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The Badger Cull
England has been struggling with bovine TB for years. It is actually on the rise again. Somehow they had hit on the idea of culling badgers to combat bovine TB. It hasn't proved to be effective. It is costly, running thousands of pounds per badger. It is also cruel and inhumane.

There are so many things that could be said about the badge cull. There are so many arguments that could be made for and against.
I don't think any of that matters when you look at the fact that the cull is the slaughtering of a species. I don't think we as a species have the right to do that to another species. We run the risk of upsetting the ecology of areas where the cull takes place. Badgers have been part of the ecosystem long before cows were brought in. Who knows what the consequences of a massive cull would be. It certainly won't be the eradication of  bovine Tb. Maybe better handling of bovine herds would be more effective.

If the consequences of a mass badger cull are a serious upset of the ecology we won't know until it is too late and we may have bigger issues than bovine TB to deal with.

Unless we have studied badgers in great detail we don't really know how they impact the  web of life in their territories.
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This is awful and then one day everyone will say what happened to all the animal species,us is what happened to them.
Scotland has a small badger cull rate - and is virtually BTB-free. But in England, with notoriously high badger cull rates, BTB is a big problem. So logically, badgers are the scapegoat for BTB. The more logical cause is that infected animals are frequently traded (prior to symptoms being found) at animal markets, where the animals are tethered at close quarters until sold. This spreads the BTB like wildfire. "Buying in" new stock is the other way that infected animals get introduced into herds.

In Scotland, farmers (especially those in remote areas) tend not to trade at markets as much as in England. That explains why Scottish BTB is very rare.

For a good article on this issue, see:

Hands off the innocent badgers!
Well said LPC!
Quote:This is awful and then one day everyone will say what happened to all the animal species,us is what happened to them.
Quote:Hands off the innocent badgers!

Well said.

They need to get some proper epidemiologists to analyze the situation. They can determine where the TB came from and how it is transmitted. Against all evidence they have decided that badgers are the problem and should be eliminated. Since badgers are not the problem, eliminating them will give a false sense of security. Whatever is the cause of a TB spread still exists and will still exist even if they kill every single badger. There will be a much larger outbreak because no precautions are being taken against the real problem.

I think lack of quarantining of cattle when they are sold and a lack of testing are very much part of the problem. Is there no vaccine? Vaccinating would help break the transmission of the disease. Documenting cattle movements from area to area and a more accurate way of identifying individual cows would help. Perhaps cows could be microchipped. Then there would be no doubt about who an individual cow is. That way a cow from an infected herd  couldn't "accidentally" get sold to an area where there is no TB. The real problem is cattle management, not a few wild badgers who have little contact with cows. Badgers are nocturnal and cattle are diurnal. I don't imagine that they have much interaction.

When you grab at the wrong solution, the problem doesn't go away.

Badgers shouldn't have to pay for our stubborn stupidity.
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The trouble is there's money in cattle not in badgers.
Yes, that's what it's really all about, catslave.

Catherine, where I live Badgers could easily come in contact with cattle. In the summer time cows are outside in the fields except for milking time for a couple of hours twice a day. Also cows come in contact with places where Badgers have urinated, or latrine areas. And at dawn and dusk they do encounter each other.
But it is becoming obvious cattle management/stock movements/cattle markets etc are connected with the spread of Bovine TB, and NOT Badgers. It's my guess that if Badgers have been found with TB, then it is highly likely they caught it from the cattle, and not the other way round.
What surprises me is that no-one seems to be taking notice of the evidence. As catslave says, it is all about money."Follow the money" and there will be the answer I think.
You are both right, it is about the money. However, if badgers are not the real cause, of the TB spread then culling them will not stop the spread. The cull is expensive and it doesn't protect the expensive cattle.

They really need to work on a vaccine and they need to monitor cattle more closely. If saliva can spread the disease them the barns and pens need to be disinfected more carefully. 

I agree that the badgers probably caught TB from the cattle. Cattle get moved around. Badgers live and die in a small territory. How could badgers effectively  spread anything.
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