This is such a well-argued letter from Michael Sharratt, I just had to reprint it here.
I had the pleasure last week of presenting Michael with a lifetime achievement award from IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) for his outstanding work in fighting the abuse of wild animals. He’s been vilified, attacked, and physically badly injured by fox-hunters, but he fearlessly, and peacefully, marches on; and he’s one of the wisest men in the country in matters of Badgers.
11:01am Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Humans Need Controlling Not Nature Although Sir Eric Howells stated in the Western Telegraph recently that he has lived by badgers all his life it is very obvious that he has little if any knowledge of the biology of badgers and the rest of nature. He maintains that the country is overrun by badgers. In fact the last badger survey, in which I took part, showed the population in this area down by 2%. He then comments that nature has a very cruel way of controlling wildlife and gives as an example the terrible rabbit disease myxomatosis.
I would like to remind him that it was not nature that introduced myxomatosis to rabbits but humans. He also seems unaware that it was, and is, humans moving cattle unchecked around the world that has spread bovine TB and not nature.
I was most surprised when he commented that he assumed that the badgers lying dead by the side of the roads had died a ‘prolonged death from TB’. I can assure him that once again he is way out. Having dealt with injured badgers for about 30 years. I can confirm that it is not nature but humans in cars that have brought about their death.
Yes, Sir Eric, it is time that we worked together. However the farming world has to accept what the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB chairman, Professor Bourne, recently said: ‘Badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the control of cattle TB in Britain.’ There must be a continuation of the restrictions which have been placed on farmers to control bovine TB. It is these control measures, based on science not opinion, that are succeeding in controlling bovine TB.