Here’s a fascinating piece of comedy – an attempt to introduce gassing of badgers by a group posing as Badger Welfare campaigners. Surprise Surprise ! They turn out to be a bunch of farmers ! ncredible that anyone could take it seriously, yet, of course, it’s all designed to propagate the lie that badgers are responsible for TB in cattle, and that wiping them out will solve a problem that has arisen purely because of a history of bad practice and bad advice given to farmers. There are people out there still determined to bury their heads in the sand, and imagine that life will get better for them the more they murder the wildlife around them. It’s an outdated attitude which will undoubtedly lead to the early demise of animal farming, and of course there is now more and more evidence that eating animal fat is bad for health (a report issued today: Telegraph | Guardian), bad for the planet, and becoming less and less economic, compared with plant food grown for direct human consumption.
It’s a sad comment that, for us, the Human Race, the determining factor in bringing about the end of all this appalling behaviour will not be the fact that it’s barbaric and cruel to millions of creatures who feel pain just like we do, will not be out of considerations of wrecking our environment – not even the fact that eating animals seems to make us die earlier. The factor that will bring about the end of animal farming will be MONEY. Soon it will be cheaper to make meat synthetically that tastes as good and is cheaper than meat from an animal that has had years of care spent on it. Then it is over. Of course those humans who delight in cruelty, to animals and to other humans, will still be looking for ways to satisfy their depraved appetites.
But it will no longer be possible to invoke the excuse that “wildlife are wrecking our livelihood”. Paterson’s now legendary gaffe, the flippant and disastrous remark that badgers were “moving the goalposts”, can now be seen as something even more significant. It betrays the ignorant and unfounded belief that the other creatures on this planet are somehow responsible for the mess this planet is in, and the mess the human race in particular is in. It’s a belief that will lead us, like lemmings, careering off the top of a cliff to our deaths very soon, if humans don’t wake up and assume responsibility. One of the places we have to start is in farming. There are plenty good responsible farmers out there, and I’ve met many of them. But the contingent that has been whipped up to a frenzy by the NFU, refusing to face up to actions they must take, belong to a bygone age.
Ah ! But in the meantime here’s the “BWA” of Somerset ! A Badger Welfare Association that advocates gassing badgers to make them healthy ! You could hardly make it up. This chap Derek Meade has gone back to completely bogus claims that ‘thousands of badgers are dying lingering and painful deaths’. There is NO proof for this statement whatsoever. If you ask the authors of the RBCT experiment, who can hardly be accused of being squeamish since they killed 11,000 badgers over 10 years, they will tell you that the proportion of badgers they found that could qualify as ‘seriously ill’ was in the region of ONE PER CENT in cattle TB hotspots. That’s in spite of constant re-infection of the badger population by TB in cattle.
Badgers have been dealing with various pathogens for thousands of years in Britain, and were doing absolutely fine thank you, before the introduction of cattle farming with its endemic disease problems. The odd thing is badgers are actually still doing fine, if you discount:
(a) being persecuted by vile badger-baiters, (b) killed on the quiet by farmers who think they know better than the RBCT and don’t understand that through perturbation they are making the situation worse for them and their neighbours, and (c) slaughtered ‘legally’ by this Government in a laughably botched cull.
Mr Meade is even an expert on statistics, apparently ! He says he believes their gassing methods will “work virtually100 per cent” !!! Wow ! How impressive !
I wonder what he’s talking about here … 100 per cent wipout of badgers ? 100 per cent wipe out of sick badgers ? 100 per cent magical cure of the TB problem in cattle ? All naive pipe dreams, Mr Meade, and actually I think you know it. More likely 100 per cent waste of taxpayers’ money, like David Cameron’s badger cull.
Am I being purely destructive ? Not a bit of it. What are we positively advocating ?
1) Make EVERY farmer take biosecurity seriously.
2) Clamp down on cattle movements.
3) Improve the conditions that the animals are kept in, so they are less stressed and their immune systems can cope with TB mycobacteria, which are everywhere, and other threats.
4) Vaccinate badgers (it’s cheaper than killing and will be effective, unlike culling) to remove them from the equation of disease transfer.
5) Vaccinate cattle … this requires the Government to prioritise completing the ‘proving’ of the vaccine and the DIVA test – we could be vaccinating our national herd in 10 years’ time – as opposed to the 25 year futile badger culling which Owen Paterson envisages.
6) Stop asking the taxpayer to go on subsiding repeat farming of cattle in spots where there have already been TB breakdowns. This leads time and time against to a repetition of the problem – and Mr Meade and the bogus “BWA” will undoubtedly tell you that’s because of badgers. In your dreams, guys. It’s because of an appallingly inaccurate skin test and points a) to c) above.
Let’s just add in a couple of PS’s to ponder. Scotland has cows and badgers, and it does not have bTB problem. They have NEVER culled wildlife. Northern Ireland currently have a lower incidence of bTB than Eire, where they’ve been culling badgers indiscriminately for over 15 years. Northern Ireland do not cull badgers. Switzerland famously has cattle and wildlife, and has no TB problem. Why? When reactors were detected by skin testing 25 years ago they took out the whole herd in each case. (The NFU have never allowed that in this country, with the result that infected cows are left in the herd, due to the fallibility of the skin test.) They never culled badgers or any other wildlife. Vaccination of foxes in Europe has conquered Rabies, without any culling whatsoever … just as vaccination wiped out Tuberculosis in Humans when we were kids. Wake up, guys ! We might be badger-huggers, but we are the only people around here who are talking sense. Oh, no. Of course. How could a rock star and a bunch of tree-huggers know what they’re talking about ? Tell you what – just go on laughing at us, while farming continues to shoot itself in the foot.
Here’s the story … decide for yourself who is telling the truth. http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Government-urged-consider-gassing-badgers/story-20738844-detail/story.html
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