This blog is normally all about textile art. Today that seems too much of an indulgence. If you don’t care about wildlife, I’m sorry (very very sorry), this post isn’t for you.
Following the failure of a legal appeal last week, the first licence was issued today, allowing landowners and farmers to shoot badgers (a protected species) without risk of arrest.
Can you stand by while up to a third of this country’s badger population is wiped out? I can’t. It makes me sick. It is immoral and stupid.
Farmers and the government claim that badgers spread TB to cattle. Surely that’s the wrong way round - bovine TB is a problem of the farming industry, it is their responsibility to remove it from the cattle population and stop them infecting our native wildlife. The badgers were here first!
If you’re not up to speed on this issue, you can read about it here.
The science says no. The simple truth is that a decade-long scientific trial of badger culling concluded that it would not help and might well make the situation worse. And yet the government has given the go ahead, bowing to pressure from farmers.
It’s not about money. The government's own impact assessment concluded that it would cost farmers more to carry out the cull than to do nothing and suffer any losses from bovine TB.
Vaccination is the obvious answer. The last Labour government said an oral badger vaccine would be ready by 2015. The coalition cancelled five of six trials of injectable vaccines.
Killing. And it gets worse still… the authorised cull will be carried out by marksmen “free shooting” the badgers – cheaper than the trapping method used in the trial but less reliable and humane. Lots of fun for men who enjoy killing though…
None if it makes any sense, does it? But what can you expect from a government which now has a climate change denier in charge of Environment and a homeopathy fan in charge of the NHS. Mad, bad and dangerous.
So what can we do?
e-petition set up by Brian May and promoted by the Badger Trust, Chris Packham, David Attenborough and many other naturalists and other scientists.
38 Degrees – Rethink the Badger Cull
Enough names on these really can make a difference by getting the issues in front of parliament.
2. Support the Badger Trust, the organisation fighting the cull in the courts
3. Boycott English Dairy Products (and beef if you’re not veggie).
Sign Viva’s pledge here, money talks! Wales has called off the planned cull in favour of vaccination, so I’d rather buy Welsh products.
4. Spread the word
Please pass on the petitions (at least) to as many people as possible.
Let’s hope something can be done to save the badger population from this cruel, morally and scientifically unjustifiable policy. It makes me ashamed of this country.