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.