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Badger Cull

(161 Posts)
ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 07:33:09

Anyone have any opinions on the badger cull?
Or the protests surrounding them?

northernlurker Tue 27-Aug-13 07:39:33

TB in cattle is devastating for farmers. I'm not convinced the cull will work but the badger population will survive. If it helps badgers and farners co-exist then it's fine with me. I'm generally not a fan of animal rights protestors.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 07:47:33

That's essentially how I feel too.
Perhaps as a nation we are slightly sentimental when it comes to badgers?!

And yes about the protestors, I'm not sure that a lot of them fully comprehend the full situation before jumping on the band wagon.

northernlurker Tue 27-Aug-13 08:00:29

Anybody who's sentimental over badgers has never met one grin

I don't want them to be treated cruelly but a cull isn't cruel per se.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 27-Aug-13 08:03:51

My brother is a farmer with a science background, committed to green, eco-friendly practices in his work and life, and he believes that it is necessary.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 27-Aug-13 08:11:27

I have met badgers. They are beautiful, interesting, relatively intelligent animals. Unfortunately human life has interfered with animal life so much that we have damaged the natural balances that kept populations stable. Any population wiuld normally have periods of boom and bust, as the proprtions of prey and predators, famine and plenty, varied. Badgers have virtually no predators any longer to keep their numbers in check.

Badgers are tough creatures and notoriously difficult to kill. At least the cull aims to try and kill them with the minimum if distress to the badger, rather than allowing the disgusting old 'sport' of badger-baiting.

MrsDavidBowie Tue 27-Aug-13 08:16:01

I have no problem with it, as I would have no problem with a fox cull.
I live near Richmond Park, and every year people get up in arms about the deer cull there.

Abra1d Tue 27-Aug-13 08:23:48

So many cows are being put down and it's so sad for the farmers, some of whom have spent generations building up herds. I like badgers but this can't go on.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 08:25:48


I hope that your brothers farm hasn't been too badly effected by TB.
I agree with you, badgers themselves (while not the friendliest of creatures!) are not the problem exactly. Their population numbers are out of control and the disease is rife.

My main bugbear is that many many people seem to value the life of a badger more than that of the culled cattle...and more than the quality of life of the farmers affected.

lljkk Tue 27-Aug-13 08:26:34

The only scientific analysis concluded that a cull would make the problem worse long-term. I can't see the logic of it.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 08:30:08

How do you think they would react if they couldn't use the park because there were too many deer and it had become dangerous?! Or if it was declared deer territory, no humans allowed??

I feel quite strongly about it, but didnt want to be inflammatory in my thread title, so I'm pleased that I've found some rational people here. That said, I understand that not everyone feels the same, and that everyone is entitled to their opinion...I just wish that the coverage would be less one sided so that the general public were less misinformed.

frostyfingers Tue 27-Aug-13 09:16:56

I find it so frustrating that the news reporting is tipped so heavily towards the badgers - always pictures of them, never any of the cattle that are put down. In fact I have been corresponding with the RSCPA to try and establish why they value the life of a badger so much above that of a cow.....unsurprisingly they won't give me an answer.

It is hugely emotive and the demonstrators are trying very hard to paint those involved with culling as murderous maniacs whereas in reality no-one wants to see all the badgers killed, it would upset the balance of nature as much as having too many has upset it.

Let's hope a successful vaccine can be found quickly, I think in Ireland they were using a combination of vaccine and culling and felt that it was having some effect as a stop gap whilst they wait for a more reliable vaccine.

hackmum Tue 27-Aug-13 09:28:07

Oh, look, it's like the fracking debate all over again. The badger killers are all scientific and rational, while the antis are irrational and hysterical. Of course.

Then again, you could look at the evidence, or lack thereof. Here's the irrational and unscientific Ben Goldacre on the problems with culling badgers:

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 09:29:25


That is very eloquently put!

It seems to me the BBC is grilling Owen Paterson, but allowing the opposing side to set out their stall with a minimum of fuss!

