Being fortunate enough to live in Dorset, I am surrounded by beautiful countryside and coastline. In this idyllic rural area we are privileged to share our woods and fields with a large population of badgers.
Sadly these shy, nocturnal animals are rarely seen by anybody except when they fall victim to the all too frequent fatal road accident. But their existence is being threatened by the ridiculous government cull, in an attempt to curb the spread and incidence of bovine tuberculosis, which can be carried by badgers.
The cull has been a bit of a farce, with the target figure of kills being missed (fortunately), the pilot cull in Gloucestershire has been called off. Naturally, the farming minister has stated that the cull has been “worthwhile”, but there appears to be little evidence that it will make any discernable difference to the spread of the disease.
Fortunately, the process of thinking the problem through has not been left solely up to the government. The Dorset Wildlife Trust have embarked on a five year programme in which badgers are humanely trapped before being given the TB vaccination. The aim of the programme being to avoid having to cull the badgers in an area where bovine TB is common.
Now, to me, that makes a great deal more sense than trying to kill the innocent creatures who carry the disease. Vaccination of the targets of bovine TB, namely the cows themselves makes the most sense, but that might incur extra cost to the farmers, shame.
Having read so much about the evils of meat and dairy foodstuffs lately, I am tempted to say that we should cull the food industry executives, who have, and continue to disseminate false claims about the products they sell. The sooner we realise that what we are eating and drinking is doing us real and lasting harm, the sooner the badgers will be left in peace.