A cull of badgers is planned for the UK still though this may be reviewed in light of the new findings about the Fasciola Hepatica fluke. Sadly, even if the cull is cancelled the persecution of these wonderful animals is likely to continue if the Welsh experience is a comparable example.
Living as I do in a remote farming community in the Welsh mountains, badgers (and cows) are a familiar sight: a family of badgers follows a centuries’ old trail from their den in ancient woodland to my garden every night in their quest for worms and bee honey, and they are a delight to see. This is a picture of one! For me it was very good news when the Welsh Assembly government decided it would cancel its own intended cull in favour of a vaccine programme, but the results of the decision were quickly seen. Even though badgers are protected under law, certain people are doing what they can to reduce the badger population through poisoning and shooting, dragging the bodies onto the roadside to appear as if the animals have been run over. It is a sorry sight and a sorry practice.
Poor husbandry and lazy, opportunistic farming have created conditions perfect for infections and other problems, not the neighbours of nature, but it is easier to blame badgers than to address the core issue of ensuring good animal welfare. In England, and in Wales, it may take a long time for farmers to stop blaming badgers for all their cattle problems because they believe the myths and believe they know best.
Those farmers – and there are some – who truly care for their charges and their land have healthier, happier livestock and they themselves may be happier for it. Would that their voices were more loudly heard.]]>