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Badger Cull
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:16 am    Post subject: Badger Cull Reply with quote

TB continues its inexorable march eastwards and northwards across the country. My herd and one of the other commoners' herds now has TB - they're coming to pick up the positively tested cattle later today. Unlike in other areas of the country our cattle were probably infected by deer so we can do something about it. It's legal to shoot deer during the season so we will reduce their numbers as and when we can.

Although we will get compensation for the animals taken away we are shut down for at least s 60 days before we can be tested again and possibly for 120 days if the Ministry require two clear tests on the whole herd, which they can do. If we are not clear after the two tests it means that we can't sell our calves in the autumn and will have to buy in feed to give to them over winter.

I have four of last year's calves which I was going sell after the test but now cannot because of the TB. I was also going to sell some of my cows to reduce numbers so that the common was not so grazed so much. That is partly due to mismanagement by the land owners because they have stopped us burning the gorse off and it is spreading across the common, partly due to a lack of control of rabbits which have increased to such an extent that they are taking grazing and partly due to adverse weather caused by the climate changing.

The badger population in the country has more than doubled in the last twenty years because they have been protected and have no natural predator since man killed off the wolf. For some reason an animal which is not endangered is a protected species and can't be killed. You can kill mice, rats, pigeons, moles, rabbits, foxes and deer quite legally but not badgers! FFS, why? What is so special about badgers that they can't be killed even though they are not endangered?

If their numbers were reduced drastically for now there might be a chance of vaccinating the remaining population with some success. As it is now there are so many of them that it would be difficult to ensure that all were treated. The cull in the south west had to be postponed because they had underestimated the numbers. No farmer wants to see them eradicated they just want number reduced to manageable proportions. The same goes for deer which have increased significantly over recent years as they have been hunted less.

The other shameful thing about the cull is that the Ministers and officials involved have had death threats made to them and they have had to have police advice on countering these threats. That just shows the madness of the animal rights movement.

What has this got to do with "Living in the Future" you may ask? With the country facing bankruptcy and then the possibility of total breakdown there could be a time when our food supply was compromised by the amount of TB rampant in the country. I have been informed that there are already at least three suspected cases of TB being passed on to humans from cattle. If that happened after a breakdown with no medical facilities it would be a disaster. In those circumstances I think that there would likely be a total cull of badgers in rural areas with the full support of a majority of the rural population. Townie badger huggers would not be a factor in it by then as the line of communications would have been broken.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several levels at which an issue such as this can be analysed.

In the first instance, some of the extreme animal-rights people are dangerously naive when it comes to the bio-security of our food chain. They will, I suspect, be likely to be shouting just as loud as everyone else if our food supply becomes compromised. Many of these people are also, just like the rest of us, fully complicit, whether they like it or not, in the destruction of wildlife in lots of less visible parts of the world and in less visible parts of the eco-system right here at home. They just focus on things like the badger, the fox, the deer and the seal because these animals are large, furry and have faces with big eyes.

On the other hand, the commercial types also often come out with a load of bullshit about being the so-called "real" stewards of the natural world. The fact is, there are very real commercial imperatives that bring such commercial interests into direct and irreconcilable conflict with the rest of life and it's funny how, one way or another, as the years, decades and centuries have passed, it is the rest of life that has always had to give ground.

In the final analysis, though, it's all bullshit. We have destroyed much of the biodiversity of life on earth already. Large swathes of mega fauna and mega flora have already been extinguished from the face of the earth over the last few thousand years and immeasurable damage has also been done to the hidden biodiversity at the bottom of our ecosystems on which all other forms of life depend. We humans, a single species, now appropriate around 30% of the total net primary productivity of the earth's living systems and what we have left for the rest of life has been seriously degraded. This degradation we have inflicted on the living systems of the earth as well as the poisons we are steadily pumping into them are now even causing changes to planet-wide, climate-regulation mechanisms. These current little local conflicts, then, over badgers and other poster-boy species amount to little more than squabbling over the scraps that remain.

We are all damned.


Last edited by Little John on Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:30 pm; edited 8 times in total
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are badgers edible Twisted Evil ?
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. A little googling for "badger recipes" is revealing.

They were included in the 1992 Wildlfie Act at a time when numbers were pretty low.

The spread of TB has probably been mostly by farmers moving cattle around the country. Back in a day, of course, vast numbers of cattle were moved across the country to London but these were one way trips with a TB stopping end. Over the last several decades farmers have been moving cattle willy-nilly back and forth on a scale that was unprecedented, and it is now too late to reverse the damage easily.

Badgers do have a predator - motor cars. Mine attacked one a few years ago and it cost me a few hundred quid for a new radiator and various bits of the front end of the car.

(None of which helps Ken's dreadful predicament Sad )
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
(None of which helps Ken's dreadful predicament Sad )


Not an adjective I would have chosen.

