Tag Archives: Badgers

To ‘Cull or not to Cull’ that is the question?

14 Jun

The ‘badger cull’ debate rages on and on,

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

The Government says, “this is the right thing to do”.

Those who are opposed says, “it’s barbaric and cruel”.

There are two sides of a coin, between what is right,

Farmers, Government and Activists fight.

It can’t go on, we must stop the spread,

Either way you see it, ‘animals end up dead’.

There are no easy answers…..

….. and no easy choices,

So many opinions, so many voices.

So the debate continues to divide,

Where do YOU stand?

What is YOUR side?

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Badger culling – the first licence is issued

19 Sep

Brian May won’t be pleased…… 100,000 badgers to be culled – Yes the first licence for a large-scale cull of badgers has been issued. Badgers will be killed over a 300 square-kilometre area in west Gloucestershire to help curb the scourge of TB in cattle.

So, can we see this as a positive step? Owen Paterson (environment secretary) says he hopes so. However, can culling be proven to reduce the risk and spread of disease? Scientists who carried out a decade long culling trial say NO.

So is this a ‘bloody and pointless slaughter’ (Mark Jones, Humane Society International). Can these problems with animal disease really be ‘ironed out’ by the culling of others?

Paterson, a strong supporter of the cull, said: “I want to see a prosperous, healthy badger population living alongside healthy cattle. We would all like to have a vaccine but we have not got one. So we should use the measures used effectively in other countries to bear down on the disease in wildlife and in cattle.” Of course it would be ideal for badgers and cows to live in perfect rural harmony, so what about giving vaccinations a go?

The RSPB’s Martin Harper believes vaccination to be the best hope. “We have never been convinced that the best way to help farmers is to force them to foot the bill for a contentious cull that is only expected to reduce outbreaks by about 16%….’

Animal rights campaigners are determined to halt the trials through protests at the cull sites, whose location is not being made public. Volunteers plan to patrol the zones and stop the badgers coming into the open.

Hmmm will culling curb the TB crisis – what do you think?

Badger culling – again

5 Sep

Hello

Yes, I’m back on to the subject of badger culling again.

I watched an episode of Countryside last night (Sunday) and they re-visited the issue of badger culling to eradicate bovine TB .  As you can see from this article in The Telegraph earlier this year, it brings out extreme views as Adam Henson, a Countryfile reporter was targeted by animal rights activists and extremists despite keeping his opinion  neutral.

I am not going to give an opinion as to whether it is the right or wrong thing to do, but here is an extract of the argument taken from Countryside Magazine and I would welcome your comments…

BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT

For:

  • Badgers can and do carry bovine TB and can pass it on to cattle.
  • A scientific review carried out in 1997 by Professor John Krebs concluded that there was “compelling” evidence for badger-to-cow TB transmission.
  • The existing regime of testing and removal has failed to halt the rise in cases. While infected badgers are on a farm, cattle are at risk.
  • The cost of compensating farmers for the removal of TB reactors keeps growing.
  • Leading scientists, including former government advisor Sir David King, say it would have a significant effect on reducing TB in cattle.

Against:

  • A cull makes scapegoats of badgers, while not addressing the main problem – cow-to-cow transmission. Between the mid-1930s and mid-1960s, testing and removal of infected cattle pushed national infection rates down from around four in 10 to less than one in 1,000.
  • Many believe culling thousands of animals that are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 would be unethical.
  • Improvements to the way cattle are tested and practical measures to keep cattle and badgers apart (such as electric fences around farm buildings) would cut infection rates.

This is an updated article which originally appeared in issue 16 of Countryfile Magazine (January 2009)