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Badger culling

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  1. quax
    Member

    Hi all, just thought I'd ask what people generally thought of the latest news on Badger culling to help stop TB spreading in cattle. The Tories seem to want a cull, the Lib Dems just want to target the badgers with TB. My husband was standing in the last election and was asked about this quite alot during his campaign.Do people think a badger cull is the answer or would it be better to target just the badgers with TB, or is there another answer?
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. Mama
    Member

    Hi Rachel, Culling of any sort is difficult and heartbreaking but one has to be rational as much as we love all animals. Not sure if there is another answer but we can not let wild animals spread disease of any sort . Is it possible to just cull Badgers with TB, if so how would you know apart from catching every one and testing?We have lots here but are not a problem except for the farmers who say they eat the maize. We have a sett in our field but they have never bothered us or our chucks.
    Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi All
    I hope there is another answer to the problem, but I don't know what it is. I'm an old softie really and I like all wildlife including so called pests like badgers, grey squirrels, pigeons and even foxes (even though they go after my ducks!). Clearly there are serious conflicts between my idealised view of nature and the realities of keeping livestock, either as pets or as a farming business. If any of you watch Countryfile on TV, it's heartbreaking to see the problems Adam has with TB in his herd. Badgers remain a controversial subject and I really hope that technology will eventually provide a clean solution!
    I regularly visit a badger sett on my dog walks and a few weeks ago I found that someone had dug three large holes into the main chambers and the sett was empty. I reported it but nothing could be done and, having followed this sett for several years, I was quite upset to think that someone has probably taken the badgers to use in some cruel "sport"
    Regards, Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. Oh Ken thats terrible, I quite often see dead badgers at the side of the roads, most I believe have been dumped there by the kind of people your talking about and not actually road kill and that sickens me,

    why can't the badgers or the cattle be vaccinated against TB, mass cull would kill badgers that do not have TB surley
    Mo

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. Mama
    Member

    Hi Ken, Don't worry, the farmers here have dug out our sett several times and never got the badgers as the underground channels run all over the place. The badgers soon got back to normal activity after a few days of peace. We hear them at night sometimes which is nice. Hope yours return, minus TB. Mama

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. Omegaman
    Member

    I hope you are right, Mama. I was advised not to visit the site again while it was being investigated and, to be honest, I had no wish to but after what you said I will have another look.
    In answer to Rachel's original question, I know very little about the subject but had a look at the reports from the KREBS culling trial. Two things stuck in my mind: (a)Reactive culling was suspended in 2003 after results showed a significant rise in infection, TB rates doubling in areas where four culls had ocurred...(possibly due to Badgers moving to new setts?) (b)the trial produced evidence that cattle transmit cattle TB to badgers....(so it's a two way street?)
    I guess you have to look at all the data in the right context, but to me it doesn't seem clear cut.
    Regards, Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. FarmrPhil
    Member

    Action to control bTB in all host species is very welcome and will benefit all species in the long term.
    It should make any illegal activities redundant and therefore facilitate a much better relationship between the different concerned parties.
    I am concerned however about the use of both the word cull and what it could mean. We have the technology to target infected badgers or at least sets and the infrastructure is already in place to police such actions through the Ministry vets. Creating large badger free areas just creates refuges for infected badgers that have been thrown out of their home set. It also inevitably kills some healthy animals as well.
    I don't believe vaccination of either cattle or badgers is a cost effective solution. Vaccinating badgers is pretty hit and miss and also stresses them leaving them more susceptible to the disease. Vaccinating cattle is easier but causes many problems in then identifying any infected animals that have subsequently been vaccinated, not to mention cutting off many export opportunities as a result of not being tested disease free.
    The new government has said several times that it wants to be science led in this area and I hope that they look at the science, take advice from those who know about badger lifestyles and their interaction with cattle and other species and get on with it. The dithering that has taken place since F & M in 2000 has been far more damaging to all susceptible species than any control method suggested in the interim.
    As a farmer, I am sad that the actions of some reflect badly on the rest of us, but I suspect the desperation that builds in the face of such blatant Govt prevarication threatening the whole family business leads people to do desperate things.
    I am pleased to say that our own bTB free badgers enjoy a life of theft and destruction with regard to stored birdseed and crops in the field and long may they continue to do so as I am convinced that a healthy bTB free badger population is my best defence against the disease and those sick badgers travelling around carrying it!

    FarmrPhil

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. quax
    Member

    I am learning alot about badgers. I didn't realise that an infected badger is kicked out of and not accepted at any other set, so as FarmrPhil says, it is best to have a healthy badger population near your farm. I think the badgers found on the roadsides are most likely road kill as they are just too slow at getting out of the way of cars which travel much faster at night. I do feel for farmers who are always having to retest their cattle all the time, it must be so frustrating!
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. I feel for the farmers too but they do have choices and options, we choice to eat meat and drink milk, what choices do the badgers have, and no i'm not a veggi,
    but most of the dead badgers I see here in Oxfordshire by the side of the road are clearly not road kill, or what a strange situation that having been hit by cars they still all seem to manage to crawl to the grass verge or gutter to die,Ii have even seen them in a circle of dirt as if tipped out of a sack, sick but true x
    Mo x

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. sallie
    Member

    Come on Mo, Farmers are farmers because they love the life they have chosen and I for one support them in this as I feel it keeps the countryside as we know and love it. Badgers are a real pain and account for so much destruction both in their habit of destroying bees nests and hives, killing hedgehogs and raiding bird nests. There are far too many of them about now and they need to be removed from the protected species list. We have countless badgers around us and they do so much damage. I do not support any form of inhumane control but would support a humane cull. Let each farmer control them as they see fit. Some will remove them others will allow them to stay so you aren't ending up with the extermination of a species, but the numbers must be controlled and soon.

    Best wishes
    Sallie.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. Mama
    Member

    Hi Sallie, The problem is, who will and who will not kill willy nilly. Yes the badgers do cause damage but not all farmers are like Phil.Our badgers do no harm to us at all . We have chucks and geese. Our farmers are certainly not like Phil, they will kill red squirrels because they say they pinch the peaches ,and magpies, coypu ,which are a pest here as they damage the banks of the river and stream plus crows , you name it.Maybe English farmers are more tolerant???????? I do not think we are over run with them here , but sure if you spoke to a farmer he would say we are.It seems to me that we have to live and let live with some things but not if they are spreading disease.I do think Phil's explanation was very good. Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. I did say I feel for the farmers,and have physically surported my local farmer of cattle and sheep. I know sometimes I'm not good at explaining myself but the point I was hopeing to make is, that I don't think any one animal has a greater right to life than another, if any animal is sick please put it out of its misery, but to wipe out the whole lot to protect cows has to be wrong.
    I understand the extra work and money involved to keep our herds TB free but that cost should be down to us in the shops when we buy meat and milk and not the badgers life, and at the risk of upsetting anyone, if we are talking destruction, the common pet cat is the worst in my opinion and we can do nothing about them,
    really hope i havn't annoyed anyone
    Mo x

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #

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