity to carry on.

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project offers a free service to farmers and landowners. Last year they vaccinated more than 80 badgers across the county. The volunteers say they would not be able to continue their work after 2015 without the money from the International Fund For Animal Welfare.

The IFAW is "strongly opposed" to the government's badger cull, and sees vaccination as a humane alternative.

The volunteers say a growing number of farmers are approaching them about their services.

Duck wounded with an arrow in Devon town

George, with the arrow through his body Credit: Alan Gosling

Police in Buckfastleigh are looking for a man after one of the town's resident ducks was injured by an arrow.

George, a male adult muscovy duck, was found on the banks of the river Dart with a two-feet long arrow sticking out of his body.

Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for witnesses.

The description we have is of a white male, in his early twenties, of slim build with collar length light brown hair and wearing a black hoody and jeans. We would like to speak to the man or to anyone who has any information about this.

– Devon & Cornwall police
Local councillor Pam Barrett, holding arrows that have been found near the river Dart. Credit: Cllr Pam Barrett


Sheep killed by dogs in Braunton

Police are warning dog owners to keep their animals under control after 2 sheep were killed in an attack in North Devon.

The sheep were attacked on Fairlinch Farm in Braunton after 7pm last night, the farmer found 2 dead this morning and another was seriously injured.

Police are appealing for witnesses and say pet owners need to make sure they don't go into any fields with livestock.

"Incidents like these are very distressing for the farmer and animals. Owners must ensure their pets are not allowed into any fields with livestock.

Walkers in the countryside should keep their dogs in sight and always on a lead whenever near farm animals.

People who live near farms must make sure their pets are secure in their homes or gardens to prevent any attacks on sheep and other livestock.”

– PC Simon Ogden, Devon and Cornwall Police

Cornwall Council urge people not to feed seagulls or leave litter out

Cornwall Council are urging people not to feed the gulls. Credit: Wayne Parry

Cornwall Council are encouraging residents to play their part to prevent seagulls from attacking people and pets.

They say everyone can play a part in solving the problem by disposing of litter carefully, not feeding the gulls and putting rubbish out for collection in a seagull proof sack.

With incidents of gulls swooping down on people as they eat and attacks on individuals and animals, concerns have been raised about how to tackle the problem.

At this time of year herring gulls are feeding and protecting their young and will aggressively seek out food by any means possible.

Unfortunately, by feeding the birds, leaving rubbish bags out for collection unsecured and dropping litter in the street, humans have made it easy for them and this is one of the main reasons we are experiencing the problems we are having today.

If we are serious about tackling this issue then the solution starts with us all. Please dispose of your litter carefully, don't feed the gulls and either put rubbish out for collection in a bin or seagull proof sack.

– Councillor Geoff Brown

RSPB call on government to hold National Gull Summit

It's thought the gulls are behaving aggressively because they are trying to protect their young. Credit: ITV News

RSPB have written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) proposing a National Gull Summit to tackle the issue.

The news comes after David Cameron recently said a "big conversation" was needed about the threat from aggressive birds.

The Prime Minister spoke out after two attacks in Cornwall left a pet tortoise and a Yorkshire terrier dead.

But the RSPB believe the summit must also look at the wider issues of the plight facing many of these birds:

Any such conversation must be based on the very best evidence – otherwise it’s likely to be dominated by anecdote and guided by those who shout loudest. The RSPB would also add that it should look at the issue in the ‘round; on the wider issue of the plight of these birds across the board and not simply about “how we rid ourselves of the menace”.

There’s so much we need to learn about these birds, and this is a real opportunity to look at how we can live comfortably with our wild companions, and do the best for both birds and people.



Investigation into dolphin's mystery blister

The blister on the back of the dolphin was about the size of a rugby ball Credit: Annabelle Lowe, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

A dolphin with a blister the size of a rugby ball has had to be put to sleep.

The mammal swam up to Perranarworthal on Saturday 18th July and a team of marine experts was called in to examine it.

The injury was so large that there were fears it would get infected if the dolphin was released in the open sea.

A post mortem examination will take place to find out what caused the injury.

Seagull kills dog in Cornwall

Roo the Yorkshire terrier was killed by a seagull Credit: Emily Vincent

A dog has been killed by a seagull in Cornwall. Roo the Yorkshire terrier was attacked in the garden of his owner's home at St Columb Minor near Newquay.

The bird swooped down from the roof and pecked at tiny Roo's head. He was later put down after a vet decided he could not survive his wounds. Roo's owner Emily Vincent now fears for the safety of her two other dogs.

Rare butterfly coming back to the West

The Heath Fritillary is one of the rarest butterflies in the country. Credit: Iain Leach

One of the UK's rarest butterflies is making a comeback thanks to a new site in Exmoor National Park.

The Heath Fritillary has multiplied in numbers, thanks to work by the Park Authority to create suitable coppice clearings in nearby areas

WATCH: Dolphins decide to race Dorset rowers

Bottlenose dolphins showed up beside the boat. Credit: Bridport Gig Club

See the wonderful moment a pod of dolphins decided to race a rowing boat off the coast of Bridport in Dorset.

It was captured by members of the Bridport Gig Club at West Bay, as some of their junior members rowed past the iconic East Cliff.

The rowers said they were amazed to see the playful bottlenose dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

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