Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Threat to Badgers

When people find out about my wanderings I am often asked questions or provided with advice. I am usually happy to chat with people, it is surprising what can be learned. However as I have mentioned in a few blog posts what I learn is not always what people wish to teach me.

On a few occasions I have been told I should be careful of badgers. I have been told they are aggressive and are likely to injure my dogs or possibly even myself. Those who tell me such things have often heard tales from friends of friends and relate them to me with the best of intentions. I have walked at night for over two decades now and I have encountered badgers on a few occasions. As with all wildlife I try to give them space and not disturb them but there has been a couple of occasions where I have literally bumped into them on a narrow track. The dogs are of course fascinated with the sturdy creature standing before them and do wander up to investigate, much to the badgers annoyance. In such circumstances I call the dogs back to me and create an opportunity for the badger to wander off or bypass me (on one occasion the dogs were behind the badger so I stepped from the path to allow the badger to run past me). By giving the badgers what space I can, I have never once had a dog or a badger injured.

A couple of weeks ago I got the news of the governments plans to begin culling badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB. After doing some reading around I was surprised to find this was being proposed despite evidence showing it is highly unlikely to have any effect. It took only a few moments to check the twitter streams of others who I have found to be people well worth listening too. Ginny @ginbat and Si Jakes @Shyman33 amongst others were equally concerned about the cull, something I regard as a reckless action against uk wildlife and biodiversity.

I find myself wondering at the forces behind this cull and the politicians who support it. I can understand a farmer who has suffered from the loss of cattle because of bovine TB will be trying to do what they can to protect their business. But there are far wider implications, removing an animal from a local ecosystem is foolish, it should also be a priority to work with the natural balance of the lands. While the media pump out tale after tale of financial hardship it seems the lands and nature have become a poor second place to the economy. From my perspective the economy is similar in many ways to nature and indeed is linked to it. It cannot continually grow, it must find a balance. To try and force an economy or growth at the expense of nature and resource is a dangerous path indeed. The badger cull is certainly one of those actions I consider to be of this ilk.

If you have not done so already and are a UK resident, please consider signing the e-petition against the cull

With thanks



  1. ...mankind has his ways ~ however ~ nature has her ways too... ...the struggle of the competitive world is indeed a perplexing one... day we may instead ~ decide to use ~ complement ~ as a strategy ~ and then perhaps we may evolve toward a higher plateau ~ and once again come to cherish our environment... ...may your voice be heard ~ dear kindred brother! ~ blessed be!...(:

    1. Hello Samantha,
      Thank you for calling by as always. I have little doubt when people realise there is so much more to be gained by opening the mind, there will be a shining example from the south :o)
      Fond regards

  2. Hellooo...

    Just had to pop over here to lose myself in the musky scent of virtual woodland! I say that when my house is in a woodland setting. ;)

    Ha, I have yet to meet an aggressive badger/s. And Charlie just stands or sits and stares, perhaps glares.

    Pointless is as pointless does! Governments say yay to farmers on a whim never thinking through ridiculous proposals. Nor do thy take into account the fact that bad husbandry has a lot to do with TB in cattle re damp housing, filthy conditions and foul slurry, plus drinking from rivers that often as not run green with said slurry!

    Here in West Wales (Pembrokeshire) the Badger Watch and local landowners opposed to a badger cull beat the Welsh Assembly into retreat. Of course the powers that be tried moving hell's earth in attempts to get a high court ruling overthrown and failed. Now the WA, the local police and the badger killers await the outcome of the proposed cull in England, in hope it will give credence to again propose a cull over here. If that happens then the WA authorised Min of Ag bods, police and farmers involved will be in for a fight plus underhanded chicanery of rescue squads in action!!!


    1. A real pleasure to have you call by Francine, thank you for taking the time and it is a fine thing to hear of your experiences with badgers over the Welsh boarder and also of farming practices relating to TB. At least we have had a small victory today with the postponement of the cull. Hopefully politicians will realise the knowledge of good folk goes beyond a blind acceptance and is actually reasoned and well considered intelligence.
      Thank you again for your tale shared on your blog, I hope many others visit and enjoy your mastery of word and tale :o)

  3. Sorry for the delay - for some reason your posts are not coming up in my blog feed.
    I love this post and fully agree with it. This whole issue is driving me to distraction and the government's stance on this is entirely political - dismissing the advice given by the scientific advisers that they have commissioned!!
    I too have heard some 'horror stories' about the aggressiveness of badgers (is it purely coincidence that they are circulating at this time??), however, I have yet to find anyone to whom any of these incidents actually happened. Most appear apocryphal and have no doubt been embellished through time.
    There is some glimmer of hope that things may be reconsidered so now's the time to exert even more pressure!!!
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you Wingfall, I suspected you might have truths to cast a light on the issue and your comment is greatly welcomed. Todays postponement of the cull is a good start and hopefully we can keep up momentum to encourage understanding. I notice you have some new posts and I will be delighted to call by and enjoy your fine words and thoughts. I like to save reading your posts for an enjoyable interlude in the working day - something to look forward to!