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For the past half-century, starting in the 1960s the European Badger (Meles meles) has been subjected to countless Badger culls. They originally started in order to control the spread of rabies. As time passed, however, the threat of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) became the new threat to replace rabies. It was discovered in the 1970s that bTB was capable of being transmitted from Badgers to cattle. This subsequently prompted some farmers to cull Badgers on their land in order to prevent the risk of their livestock being infected. In response to the widespread culling, wildlife groups managed to convince parliament to create the Badgers Act 1973. This meant that harm to these animals or their homes was a criminal offence.
Great right? Well not really.
The law was able to somewhat control the small-scale killing of these animals by individuals and small groups. Ultimately, however, the greatest amount of damage was committed by the government who launched the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT). It saw 11,000 Badgers killed between 1998 and 2005.
Whilst writing this, it’s the 16th September 2017. If we’re not mistaken, this is supposed to be a time where we lean heavily on scientific evidence in order to make informed decisions. It would appear that this isn’t the case in terms of these Badger culls and the British government.
The British government is choosing to ignore some key facts that clearly contradict the purpose that slaughtering Badgers are supposed to achieve. For example:
-94.3% of all bTB transmissions to cattle are NOT From Badgers.
-80% of the culled badgers do NOT have bTB.
-Badgers which do have bTB are only carriers which means they are NOT suffering or in pain.
-It costs the British taxpayer £4,790 for every badger that is killed in a cull.
-To date, more than £50,000,000 has been spent by the taxpayer on Badger culls.
With these arguments in mind, how is it that the government is still able to justify these culls?
The art of politics is often a confusing and contradictory one, but in essence, for a party to remain in power they need to keep the support of their voters. In the case of the Badger culls, those commonly in favour are traditionally conservative-voting farmers. Now more than ever the conservative government need to hang on to all the support they can and not run the risk of losing their long-time voters just to save the lives of some poor Badgers.
First of all, like all campaign work, if enough pressure is applied, eventually change can be brought in.
The Badger Trust is one group that’s been working hard to bring a stop to these culls. Consider donating to them (click here). They’re always trying to raise money so that they can keep Badgers a national media priority during the culling season. If you don’t fancy donating, there’s a wide range of merchandise for sale on their site (click here).
If you can’t afford it, don’t worry. The next best thing is to write to your local MP. It’ll keep the topic on their radar so that they can enact change on your part.
Please note, this article is not intended to present any political opinions. Instead, we have simply outlined the facts to allow you (the reader) to make up your own mind and form your own ideas/opinions. We as a company do not endorse any political party, movement or group.
Thanks for reading!