The Badger Culling: To be continued . . .

Posted: July 19, 2012 in News, Welfare
Tags: , ,

In my previous article concerning badger culling in the UK and Ireland I mentioned the proposed plan to carry out a badger culling pilot in Somerset and Gloucester in September of this year. The badger trust took on the government, earlier this month, in the courts arguing that the culling would be illegal and is not scientifically supported. Under pressure from the National Farmers Union, it is no surprise, they lost.

The Sussex branch of the Badger trust say that they will not give up the fight against the planned cull and are outraged that over 70% of the badger population in Sussex alone will be shot if the plans go ahead. This seems extreme as it is but researchers and animal organisations are saying that it will have little or no effect on the TB situation in Britain. It is also suspected that the culling will only drive the badgers out into new areas and further spreading TB instead of eradicating it.

So who will be carrying out the actual culling? Anyone who is a member of the British Association of shooting and ex-service men (perhaps listed servicemen if needed) will be in charge of shooting badgers on sight and it would seem that there will be little control on the numbers shot. It is estimated that over the course of 4 years up to 40,000 badgers could die.

There was a headline on a Guardian UK article, last week, which personally struck out to me: “It’s poor farming, not the poor badgers that spread disease”. While studies on such matters are few and far between what little evidence there is certainly suggests that badgers are not the main culprit, and that simply shooting them will not make the problem go away so long as farms continue to run as they are.

The government will be hard hit with protests and court appeals over the coming months, unfortunately it would appear that the farming council’s strong influence will win and the culling pilot will go ahead as planned after the Olympics this year even though, if carried out properly, a vaccination programme would be a more sure shot route to go. Yes it can be expensive but should the wildlife of Britain be made suffer due to a badly run government? I personally think the whole situation needs to be reviewed and hope that by September there comes a change in direction and some hope for the badgers.

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