29 Apr 2014

29 April 14 - Daytime Badger

A few days ago I bumped into my this Badger. I see Badgers erratically on the quieter Dorset roads at night, but this is this first time I've ever seen one alive in the daytime, albeit during the early evening.
Badger: The first I've ever seen in daytime
Badger: Not the best of photos as it wasn't as close as I would have liked, but great to see
Sadly, Badgers haven't had a good last year. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, DEFRA, are insistence than they need to kill them to tackle bovine TB. We had several years of scientific culling in the Blair era that looked at culling & concluded that a cull was likely to make things worse, not better. However, the DEFRA minister Owen Paterson ignored this scientific evidence & decided culling will be better under his leadership. But the 2 pilot culls failed miserably last year, even after DEFRA's solution of moving the goalposts by reducing the estimates of Badgers in the cull areas (to make their cull percentages look better), extending the cull to try & hit their targets (which they still failed to do) & blame the Badgers for not cooperating with the cull. The official independent expert investigation into the cull concluded it was 'ineffective & not carried out humanely'. In March, a full day back bench discussion in Parliment concluded with an MP vote of 217 - 1 that the cull had 'decisively failed'. Frustratingly, despite the strong scientific evidence & views of Parliment, Owen Paterson has insisted it's right to carry on this failed process this year in the 2 cull areas as well as stopping the independent monitoring. We can only hope that the public which is not in favour of the cull, remove him in the next general election. For further information of the campaign to oppose the Badger cull & how to support it, have a look at the League Against Cruel Sports.