Badgers

I have had a distraught message from a friend about  recent UK government proposals to carry out culling of badgers. She says:”… If you are not aware of the proposals and evidence put forward, please go to the RSPCA website:  http://www.backoffbadgers.org.uk/. Our large mammals are finding it hard enough to survive with less land and fast roads – without an orchestrated badger hunt. These creatures belong in our countryside. Please consider signing the RSPCA petition so that we can halt this barbaric and short sighted proposal. There are other ways to deal with bovine TB. Don’t take it out on badgers”.

It seems to me that badgers, those much-loved wild creatures of the British countryside, are being held solely responsible for the increasingly rapid spread of TB among cattle in recent years. TB of course is a dreadful disease, and devastating in every way for farmers and all concerned.

But… 

thinking of the helpless beasts recently rounded up and slaughtered in our most recent outbreak of foot and mouth  disease (widely thought to have been caused by human negligence in one of our governments’s own scientific institutions)…

thinking of those bonfires piled high with cattle caracases…

thinking of the last outbreak of BSE, and the horrific epidemic of foot and mouth before that……

thinking of all these things, and following the ‘badger’ logic, some people might say it is human beings that should be culled. 

But then we are making a pretty good job of that already: on our roads and motorways – in our various theatres of war around the world – and in messing with the very ecosystems that support our lives.

Of course, I realise I am a part of all this drama too. I realise also, that these issues may be vastly more complex than just stated. For instance, what about the grey squirrrels who are being culled in their thousands, so that the red squirrel may thrive again in England?  In Northumberland, there is a concerted effort to rid the entire county of grey squirrels within the next few years.  I don’t personally recall ever getting very heated about this.  Is culling all right in some cases and not in others? What to do?

That is the question.

If you would like to sign the RSPCA petition against badger culling, you will find it at  http://www.backoffbadgers.org.uk/.  If this is difficult, the easiest thing to do is to send a text message saying BADGER, to 60022. Thank you.

   

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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