Tuesday, 4 June 2013

UK Badger Cull

I've been unforgivably slow to react to this and this morning was given a salutary kick up the bum by reading a very interesting, articulate and informative post written by Ragged Robin about the badger cull which is due to start this week.

It is being allowed, despite the fact that badgers are a protected species, in order to try and combat the spread of TB in cattle. Yet there is no hard evidence that it will  make any difference to the cattle at all. Instead we risk severely damaging numbers of yet another British species at a time when our wildlife is already under serious threat.

I urge everyone who's interested in British Wildlife to read Ragged Robin's post (http://raggedrobinsnaturenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/a-plea-on-behalf-of-english-badgers.html) She raises some very interesting points.

If you feel that you would like to register your voice against the cull, please sign the e-petition by clicking Team Badger.

I am unconvinced that encouraging the cull of thousands of one our native species is a workable solution to this problem. A far more effective one would be targetted vaccination instead of random killing. Many of these badgers won't be carrying TB (there are no proposals to test them) and many of them will also be sows suckling young, yet they won't be exempt from the cull, which means the young of shot mothers will simply be left to starve to death. Nothing has been put in place to ease the suffering of badgers who are shot but not killed either- these animals will be left to crawl into their setts and die painfully and slowly, and a leaked Government document (see the Guardian article below) shows that the suffering of the badgers is going to be monitored by listening to their dying cries. I just can't and won't support something like that.

Of course it is right that farmers are able to protect their livelihoods, but surely there has to be a better way than this?

Here http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/03/badger-vaccination-cheaper-than-cull  is a good article you may be interested in reading. It puts both sides of the argument so you can get a reasonably good over-view.

10 comments:

  1. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and I find it amazing that farmers can support it in this form.

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    1. I really don't understand it Em. The Government's own adviser concluded it wasn't an effective method of controlling TB, and with the increased public outcry meaning higher policing costs it's now also costing more than a vaccination programme would have done. Utter lunacy and barbaric to boot. I'm fuming about it.

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  2. Very well done for highlighting this CT and for drawing attention to the excellent post on Ragged Robin's blog. I'm sure you know my views on the subject so won't trouble you with another of my far too lengthy comments which could turn into a rant! I do hope something can still be done to reverse this ridiculous and ill conceived decision before it turns into one of the biggest atrocities against wildlife in our lifetime. Many responsible and well informed farmers have made it clear that they themselves are against it!

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    1. I read your comment on RR's post and whole-heartedly agreed with everything you'd said. It is hard not to get disheartened I agree, but as my dear husband always says- bad things prosper when good people do nothing, so we have to keep fighting. It was actually the link on your blog to the petition that made me prick up my ears so I'm very glad you hadn't removed it. One of the lovely things about blogging for me is the way it brings like-minded people together- I am a really firm believer that that kind of pooled positive energy makes a difference somewhere on some level. And it goes without saying of course- any badgers in need of a home would always be welcome here :-) CT x

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  3. I agree with everything you've written. I'm angry about this too and will be very upset when it happens.

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    1. I've written to our MP asking for her support for Wednesday's motion in Parliament. Let's hope people power carries the day.

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  4. Killing animals is what humans do very well, their silence makes it easier. However we have a voice and all of us who have a conscience and know this is wrong can try to make a difference. Slaughtering badgers by crazy fools who 'get off' on using guns for their pleasure is not something I can stomach. DEFRA don't know what they are doing and are a waste of money. The government should be concentrating on all the real problems out there, but instead they pick on this and use it as a distraction for the masses (us).

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    1. I'm really hoping that a groundswell of public outrage might just gain sufficient impetus to change things. I read somewhere in the media that there was a belief that people weren't that bothered about a badger cull but I just don't believe it. We're a nation of animal lovers and that includes all things wild.

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  5. Thanks so much for saying such lovely things about my blog post and providing a link - it is really greatly appreciated :)

    It is so important we go on fighting even if the cull actually starts to try and prevent it being extended all over the country. I have a feeling once the cull starts and, IF it gets media coverage with photos and reports, the signatures on the e-petition will rocket even more.

    I couldn't include all I wanted to say on my post (it was too long anyway!!) but I was so appalled to see DEFRA trying to justify the cull by making out it would increase biodiversity (hedgehogs, song birds etc.) Unbelievable :(

    It will be interesting to see how the voting goes after the Opposition Day Debate today.

    Thanks again for all your support and I am so glad I have discovered your blog :)

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    1. I'm very glad I found your post RR- it really was very well written so thank you for kicking me into action. Spreading the word can only help- I've emailed the petition to everyone I know and also emailed my MP asking for her support today in Parliament.

      I've also been doing a lot of reading and agree DEFRA are clutching at straws, which suggests they know full well that they are on a slippery slope.

      The one thing that may well still undermine this absurd policy and put a stop to it is the lack of scientific evidence- the Govt can't argue that they have proof culling is the answer when clearly they don't. I hope if it gets enough media coverage more people will understand it better and verbalise their feelings clearly. If it proves to be one of those deeply unpopular policies where public feeling forces change then so much the better.

      I am so cross that these people were elected to represent us and they come up with such ill thought out and potentially ecologically disastrous policies that have no basis in scientific fact and worse, ignore the findings of research they themselves commissioned to advise them!

      Phew! In danger of ranting then sorry!

      Never mind, we'll stay strong and be a voice for our badgers. Thank goodness for blogs linking like-minded people and demonstrating that people do care and will work together to change things that are patently wrong.

      I think that is possibly the longest reply to a comment I have ever written and if you're still with me at the end of it I promise I will be more succinct next time! CT :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x