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Thread: Badger Cull

  1. #1

    Badger Cull

    Don't know if this story is of interest or not to members here, but seems the badger cull has definately been given the go-ahead.

    THOUSANDS OF badgers are to be killed in England in an attempt to significantly reduce TB in cattle herds in Gloucestershire. The cull – the shooting and trapping of the badgers – could last for four years and eliminate 100,000.

    Culling, which is fiercely opposed by animal rights campaigners, could begin in three weeks, once farmers prove they can pay for it.

    A second licence will be issued to farmers in Somerset and both will be independently monitored. If the six-week culls are found to be “‘effective and humane” they will continue for up to four years and up to 10 licences a year will be awarded.

    Up to 70 per cent of the badger population will be killed in each of the districts, though maximum limits will be set “to prevent the risk of local extinction”, Natural England, the British government’s advisory body, said yesterday.
    This was from the Irish Times online if anyone wants to read the whole story.

  2. #2
    Dont know if you heard Radio 5 live earlier with Brian May defending his anti cull stance?
    The guy from NFU ( i think it was NFU) put forward a very strong,calm, reason for the cull. May seemed to be trying to get the public vote against the cull.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by moonstone gsp View Post
    Dont know if you heard Radio 5 live earlier with Brian May defending his anti cull stance?
    The guy from NFU ( i think it was NFU) put forward a very strong,calm, reason for the cull. May seemed to be trying to get the public vote against the cull.
    It was the same BBC news this morning.


    Nutty

  4. #4
    Mr May can whine as much as he likes but this cull will go ahead and the farmers will have a chance to manage their pests themselves and quite rightly.

    Farmers are the custodians of their land and should be allowed to protect it.

  5. #5
    I've followed all this with great interest. I don't have a firm opinion either way, and don't feel I know enough to justify having one (don't you wish more people said *that*!). It seems that the one key bit of evidence lacking from the whole thing is a clear transmission mechanism: how is TB getting from badgers to cows (or, indeed, vice versa)?

    Solve that, and it seems as if you solve most of the problem, since it then means that you can adopt targeted control strategies, incorporating both informed culls in the right times and places, and altered husbandry to minimise contact/transmission.

    Overall, it does look as if there is no silver bullet. Culling may have some effect, but it seems unlikely to solve the whole problem. Especially since, unless you wipe out all the badgers in the UK, culled areas will continue to be re-populated (and presumably re-infected) by badgers from unculled areas.

    However, as a good empiricist, I think it's probably right to go ahead and try limited culls. There's absolutely no point in having endless arguments in the absence of much good evidence.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    It seems that the one key bit of evidence lacking from the whole thing is a clear transmission mechanism: how is TB getting from badgers to cows (or, indeed, vice versa)?
    BTb is spread to cattle when they eat plants which have been urinated on by badgers. If you can suggest a way to prevent badgers from peeing all over the place that doesn't involve a bullet, then please do let us know!

  7. #7
    On the interview the voice of agriculture pointed out that AT PRESENT only vacines administered by injection are available for TB in badgers and that there are no legal vacines for cattle.

    Everyone s moving toward an ORAL vacine for badgers (trapping and injection ain't gonna work) and a legal vacine for cattle.

    In the meantime, in a few HOT areas a physical reduction in badger numbers is a "good" method to assist in infection increase.

    Guitarist doesn't want to go down, deeper on down, that route.

    Stan

  8. #8
    Never mind the TB what about the impact badgers also have on the countryside ie destruction of ground nesting birds and the bumble bee to name just two ,everything in moderation of course but we have more Newcastle utd supporters than foxs !!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy_SP View Post
    BTb is spread to cattle when they eat plants which have been urinated on by badgers. If you can suggest a way to prevent badgers from peeing all over the place that doesn't involve a bullet, then please do let us know!
    That's interesting. Is that known for sure? I'd be curious to see the paper showing that, if you have it. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by norma 308 View Post
    Never mind the TB what about the impact badgers also have on the countryside ie destruction of ground nesting birds and the bumble bee to name just two ,everything in moderation of course but we have more Newcastle utd supporters than foxs !!
    To be fair, my guess is that thier impact pales into insignificance when compared to everything else that's being done to the countryside. It's like saying that someone with a weight problem will become healthy if they stop eating malteasers. Sure: stopping eating malteasers will have a small positive effect, but unless they make a whole suite of much more radical lifestyle changes, it's not going to change the overall prognosis. Same with declining bird/invertebrate species. Sure - removing a predator will have a small positive effect, but will be as nothing compared to solving the far more serious problems of habitat loss, collapse of food supply, changing plant and food supply phenology etc etc. Bearing in mind also that badgers are a natural predator, so advocating thier removal is actually an admission that something has gone so badly wrong that the system can no longer tolerate thier presence.

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