Table of Contents:
- Agriculture and ecology clash over badger cull
- Should culls continue?
- The badger cull controversy neglects common sense. Let farmers protect their herds.
The effect of bovine TB on Great Britain’s farmers has been paralyzing. From the Telegraph: “The number of farms which have been affected is unbelievable,” says agricultural contractor Dwayne Rice, 20, who works on a farm near Minehead. “This year we have seen about 20 to 25 farms locked down because of TB [contracted by cattle inhaling bacteria or coming into contact with badger secretions]. It’s going to be tough going.”
From producer David Barton, who has watched a quarter of his beef herd slaughtered in the past two years due to bovine TB: “I’ve been a farmer all my life and my father and grandfather before me and I’d like my son to take over from me. The only reason for this cull is to begin getting this terrible disease under control. You currently have two reservoirs of infection, among badgers and cattle, but we are only slaughtering the cattle and doing nothing about the badgers. At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it because the source of the infection is not being dealt with. That makes no sense.”
An effective cattle vaccine may not arrive for 10 years or longer. Over that same decade-long span, bovine TB is projected to strap Great Britain with a massive bill — $1.6 billion.
Should the culls continue? Absolutely. Badgers may be the ‘gentlemen of the forest,’ but they’re not endangered. Farmers may be precisely correct in their claims that a cull will lower the TB rate.
And meanwhile, the same activists in an uproar across England will continue protesting the cull, and then stop off on the way home and get a hamburger or some chicken — sustenance after a hard night’s prowling around.
Beef and chicken on your plate? No prob. Kill a badger? Horror.
Let the farmers cull. Spotlighting badgers with high-caliber rifles to help your herd is not inhumane — it’s common sense.
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