Lay off badgers
SIR - Regarding the current situation with our economy, I am disgusted that we the tax payer have to foot the bill for the appalling persecution of badgers in order for the Government to look as though they are addressing the problem of Bovine TB.
Since the bTB bacillus remains alive in the soil for up to two years, removing infected cattle only to replace new healthy cattle on the same land will lead to re-infection whether badgers are present or not.
Badgers are one of many other animals that can contract bTB and become ill. Yet, I do not understand why badgers are singled out. Perhaps it is because they live in setts and are therefore easy targets for people to lash out their frustrations at the bad husbandry causing bTB, whereas deer for example roam the countryside with wider territories.
We should vaccinate cattle to prevent wildlife becoming ill from Bovine TB and hit this problem at the source. However, now we have made some of our badgers ill, we need to think about vaccinating them since they are a protected species. The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is running trials of badger vaccinations as we speak. If you are interested in this please contact them.
We need to face up to the scientific facts, address the whole situation and not use one species as a scapegoat. Let’s not support those in the Government who think destroying badgers is the answer – they have not done their homework and are spending money in the wrong area. Spend it on vaccinations not murdering a protected species. Eradicating badgers won’t solve this problem. For more information log onto www.badgertrust.org.uk and please write to your MPs and speak out for badgers.
Endymion Beer FdA
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