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  1. West Country (E)

Secret World founder says the cull is "just slaughter"

Pauline Kidner, who founded the wildlife rescue charity Secret World, says the badger cull should be stopped after a dead badger was handed in to the centre in Somerset with bullet wounds to the abdomen.

Ms Kidner claims this proves that the cull marksmen failed to kill the animal humanely.

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  1. West Country (E)

NFU statement on badger death claims

The National Farmers Union has responded to claims that a dead badger in Somerset suffered an unnecessarily lingering death because it had been shot in the abdomen and left to die.

“We have seen no evidence that a badger has been found. If one has been found there is no evidence to suggest it is associated with the cull. All badgers shot as part of the cull have been collected and accounted for. Humaneness monitors are also going out with contractors.”

– NFU statement
  1. West Country (E)

Humane Society comments on badger cull claims

The Humane Society's executive director and veterinarian, Mark Jones, has voiced his concern over claims that a female badger who had been shot in the abdomen in Somerset will have taken a considerable time to die.

Earlier today pictures were released by the wildlife charity Secret World claiming that "Badger 41" had been shot in the abdomen and left to die.

Badger 41 may have taken "a considerable amount of time to die" Credit: Secret World

“The discovery of badger 41 confirms our worst fears about the horrendous animal suffering the so-called trained badger cull marksmen will be inflicting. Shooting badgers in the abdomen will likely result in those animals taking a considerable time to die. DEFRA’s assurances that steps have been taken to ensure this year’s culls would be humane have been shown to be meaningless. Badger 41’s death was almost certainly not humane; how many more like her are suffering the same fate?

– Mark Jones, Executive Director at Humane Society International/UK,
  1. West Country (E)

Badger cull is inhumane claims Somerset charity

Somerset wildlife charity Secret World claims it has evidence that badgers are being shot inhumanely as the cull continues in the county.

They have produced pictures of a female badger which they claim shows it was shot through the abdomen rather than the chest in contravention of DEFRA guidelines. There was no evidence of a second shot and they say the badger will have suffered a lingering death.

The female badger handed in to Secret World Credit: Secret World

Notably there was no evidence of a second follow up shot or of evidence that the cull contractors had observed the badger after shooting it for signs of life, both these are requirements under the Defra culling licences. It is intended that a detailed post mortem will be carried out and that the findings will be made available.

– Secret World statement
Secret World claims the badger was shot through the abdomen Credit: Secret World

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The fight to save a rare flower from extinction

Help is at hand to save the Deptford Pink from extinction in the West Country Credit: Species Recovery Trust

A flower that is close to extinction could be saved with the help of a grant of almost £10,000.

The Deptford Pink has recently disappeared from Dorset and Somerset, partly due to a loss of open scrubland. The Species Recovery Trust will use the money from the Sita trust to bring back its habitat at five sites, including Devon and Cornwall.

The flower needs open scrubland to thrive Credit: Species Recovery Trust
  1. West Country (E)

Archaeologists say lake village is well preserved

Building houses on a flood plain is always a contentious issue, especially after what happened on the Somerset Levels last winter, but it's nothing new. Archaeologists have been looking at a site at Glastonbury where they did just that, more than 2000 years ago.

Glastonbury Lake Village was built on a man made island in the wetlands and it's been very well preserved.

Archaeologists Bob Croft and Richard Brunning told us more:

  1. West Country (E)

2,200 year old Glastonbury Lake Village is excavated

2,200 year old Glastonbury Lake Village is excavated Credit: ITV West Country/Bob Cruwys

Archaeologists have been digging at the site of a 2,200 year old Iron Age settlement in Somerset.

Glastonbury Lake Village is one if Britain's best preserved sites from the era. It was last excavated over a hundred years ago.

Glastonbury Lake Village was last excavated over a hundred years ago Credit: ITV West Country/Bob Cruwys
  1. West Country (E)

Large crowds at Dorset County Show

Large crowds have attended the Dorset County Show Credit: ITV News

The first day of the Dorset County Show has attracted large crowds.

Sixty thousand people are expected at the showground near Dorchester over the weekend. Judges say there's been a high standard of entry in the horticulture and livestock classes.

There are also food tents, trade stands and many other displays.

The show's secretary, Sam Mackenzie-Green, says it's the diversity that helps attract so many people:

"We're a combination things. It's the main ring attractions, we've got Bolddog Lings which people are really excited about seeing. The National Vegetabel Society's national championships again which appeals to a whole other group of people. And we have so much food and drink, local food and drink, I think there is something for everyone".

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