Aside

More about badger culling; update

20 Jan

Well, the badger culling pilot has been given the green light.  The first areas will be west Gloucestershire and west Somerset and is likely to start in August for a period of 6 weeks.  This will just be a start and is likely to progress to other areas and the aim is to reduce badger populations inside the cull zones by at least 70%.  Defra anticipates allowing 10 new cull zones each year.

Why has this been given the go-ahead?  The aim is to reduce tuberculosis in cattle and there have been strong debates for and against culling; Brian May of Queen has been particularly vociferous as a voice against badger culling.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says that “culling in highly affected areas can constrain a disease that is costing about £100m per year and necessitates the death of tens of thousands of cattle”.  However, opponents, including scientists who spent a decade researching the issue, argue that culling cannot be a cost-effective way of tackling the disease and that it may destroy the badgers’ social structure so that they may move to other areas thus spreading the tuberculosis bacterium to other farms.

I wonder if we are just a bit sentimental about the badger, perhaps more so than deer or moles and if that alters our judgement.  I am going to sit on the fence in my blog about my opinion on culling, but my opinion is based on the effect on wildlife and whether I feel any cull would be effective anyway.Image

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