Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Badger Culling Doesn't Work

Not guilty!
Farmers today have described the suspension of the cull of Pembrokeshire's badger population, ostensibly to combat bovine TB, as a 'disaster for farming', according to this report. I'm sorry but I just do not for one moment buy that. The link between bovine TB and badgers is merely accepted wisdom based on, at best, anecdotal and/or coincidental data.

But even if you refute this strange farmers' reasoning with real evidence, or just subscribe to a different interpretation of existing-though-discrete data points, you are laughed at simply because its not the fashionable view. (Remind you of any other field of 'settled science'?). Furthermore, even if one member of the badger-cow TB camp could spurn the hysterical anti-badgerism, that person would still, without a shadow of a doubt, advocate the boneheaded position 'ah yes, maybe so, but better to be safe than sorry, right?'. Again, this reminds us eerily of another scientific cop out.

And sorry, but no, it isn't 'better to be safe than sorry' especially in this case because it is very likely that you are, in fact, still ignorant, more vulnerable having been lulled into a false sense of security by the massive badger bloodletting, and with one more innocent native British species of wildlife pushed onto the endangered list as a consequence of pitchforks and burning torches approach to countryside and agricultural management. A lose-lose-lose scenario. And it's pathetic. Why? Well, one South African (?) expert in the field, Martin Hancox, writes:
Accepted “Wisdom” after 35 years repetition is that badgers are the MAIN Reservoir of TB, and transmission is one-way badger to cow. The Emperor’s New Clothes, no-one apparently can “SEE” that thanks to the cattle TB crisis, the exact opposite is true: cattle are the MAIN reservoir and transmission is 99-100% cow to cow (and spillover to badgers and deer etc).
Cows give badgers TB!
The rest of his stout defence of Meles meles or Brother Brock is entertaining, quite compelling and well worth the read. Hats off must go not only to him but also to the Liberal Democrat AM, Peter Black, who has helped to halt the cull in Pembroke, and thus, quite possibly (since Pembroke was intended as some kind of trial), the rest of Wales, if not Britain. In addition, praise must go to those farmers who, while still strangely believing implicitly in the badger-bovine TB link, have the common sense and conservation-minded decency not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

You'd think it would have dawned on them why culls have failed for forty years when they have been tried wouldn't you? Well, it hasn't, so we'll have to spell it out for them: IT'S NOT THE BADGERS' FAULT, STUPID!

Not going to get through to them any time soon though, is it? It's very sad how destructive people can be in their ignorance, but too proud to stop themselves even when the truth is right there staring them in the face. Pity.


  1. good post. It is the microbiological activity within cow's slurry in which Bovine tB arises and this of course is prayed onto the land as fertiliser
    Neither cow or badger is to blame, it is the result of intensive farming, an imbalance

  2. Many thanks for that comment, Sean. Very informative, if not for the recalcitrant intensive farmers themselves then most certainly for me.


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