Day: August 28, 2021

England: The Badger.

It is later evening here in England now (2130hrs), but I have just been watching the badgers in my garden having something to eat.  There were 2 this evening; probably a boar (male) and a sow (female).  I give them something to eat every night; as it gives me the pleasure of having the visit, and by now, I feel confident that they know through instinct that they will have a nice feed, and also, they are safe and free from injury in my garden.

I am lucky, I know, as a lot of people never even see a live badger, let alone have them in their garden every night.  They arrive by way of a pathway, or ‘run’ located in woodland at the rear of the house.  They normally live as family groups in ‘setts’, homes which are handed down through the generations; sometimes being centuries old.  Under British law, they are a protected animal, and any person must never interfere with a sett or the animals which live in it.  Quite right too.

Each night I set out food for them to come and enjoy – they love savoury little cheese flavoured savoury nibbles, crunchy peanut breakfast cereal, loads of chopped up apples from the garden trees, grapes (their favourite I think); and a chocolate covered peanut bar finely cut up into small bits.  I throw it all into an area of about 2 square metres, so that can forage for the food, as well of giving them both an equal share in what is on offer.  Sometimes, when I feel extra good, I make and cut up a peanut butter sandwich for them, as badgers and peanut ‘things’ go well together.

Badgers are also known as ‘Brocks’; but you find that 99 people out of 100 still refer to them simply as the ‘badger’.  Badgers are members of the ‘Mustelid’ family, and are closely related to weasels and otters.  Mustelid comes from the Latin word for the weasel; or ‘mustela’; which is from the word for mouse.  But they are anything but a mouse; they are normally about (I would estimate) 50-60cm in length, and are utterly distinctive by having a beautiful black and white striped head.

Badgers don’t drink a lot, despite water being available for them. Instead, they get their fluid intake from the huge amount for earthworms that is their favourite food.  In dry spells this can be a problem for them to find worms; but hey, this is England; and it is almost always raining here; which brings the worms to the surface of lawns etc.

If really pushed, badgers will also eat mice, rats, toads, wasps, beetles and even hedgehogs.  I love seeing hedgehogs as they are more rare nowdays; but you either have one or the other, as hedgehogs and badgers do not mix !  If a badger does eat a hedgehog, it only leaves the skin and prickles; a kind of baked potato leftover.

The wonderful black and white stripes down their head lets other animals know that they are fierce and strong; and will defend themselves.  As a pair foraging in the garden; I have never seen any aggression by them to the 5 or 6 foxes which visit every night.  In fact, they sometimes are within easy reach of each other; but my own experience is that they take each other without any problems or showing signs of aggression.

Badgers of one family group have a ‘clan odour’; and they communicate with others in their clan by means of a musky smell which is secreted from a gland located under their tail.  Every badger has its own clan odour, which is used for used for establishing family identity as well as scent marking.  ‘Clan odours’ are made by all the badgers in any sett continually swapping scents with each other; just like us having a perfume or after shave which is regular to others about us as individuals. 

Female badgers, or ‘sows’; can mate with several ‘boars’, or males of the species, even in just one year.  They can mate at any time of the year, which is a little unusual, as Spring tends to be the normal time for wildlife.  Spring is when all the multi fathered young are born to the sow.  She is unique in that she can ‘hold’ fertilized eggs in her body, switching off her pregnancy until there is adequate food source available for the young – now is that not amazing ?

Most badgers die before they reach the age of seven years; and only 60% of the young cubs will make it into a second year of life.  The UK has the highest concentration of badgers of any country; with over 300,000; the 80’s seeing a rise of around 70%.  This is despite a culling programme organised by the government on this ‘protected species’, in the belief that they spread Bovine tuberculosis in cattle.  This is really a policy to please farmers, but is something which is shown by all the scientific studies to have no real effect. Culling badgers causes the family group to break up, and they spread far and wide, which is not the way to control disease spread, even if they were to carry it, which many (including myself) say is utter rubbish.  Culling is undertaken simply to get votes from  landowners and farmers; nothing else. 

Well I hope you have enjoyed a few facts about the badgers of Britain; I will always act in their defence, especially where the culling is orchestrated.  I hope to continue watching and enjoying ‘my badger’ visits every night; and long may it continue.

Regards Mark.

For a change, just nice news!

🎉 Great news! The international online shop for luxury fashion Mytheresa is discontinuing real fur sales! 🦊

From spring / summer 2022, Mytheresa plans to completely stop selling fur. The company has been removing exotic hides from its range since the spring / summer 2021 season. 🐊

We applaud Mytheresa for this important and responsible decision and appeal to all remaining companies to turn their backs on the cruel material.

Yes!! A very good decision, Mytheresa! we like it very much and we congratulate you!
There aren’t many designers left who still have fur in their range.
Our struggle is bearing fruit.

best regards, Venus

UPDATE: Pen Is On His Way Back To The UK With All the Rescue Animals.

Pen Farthing
Pen with one of the rescue dogs in Afghan.

28/8/21 1500hrs GMT

Ex British Royal Marine Commando Pen Farthing (who has served tours in Afghan) who founded NOWZAD animal rescue in Kabul, Afghanistan, is now on his way back to the UK, complete with all the homeless dogs and cats from the shelter,

Pen as a Marine Commando with a stray dog in Afghjanistan

He was helped hugely by British soldiers in Kabul (airport) to load the animals on a special charter plane which late last night left KABUL in the early hours. We thank the British army and the Ministry of Defence for allowing this to get approval.

