As the government faces increased criticism of the ongoing cull of up to 5,000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, the Environment Secretary has announced that all reasonable steps were taken to ensure that the badgers were given an adequate opportunity to defend themselves and to protect their communities in advance of the cull.
"This is not the one-sided fight that the environmentalists are making it out to be," said the Secretary. "In the best traditions of the British Government, we wanted to ensure that we didn't just slaughter a load of peaceful, unarmed lifeforms who were just quietly minding their own business. That is why we have given the badgers every chance in this case by dumping 5,000 AK-47s and 20,000 rounds of ammunition slap bang in the middle of their habitat to ensure a fair fight."
Following the arms drop, which was conducted in a joint enterprise with the Ministry of Defence, initial intelligence reports suggest that the badgers have yet to fully utilise the weapons at their disposal and that their only interaction with them to date has been one elderly badger who approached them, sniffed them suspiciously, briefly urinated on them and then retreated to its sett.
Environmental groups are reported to be furious about the arms drop as they are concerned about the possible adverse psychological effects which inciting badgers to engage in armed guerrilla warfare could have on the species. "Who is going to deal with all the poor animals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after the Battle of the Badgers?" said Mary O'Reilly, a professional environmentalist.
However, the government has been quick to dismiss these concerns. "These environmental types are never happy ," said The Secretary of State for Defence. "We have given these badgers the necessary weapons to defend themselves and their families. However, now that they have these weapons they could launch a major attack on us within 45 minutes so we need to hit them hard now before it's too late. If they are too apathetic to even try and save themselves and their community from being wiped out then that's their problem."
Brigadier Michael Yates, who is tasked with leading the attack on the badgers, has indicated that he is unconcerned at the badgers' lack of action and he is keen to proceed with his planned offensive, as he stroked a shotgun and told reporters, " If these badgers reckon they're getting off the hook by going all fucking Gandhi on us then they've got another thing coming."