Farming cattle is a choice. No sympathy here. Laughing Cool
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
biffvernon wrote:
(None of which helps Ken's dreadful predicament Sad )


Not an adjective I would have chosen.

Farming cattle is a choice. No sympathy here. Laughing Cool


The vegan/vegetarian's answer and the motive behind much of the objection to badger culling. I have a certain amount of sympathy with the vegan position but absolutely none with the vegetarian position. If you are a vegetarian who eats dairy products and/or fish you are complicit in the killing of animals because to get dairy products a calf/ kid/lamb has to be killed at some point. The milking cow/goat/sheep has to be killed when it gets past its prime milking time. Fish are living animals which have to be killed. Vegetarians who object to the killing of animals are squeamish hypocrites as far as I'm concerned.

Draconian movement restrictions were bought in years ago but TB has continued to spread mainly eastwards from the West country. We only move animals to slaughter and our herd is virtually a closed herd. The only animals that we bring in are the occasional replacement calf and a bull, which is tested before it can be moved. the lorry which took away our reactor had a pedigree animal on board from another herd. This would have been from a closed, biosecure herd as well. The excuse that willy nilly movements of cattle are spreading TB is just not valid.
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Last edited by kenneal - lagger on Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, vegetarians have often been painted as inflicting more total cruelty even than meat eaters.
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Catweazle



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Badgers live happily in woodland and orchards, which are very common in Kent, a place with few cattle. Let them thrive in Kent and control them elsewhere.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The excuse that willy nilly movements of cattle are spreading TB is just not valid.


That's no actually what I said. What I did say was, "Over the last several decades farmers have been moving cattle willy-nilly back and forth on a scale that was unprecedented, and it is now too late to reverse the damage easily."

The 'draconian' movement restrictions may have been a stable door after bolted horse situation, with TB endemic in badger, deer and other wild mammal populations. I'm certainly not claiming that badgers don't spread TB and you yourself indicated that deer may be responsible for your particular situation. What I do think is that the problem is a whole lot more complex than can usefully be solved by the governments presently proposed cull, and, though it may help none to acknowledge it, the farming industry should share some of the blame for the sad predicament.

You, Ken, are clearly a victim rather than a responsible party. You have my sympathy but I have no solution to offer.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There still has to be a control on total numbers otherwise some form of disease will do the job, just as it will with the human population. Unless we have a war, that is.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

www.warmwell.com is the best source of information IMO.

Quote:
Derek Mead is an entrepreneur dairy farmer from Weston-super-Mare. His article today in the Western Morning News takes a wearily scathing look both at the RSPCA and at the bTB "experts":
"People who you wouldn't expect to know the first thing about bovine TB, bio-security, gamma interferon testing and the personal habits of badgers have been occupying platforms and writing letters to the newspapers, all with an immense air of authority..."
His own Badger Welfare Association is opposed to the intended cull, "as it is to be carried out in the two, (and maybe three) trial areas" because he - like many of us who know that we are not going to eradicate bTB without first eradicating free-roaming diseased wildlife - would far rather
"employ field craft to target those setts where we have reason to believe infection is lurking, rather than wiping out every badger for miles around, as will be the result of the Government's cull."
As for the RSPCA, it:
"appears content to allow badgers to carry on dying in such a manner all in the interests of whipping up support from the badger activists and topping up its funds. Making money out of inflicting continued suffering on badgers is as cruel as digging them and baiting them for sport. And to do so in the name of charity is little short of a national scandal."
It sounds like a shockingly harsh charge - but this website has been uncomfortable about the politicisation and leadership of the once-loved RSPCA for well over a decade.


And more:
Quote:
October 24th 2012 ~"what we need now is some decent insight in to the organism - and that might take time." Dr Colin Fink

Once again, we are grateful to Dr Fink, for his informed opinion. He writes today:
"...The problem that Governments have is that they are afraid to say 'we don't know'.
There are an awful lot of 'don't knows' here, and trying to shoot 70% of the badgers and not managing it ( how do you measure accurately?) to gain a 16% reduction in cattle cases seems a bit of a tall order. We have no good vaccine as yet for badgers, cattle, nor indeed for Homo Sapiens, we do not know enough about the persistence of the organism in the environment outside mammalian bodies, we do not know the amount of inter-cattle infection in a herd from one index case nor do we know the residual infection in other wildlife than badgers.
So all in all a dog's breakfast. We need decent research and time. It will take time - and in the meantime perhaps triple antibiotics and progesterones at feeding stations ( badgers are quickly habituated) may just reduce the Mycobacterial carriage, reduce fertility and keep badgers fat and contented - and thus reduce their wandering.
Does any one else have a better suggestion?"
To us, the suggestion Dr Fink has been making for some time that triple antibiotics and progesterones be put in bait at feeding stations in order to reduce badger reproduction while keeping infection low, seems a truly excellent interim measure. As usual, comments from other informed sources would be welcome.(Update: The veterinarian, Ueli Zellweger, queries what dosage Dr Fink would suggest for both antibiotics and the progesterone, since badgers differ in weight. He points out that if a pregnant sow eats progesterone "her gestation will be prolonged which puts her and her cubs to a high risk")

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Little John



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
www.warmwell.com is the best source of information IMO.

