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Badger Cull

(14 Posts)
helshea Thu 21-Jul-11 10:31:56

What do you think about a badger cull? Are badgers really to blame for bovine TB? .... and if the cull does happen, where does it stop?

jangly Thu 21-Jul-11 10:42:44

Well I heard that culling them only reduces the incidence by a very small percentage (can't remember what exactly). But then I suppose a cow is a cow. I know they're welcome to the one (badger not cow) that digs in my garden. He's a big old thing and he scares the life out of me.

absentgrana Thu 21-Jul-11 10:43:39

I hate the idea of badgers being culled as they are such fascinating and appealing creatures, but this may simply be the soppy sentimentality of a town-dweller. However, I do not seem to be able to find any convincing evidence to support any of the various viewpoints. These just seem to be opinions, although there must be some hard evidence out there somewhere, especially as badgers have been culled for this purpose previously in various parts of the UK at various times.

• Culling badgers reduces the incidence of TB in cattle long-term
• Culling badgers reduces the incidence of TB in cattle in the short-term only
• Culling badgers ultimately increases the incidence of TB in cattle
• Alternative methods for reducing the incidence of TB in cattle work
• Alternative methods for reducing the incidence of TB in cattle don't work

This is another example of the media's hopelessness in reporting anything scientific. confused

helshea Thu 21-Jul-11 10:51:03

No animal should ever be killed simply because it "may" be the cause of something - give us the proof then let us decide!

susiecb Thu 21-Jul-11 11:56:15

I have nnever understood why you cant immunise cows against TB and /or treat them when they get it.

Elegran Thu 21-Jul-11 12:49:51

Culling cows is so wasteful- ruinous if it is most of a herd and the farmer has to start again- that if it were possible to immunise them, I am sure it would be done. But with bureaucracy, who knows?

absentgrana Thu 21-Jul-11 13:10:38

I think immunisation is one of the things that the experts (vets?) say is only partially effective. I don't know why.

Grumpyoldwoman Thu 21-Jul-11 14:08:06

Ask my daughter who has had chickens attacked by badgers..and left half dead whether there should be a cull. I must admit I don't find them 'cute and appealing'.

jangly Thu 21-Jul-11 15:00:44

Thats horrible Grumpyoldwoman (bet I can out-grump you grin). They can really dig, can't they?! They make such a mess under our fence.

goldengirl Thu 21-Jul-11 17:51:19

One of the problems is that the land badgers live in is being slowly eroded away and so they're having to find and adapt to other environments. I was brought up in the country and our local school had a farm and taught agriculture and animal husbandry. I don't remember badgers being a problem. Needless to say the farm has now been replaced by housing and badgers have gone elsewhere. TB is passed from cow to cow. How can a badger pass on a respiratory infection? It's more likely that the cow passes it to a badger through its faeces being near a sett. How often are cows tested? This should give an indication of any hot spots which can be dealt with. Oh boy! I get all wound up on this and I fear that unscrupulous individuals will use it as an excuse for 'hunting' down these poor creatures angry

artygran Thu 21-Jul-11 18:02:19

I suppose that the thought of culling any wild animal doesn't have much appeal, and, like absenta, I also am confused by the amount of conflicting information on the subject, but a good point was made on Country File recently - with the rarer breed herds that farmers are trying to build up, every beast that has to be destroyed diminishes the chances of the blood line succeeding. Farmers get compensation for the animals they lose, but to lose a good breeding bull, or a cow in calf, perhaps even cows in calf, is a tragedy to a breeding programme that no one can compensate a farmer for. I don't know a lot about cattle - or badgers - but, to me, that makes sense of why farmers are so anxious to try anything to get TB eradicated.

carboncareful Wed 07-Sep-11 18:00:27

Culling is when you take out the old and the sick in order to improve the health of the remaining animals.
What is being proposed is k i l l i n g, certainly not culling.
Not only that, it worsens the health of the badgers because the ones that escape spread out into adjoining territories and (if they have the disease) are likely to spread it to otherwise health groups.
This has been demonstrated and proved by scientists and has been reported to the government - but they choose not to listen to the very people they employed/paid to research the problem.
They are just trying to appease the farmers and its all going to end in tears

goldengirl Wed 07-Sep-11 21:35:50

I so agree with you CC

Baggy Thu 08-Sep-11 06:38:17

I agree too, carbon.