Sadly; because of restrictions imposed by the Taliban, Afghan staff from the NOWZAD were unable to get approval to enter the airport and board the flight to the UK.  They were forced to remain.

Things are continuing with the UK government to try and get these workers out of Afghanistan.

Pen and the animals are coming into the UK, but first flying via Tash Kent in Uzbekistan.

We don’t know at present when they will all arrive in the UK.

I don’t think that there will be any problem in finding forever homes in the UK for all the animals en route.

Some have argued that humans should be given priority over animals; but it was always the position that if approval was given for boarding an RAF rescue flight, the animals would be shipped in the aircraft hold and that aircraft seats would still be given to humans. This was not the case as a special aircraft was chartered.

Some USA commentators have criticised the Brits for wanting to help the animals instead of humans.  The UK has flown out thousands of Afghan citizens for residence in the UK during the airlift operation over the last week or so. Huge C-17 airlifters have been loaded up with Afghan citizens destined for the UK. Children were given toys on their arrival – see photo below.

Yes, the Brits also have a real thing about helping animals as well as humans – both are sentient beings.

There is an old saying:

A nation is judged by the way it treats its animals.

Pen fought in Afghan as a marine commando; but he set up NOWZAD there to help stray animals.  He has seen the human side of things, and now wants to prioritise helping animals.

We wish him and all the team the very best.


Afghan children are given toys by RAF personnel as they arrive at Brize, a British military airfield.

Mauritius: ‘Catch & Kill’- policy is a crime!stop the abuse and cruelty!

Mauritius presents itself to the world as a Paradise Island, yet hides a brutal secret.

Dogs are caught in nets, flung into a van with other terrified dogs and taken to the Pound. Covert filming over the years has shown dogs crammed together, left for days to fight for scraps of food, and most shockingly attacking and eating their kennel mates.

Squalid: A dog jumps up looking for its owner. He is on death row at the dog pound in Port Louis, Mauritius. Eighty per cent of the dogs caught and killed are pet dogs not strays

Without anaesthetic, dogs are brutally killed by lethal injection into the heart – it is such a hit and miss affair, that some die immediately, whilst many others pitifully stagger about bewildered, fall over and try to get up again.

Such painful torment is unimaginable!!

Despite calls for tourist boycotts by some groups and offers of help to change the situation by others, the Mauritian Government shows no remorse or any willingness to change its inhumane ‘Catch & Kill’ policy.

In spite of recent comments made by Minister Gobin which have been cautiously welcomed, due to our previous experiences with the Government, the Soi Dog Foundation will be continuing with the Petition until we see signs of actual changes for dogs in Mauritius. Therefore, we continue to seek and very much need your support. We call on citizens from all nations of the world to sign this letter and make it clear to this uncaring Government ‘NO MORE – STOP THE ABUSE AND CRUELTY’!!

Please sign this letter calling on the Prime Minister of Mauritius to end the outdated, indiscriminate, ineffective and inhumane dog control policy known as ‘Catch and Kill’.

Your signature today can help save thousands of dogs from suffering and a cruel death.


And I mean…As soon as you find the holiday destination Mauritius in the travel catalog, it sounds like a romantic honeymoon, snow-white palm beaches, cocktails at sunset.

The island is a tourist magnet, especially for European tourists. In 2018 alone, 1.3 million tourists came to the island, including 132,000 Germans. The dogs are a nuisance for the tourists and therefore they want to get rid of them.

More than 20,000 pet and stray dogs are killed annually in a brutal way, terrorism against dogs is commonplace in Mauritius.

Some of the animals are strays but many more — up to 80 per centare much-loved pets that have been snatched from their doorsteps, with collars and security tags clearly marking their addresses.

They are captured as part of a ‘clean-up’ campaign, despite pleas from animal welfare organisations across the world.

And they are killed by an organisation with a name so ironic it would be laughable it wasn’t true — the government-funded Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare (MSAW) 

Kitted out in jaunty red caps and wielding giant fishing nets, MSAW dog-catchers snatch animals wherever they see them — sleeping on street corners, lingering in alleys or lazing on their own doorsteps.

The following tactic is particularly cruel: The state dog catchers disguise themselves as animal rights activists.
In Mauritius, the government itself finances some animal shelters to kill street dogs.

The innocent dogs are taken to a supposed refuge in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, where they are later killed, a man is in charge of keeping them against the ground, while another gives them the lethal injection, the dogs agonize and after a while they die while the others try to escape. The death of these dogs is slow and painful.

The worst part is that people don’t wait for the dog to be dead and bury it alive. In other words, not only do they take away their right to life, they also inflict great agony on them.

Each worker earns a bonus as a prize for each vilely murdered dog.

This material is a real disgrace to the Mauritius government, which has not done anything about it since the undercover investigation scandal five years ago.

The Mauritian government claims it is a humane way to control the island’s stray dog population!!
To call this brutal and uncivilized way of dealing with strays humane is evidence of cynicism – genocide is not humanitarian aid either.
Anyone with a trace of humanity will find this material insufferable. It is chilling to watch the cruel indifference of dog killers to their victims.

Mauritius is touted as an island paradise for international tourists, but it is a true hell on earth for dogs.

Sign and share the Petition

My best regards to all, Venus