Thursday, 27 October 2011

Black & White

October, the month for badgers. The 3rd marked down as National Badger Day. The 5th however holds more personal sway. This, the birth date of the first family pet I met. A black and white Staffordshire bull terrier named Badger. White marks worn like a badge on his nose, forehead and chest. 5 years my senior, but growing up together. To me, he will always be my furry brother. It's on his behalf, I am adding my voice to the ongoing plight of his clan. Taking my place in this black and white debate – the cull.

Why is it we always seek to destroy when we have to resolve a problem? To shoot, maim or kill, the only conceivable solution. Problem removed, we dance around the carcass. Glorify the act, give ourselves a large pat on the back. Duck the issue when it comes back to haunt us. The proposed cull and the war on terror, are to me, no different. Intervening, it's maintained improves the welfare of the nation – human or animal population. Where's the proof? The evidence to back up this democratic statement. Lazy options forced through by falsified theories and facts, despite recommendations or public declarations.

In July, the badger cull was thwarted. Proceedings only temporarily halted. Talks have resumed and lumber on. Government ministers and some farmers are still pushing for the cull. A pilot for next Spring may yet get the go ahead. Marksmen drafted in. A little nighttime shooting here, a little shooting there, as the badgers roam. A controlled success, this could then be rolled out, enforced by 2013. Supporters argue it will remove the fatally sick, the weak and those considered carriers of bovine TB. To me, it suggests dictatorship. Genocide to protect farming interests and profits.

Bovine TB, an airborne respiratory disease on its own is a debatable topic. Can we be sure it's transferred from badgers to cattle? I don't believe bovine TB has one and only route. A Gloucestershire farmer attributed it to diet. In selenium deficient cattle, immunity will be low. Supporters too quick to dismiss the multitude of factors at play. A fallacy to presume a cull will prevent TB. There's no valid reason to subscribe to this barbaric shortsighted goal. Mr. Badger, described as a gentlemanly character, would frankly have more common sense!

Protect black and white, and all shades inbetween. Save badgers from man's killing machine!