Quote:
Derek Mead is an entrepreneur dairy farmer from Weston-super-Mare. His article today in the Western Morning News takes a wearily scathing look both at the RSPCA and at the bTB "experts":
"People who you wouldn't expect to know the first thing about bovine TB, bio-security, gamma interferon testing and the personal habits of badgers have been occupying platforms and writing letters to the newspapers, all with an immense air of authority..."
His own Badger Welfare Association is opposed to the intended cull, "as it is to be carried out in the two, (and maybe three) trial areas" because he - like many of us who know that we are not going to eradicate bTB without first eradicating free-roaming diseased wildlife - would far rather
"employ field craft to target those setts where we have reason to believe infection is lurking, rather than wiping out every badger for miles around, as will be the result of the Government's cull."
As for the RSPCA, it:
"appears content to allow badgers to carry on dying in such a manner all in the interests of whipping up support from the badger activists and topping up its funds. Making money out of inflicting continued suffering on badgers is as cruel as digging them and baiting them for sport. And to do so in the name of charity is little short of a national scandal."
It sounds like a shockingly harsh charge - but this website has been uncomfortable about the politicisation and leadership of the once-loved RSPCA for well over a decade.


And more:
Quote:
October 24th 2012 ~"what we need now is some decent insight in to the organism - and that might take time." Dr Colin Fink

Once again, we are grateful to Dr Fink, for his informed opinion. He writes today:
"...The problem that Governments have is that they are afraid to say 'we don't know'.
There are an awful lot of 'don't knows' here, and trying to shoot 70% of the badgers and not managing it ( how do you measure accurately?) to gain a 16% reduction in cattle cases seems a bit of a tall order. We have no good vaccine as yet for badgers, cattle, nor indeed for Homo Sapiens, we do not know enough about the persistence of the organism in the environment outside mammalian bodies, we do not know the amount of inter-cattle infection in a herd from one index case nor do we know the residual infection in other wildlife than badgers.
So all in all a dog's breakfast. We need decent research and time. It will take time - and in the meantime perhaps triple antibiotics and progesterones at feeding stations ( badgers are quickly habituated) may just reduce the Mycobacterial carriage, reduce fertility and keep badgers fat and contented - and thus reduce their wandering.
Does any one else have a better suggestion?"
To us, the suggestion Dr Fink has been making for some time that triple antibiotics and progesterones be put in bait at feeding stations in order to reduce badger reproduction while keeping infection low, seems a truly excellent interim measure. As usual, comments from other informed sources would be welcome.(Update: The veterinarian, Ueli Zellweger, queries what dosage Dr Fink would suggest for both antibiotics and the progesterone, since badgers differ in weight. He points out that if a pregnant sow eats progesterone "her gestation will be prolonged which puts her and her cubs to a high risk")
I agree about the points regarding the RSPCA. I have read quite a bit about them over the last year or two and they do indeed seem to have been infiltrated by ideologues. Don't misunderstand me, I have no problem with people who have strong opinions and, even, a world view informing their decisions and who also go for positions of authority. I just object when that world view become immune to rational discourse and when it is used as an excuse for abuse of power.

I knew a man in Cleveland who looked after sick wildlife that had been run over or attacked by cats etc. He was a bit of an eccentric to be sure. But, there was no doubt he loved his animals and cared for them very well. He, like me, did not trust the RSPCA and would only interact with them insofar as it was an absolute legal requirement.

Afew years ago, he fell ill and had to go into hospital for a couple of weeks. He had arranged for some local folks to look after the animals while he was away. The moment he was out of the premises, the RSPCA swooped, came up with a load of trumped up charges and basically his whole place was dismantled and taken to the tip. All his animals were seized and, I discovered later, were all put down.

The message was clear, "We are the law round here. Don't F--k with us".

When he got out of hospital and saw what they had done to his beloved animals, his heart was broken and he died a year later.

I wouldn't let the buggers anywhere near my place or my animals.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8835631/off-the-leash/


Last edited by Little John on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, woodburner. There are still some sensible, thinking people out there; pity they're ignored.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warmwell first came to prominence during the last foot and mouth episode, where most of the criminal offences were committed by Defra and the government while being advised by some academic. It was the main place for getting the facts. I can respect the views there even if I disagree with them.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe all the money pumped into cattle herders should be pumped instead into 'growing' meat to satisfy those with a craving for it. Persecution of other species is never justifiable but this would give one less opportunity to do so.
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