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 09:31:37


That's the point, there is no more evidence against badger culling than there is for.

But we've tried controlling it in cattle and it's failing. It's a problem that has to be approached, so why not try this?

frostyfingers Tue 27-Aug-13 09:40:33

Here you go with the emotion Hackmum "badger killers" - that is why it's so hard to have a rational debate. Are you happy to have 100's of cattle put down, 100's of farmers losing their livelihoods, and ££££'s spent in compensation? At the same time 100's of badgers are also suffering......

I think everyone agrees that culling is not going to be the definitive answer, but at the moment it is the only way to try and get a grip on this disease whilst a vaccine is worked on. Something has to be done now, what do you suggest?

I'm not keen on fracking, but again it is impossible to have a rational debate - violent demonstrations, threatening and harassing people is not the way to stop something - that, more than anything is what I really don't like about the "antis". Some of the things that have been "promised" by those against the cull are downright violent and give those who do want to protest legally and peacefully a bad name.

comingalongnicely Tue 27-Aug-13 11:27:44

I don't have a problem with it. It's not something that's been entered into lightly, it certainly won't endanger the badger population as a whole as they're massively over populated at the moment.

It'll be interesting to see if Hedgehog numbers get a boost as they're direct victims of badger predation.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 11:33:38

That hadn't occurred to me comingalongnicely, thatwould be an excellent side effect!

And one that would encourage a little more interest from the general public I reckon. Hedgehogs are cuter even than badgers smile

WhatWillSantaBring Tue 27-Aug-13 12:27:43

It does seem to come down to why a badger's life is valued more highly than a cow's. I presume the shooting of badgers is done at point blank range (i.e. as humanely as it is possible to euthanise any animal) as I heard this morning that they're trapped first - i.e. they're not just relying on marksmen.

Interesting parallels with the debate over managing the fox population. In all the years of the fox-hunting debate (which I don't want to open up here), the need for a human check on the fox population seemed to be accepted by both sides of the lobby, and the pro-ban/anti-hunt lobby argued (sucessfully) for the use of shooting to manage the population as the most humane solution. Yet now it seems that shooting another wild creature is in-humane. I'm genuinely confused.

There are two arguments, really, aren't there. One is over the need for human control over the wild animal population - is it or isn't required. The other is over the methods for doing so.

The hysteria surrounding debate on this (and fracking and hunting) really winds me up! You can't have a rational conversation, and people's views therefore become so polarised, that debate becomes a waste of time. The Daily Mail Radio Show Jeremy Vine had an awful feature yesterday with Clarissa D-W sounding a bit barking and a Labour MP who sounded grossly ill-informed.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 12:40:01

I'll tell you what polarises my opinion.

Brian May.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 12:42:55

Yes yes yes WhatWillSantaBring.

And when you consider the economic repercussions of cattle culling, preserving the badger population at its current level seems even less important.

I really really agree with your point re the shooting of foxes.

frostyfingers Tue 27-Aug-13 13:12:20

Brian May is in danger of losing all his credibility as an animal campaigner if this is accurate reporting.....

The musician and animal rights campaigner claimed that the only difference between critics of the charity and child abusers was that in RSPCA cases “the creatures involved are non-human.”

He also warned that implementing a badger cull could ultimately lead to a return of the Dark Age practice of burning supposed witches at the stake.
I personally have never had much time for him on his animal welfare stand, but he certainly knows how to stir things up.

frostyfingers Tue 27-Aug-13 13:14:43

Whatwill - I have been in lengthy email correspondence with the RSPCA to try and establish what it is that badgers have over cattle but they will not answer that. Badgers have a better PR agency, I think to balance it out we need pictures of new born calves wobbling about on their too long legs!

valiumredhead Tue 27-Aug-13 13:52:54

What northern lurker posted!

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 16:59:51

That is so true, we need cute little calves crying out for their dead mummies...!

And then show people the dead cows that don't even have TB...

And then show them the meat that makes it into foodchain regardless...

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