They are the epitome of the English countryside, but in recent years badgers have been in the firing line, literally, as the protected species has become a victim of the intensive livestock industry.
And with an extention of the badger cull announced on Tuesday, the arrival of the book Badgered To Death, has been perfectly timed.
Milton Keynes-based Dominic Dyer, writer, broadcaster and wildlife campaigner, is responsible for the release.
BBC TV presenter Chris Packham has penned the foreword, calling the cull ‘deeply divisive and immensely destructive.’
“This is a long battle and we are up against the might of the government, farming and the veterinary industry,” Dominic told the Citizen. “But we are winning the arguments against culling on scientific, cost and humaneness grounds.”
Death can be painful and drawn out, with many of the animals suffering a number of shots: “We know from the first year of the cull that many badgers suffered long agonising deaths as a result of blood loss and organ failure.
“It’s difficult to hit a muscular low squat animal like a badger at night with a single shot and kill it immediately. Many take a number of shots before they die,” Dominic said.
Opposition to the slaughter is increasing though, with groups like the Badger Trust working for the cause.
“They carry out important work rescuing injured badgers, preventing illegal badger persecution and dealing with building developments that might impact on badger setts,” he added.
“I trust the book will be another nail in the coffin of this cruel policy.”