Thursday, 25 October 2007

Lenton badgers

Should ministers decide to follow (the) advice (to cull the Badger population) they will unleash a countrywide campaign that would make the pro-hunting protesters seem half-hearted. Roy Hattersley, The Guardian, 24 October 2007.

This week, Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, has proposed a cull of up to 80% of the country's badger population. Countless thousands of badgers will be gassed in their sets or whatever because they stand accused of spreading bovine TB. There are alternative solutions to the problem, but they are more expensive. No, the only solution is to exterminate the badgers. The fact that there are other senior scientists and government advisors who disagree with King will be of little comfort if they are ignored.

I will certainly join in any public protest against the mass extermination of badgers, even though Lenton's badgers will probably escape the cull. Yes, within ten minutes walk of our lovely little park we have a badger set. Residents in one of the houses overlooking their set feed them peanuts and watch them at night from their lounge window.

I'm sure you have noticed how the characteristics we associate with animals crop up in our everyday language? To say the animal's name is enough to conjure up a human trait in your mind: pusscat, beaver, weasel, foxy, squirrel plus countless others including badger. The human trait we associate with badgers is one many of us admire. It's their tenacity we like. They have been around for ever, they are social yet private creatures. On our doorstep, but still wild.

I am against the factory farming of animals of any kind. I believe all animals should be properly cared for and treated with respect, even if it means the price of meat and eggs becomes much more expensive. The fact that Lenton's badgers are probably safe from being killed and that I buy organic free-range eggs etc does not lessen my concern for badgers or other animals. It only increases my support for all those who devote their lives to the fight for justice for all animals. The law should protect animals — not rogue farmers and big business.

Forest fires in California cause over 500,000 people to flee their homes.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

oh, poor badgers, I'm sure that they are not totally responsible for bovine TB - I hope it doesn't happen and that they will invest money in some of the alternatives. I'm with you on supporting their right to be treated with more respect.

On a lighter note re: people and animals - I see you as a beaver - working hard and 'beavering' away in your community to make things better by building bridges and dams and uniting different elements in the community and making changes and speaking up for everyone - including the badgers :)