In under a month, the country will go to the polls to make the biggest decision for a generation.
For Britain’s badgers, wildlife and all other animals, the stakes simply couldn’t be higher.
Who We are
The Prion Group are a small but highly effective group of vets, researchers and scientists who work hard to expose and publish the truth, and who campaign to improve animal welfare and protection policies. We achieve regular impact with publications in veterinary and scientific journals, as well as in mainstream media and the farming press.
New scientific evidence
We have reached a key watershed moment for badgers and now with even more scientific evidence we have a real chance of stopping this cull if we all act now. Analysis of recent Government data will soon be published showing no evidence for the efficacy of badger culling, and a fraudulent failure of the cattle skin test upon which the entire policy rests. The Government’s science base will continue to publicly unravel over the coming weeks.
The Animal Alliance
We are helping to mobilise an Animal Alliance, who will all be speaking out at an event to be staged outside Downing Street on Thursday 5th December to highlight the current Government’s policies that adversely impact animals’ lives. We’ll also be highlighting the peril that untrammelled free trade deals pose to the lives, health and welfare of animals, both here and beyond these shores.
Across the political spectrum
But it’s not just the Tories - we will be looking at the animal welfare, protection and trade policies of all parties to ensure acceptable measures and policy commitments are in their manifestos. We aim to see political parties held to account for their promises.
We urgently need your help to set up a fighting fund to get these issues front and centre stage with a sustained strategic campaign leading up to December 12th. Beyond this ( depending on the outcome of the election) we shall either be ramping up efforts in every area to save the badgers and stop the cull, or working hard to ensure a realistic TB protocol is initiated quickly, providing farmers with solutions to eradicating TB and then focusing on other areas of animal welfare which urgently need our attention.
Never before has a veterinary and scientific body made such an intervention in an election on behalf of animal protection. Remember that all the big welfare NGOs like Born Free, IFAW, HSI, CIWF and RSPCA are all charities. As the Tories have passed legislation banning charities from election campaigning, it’s down to organisations like us to campaign on behalf of animals.
We are unique
We have the knowledge and network but we are small and fleet of foot. We can react fast to unfolding events and rebut misleading statements on animal issues in the election campaign as they happen - and we’re not affiliated to any political party.
What will we do with funds raised?
We need to pay wages for a full time researcher and campaigns manager to work on this 24/7.
We also need funds to put on events around Westminster, leading up to a Demo outside Downing Street on Thursday December 5th.
We need subsistence for performers and speakers as we take the campaign to key constituencies.
We need to enable vets and scientists to focus on this on a paid basis rather than having to prioritise their day jobs as they do now.
We have several ongoing publications in the veterinary and scientific press that we need to fast-track – and time is of the essence.
Why do we think we can impact the election result?
Witness the disaster for Theresa May’s election campaign when she gave support to fox hunting – we can repeat that by badgering Boris to withdraw support for badger culling in the whole of the country, not just Derbyshire. If he wants to support badger culling, fox hunting, snaring and intensive farming, or the slaughtering cattle on the basis of fake bTB science, well he’d better expect us – and the same rigour will be applied to all the other political parties in as much as their policies impact on animals and the environment*.
Why fund us?
We have punched well above our weight for many years now. Many of you will be familiar with at least some of the work of The Prion Group via the BBC News, Farming Today, The Today Programme, ITV News, The Observer, The Times, Veterinary Record, Veterinary Times, The Ecologist, Farmers Weekly, Points West, social media and more. However, this time the parameters of our movement will be more diverse and even more creative – so support us, and watch this space
What if you can’t afford to fund us?
In these times of Government-generated austerity, we quite understand that times are tough. So please just share this, enter our social media contest and turn up on December the 5th for the Demo if you can. Please keep an eye on the Vets and vets nurses against the badger cull Facebook page for more info about location and times but we think it will be outside The Houses of Parliament at around 2 pm. https://www.facebook.com/VetsAndVetNursesAgainstTheBadgerCull/
*note: We are not affiliated to any political party. Our aim is to apply pressure on all UK political parties to further animal welfare and protection legislation, and to campaign via all media for both animal protection and ethical practice.
The Prion Group (formerly known as The Prion Interest Group) is not-for-profit and funds & publishes independent research. Established 1991, Institute of Psychiatry, London