9 October 2013

Culling

It is reckoned that badgers have inhabited  our British Isles for over 250,000 years. I imagine them scurrying about those ancient woodlands of long ago on well-worn paths - around setts that their ancestors first excavated. As a country boy, one of the most magical memories of my boyhood was watching a group of badgers in a clearing in Colonel Wood's wood just west of our village. It was dusktime and they were already sniffing around for food - mostly earthworms and other appealing creatures they might find beneath the leaf litter. By the time we left, it was almost pitch dark and we stumbled over a ploughed field towards our bikes, blessed by what we had just seen. Beautiful badgers.

They existed here long before cattle arrived and eons before intensive dairy or beef farming appeared. But now we are meant to accept that badgers are villainous and perpetual transmitters of Bovine TB and the only solution is to shoot them dead - to obliterate the badger population in large swathes of the countryside. In the dead of night our ignoble government have been sending out secret marksmen to cull as many badgers as possible in Somerset and Gloucestershire. It is like something from a horror film. How much these marksmen are being paid - we don't know. The powers that be have planned it all like a military operation, frustrating the attempts of protesters to disrupt these murderous activities. 

There are many other ways in which this matter might have been addressed - not least of them being the inoculation of cattle. Instinctively, I cannot support what seems to be an affront to the natural environment around us and to civilisation itself. I'm with the badgers and if I could adopt a family of badgers and build a new sett for them at the top of our garden I would happily do so. Killing badgers says a lot about those who seem to rule the roost in British society. Maybe they are the ones who need culling. Up The Badgers!

10 comments:

  1. Good gracious! What a dreadful policy! Surely there is some other solution than to cull/ kill a native wildlife species?

    Possums here are said to (and I have no reason to doubt it) spread TB. But they are an introduced and a pest for many other reasons too.

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    1. Your possums have greatly affected the prospects of other creatures and have unbalanced your natural ecology whereas our badgers are a long-established native species - already here when only a few hundred human beings occupied these isles.

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  2. Culling any native animal is always going to be an emotional issue. We have our ongoing problem with a multiplying population of kangaroos that cause a lot of damage to crops and cattle/sheep grazing areas. I can see both sides of the argument . I wish there was an easy, more palatable solution.

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    1. Well Helen, your balanced view is more politic and sensible than mine. Mind you, it's hard to compare big strapping kangaroos with small, shy, nocturnal badgers.

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  3. I don't know what the answer is. But I can imagine one of the papers submitting a Freedom of Information letter to find out who is paid and how much.

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    1. Freedom of information Sol? They still let out what they will allow us to know and hide controversy.

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  4. In California, golfers want geese eliminated from golf courses because "they spread disease." There is no disease golfers can even get from geese, they just don't like getting poo on their golf shoes, poor dears.

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    1. The geese are pressing for widespread culling of golfers as their fashion sense disrupts natural breeding activity.

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  5. It is an obscene policy. I suspect it has been a failure or at least I hope it has. It will be interesting to see the results of Ditheries stupidity.

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    1. Trouble is Adrian - will they hide or simply manipulate results in order to continue with their discredited and cruel "solution"? It was good that serious questions were posed about this killing campaign in The House of Lords yesterday.

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