Sunday, August 01, 2010

How high is your dustbin?

We have mentioned many times the value of Defra advice on bio security, and in particular, the recommended height of cattle troughs. Now Defra will say 30 inches, while our parliamentary questions very helpfully pointed out that badgers had been filmed accessing troughs at over 40 inches, "at which height cattle could not feed". Quite.


So if you are offered this gem of advice, please remember this dustbin.
Our dustbins are about 28 inches high - and the one in the video clip was secured on both sides, yet accessed with ease, several times .... no contest was it?


Anonymous said...

Trimbush is annoying the RSPB again

Matthew said...

Anon 6.53

The RSPB know full well from their own camera evidence, the effect of predatory badgers on ground nesting birds, their eggs and fledglings. (And too many raptors and corvids = not many smaller species)
It is far easier to whack into 'farming practise' than to take on a fellow so-called protection group.

Jan Curtis said...

Badgers are foragers not hunters so they only take birds and eggs, and hedgehogs when they stumble upon them.
Give a badger a bad name, HUH.

Anonymous said...

You'll be telling me only 25% of them have got TB soon !!

Matthew said...

Jan Curtis @ 1.01.
Badgers, when allowed to become over populated are giving themselves a 'bad name'. No need for us to comment at all. Others have already done so. The thread was to illustrate how bloody futile Defra advice on trough height is, in practise.

Tracked and assessed over thirty years by a westcountry Wildlife Trust, the setts went from 1 adult per sq. km, to 37 per
What do you think they ate?

Parallel to the this population growth was a complete absence of most small mammals, ground nesting birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs and slow worms.
Type 'hedgehogs' into the search engine at the top of the title banner, and you will find published, peer reviewed papers on too many badgers = no hedgehogs.

Badgers are not only 'foragers', they are opportunist omnivores.
Particularly in a dry spring, such as we have just had for several months.

Anonymous said...

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society says -

"Predators that are capable of killing a hedgehog, like badgers, can cause problems with populations locally."

Looks like No1 predator to me!

Anonymous said...

…. and the “Tiggywinkles Charity” says

The hedgehog is covered with a coat of very sharp spines. It can roll into a ball and is protected from predators except badgers …..

Mr Badger versus Miss Tiggywinkle? - No contest !

Matthew said...

Last two Anons.
How do they do it? (Badgers eating hedgehogs)

They roll Mr. and Mrs. Tiggywinkle onto their backs, hold the front paws down on the ground, and proceed to peel the body from the spines like an orange. All that is left is the skin of spines.
The screams of a hedgehog thus dispatched have been described as 'horrific' and lasting several minutes.
Apart from cars, the badger is a hedgehog's only predator, having learnt tthe knack of avoiding those spines.
Delightful creatures.

Anonymous said...

“to come upon accidentally or unexpectedly”

If I were a young badger (?) my mum might show me how I deal with a hedgehog - otherwise I might first time ‘round ‘stumble upon’ a hedgehog and - after much effort - finding that I could eat it – and it was good – I would go hunting for another … but that’s me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great video guys!

Obviously intelligent creatures - and therefore a threat to us humans.

Kill, kill, kill

Wildlife or humans?

Matthew said...

Anon 5.33 said:
"Kill, kill, kill. Wildlife or humans"

Tuberculosis doesn't distinguish.

Anonymous said...

Matthew said...
Tuberculosis doesn't distinguish.

Correct - but humans are not 'culled' - even when they present a disease risk to other humans

Matthew said...

Anon 8.43

Anthropomorphic rubbish.

Human beings who have not died from TB, if clinical with open lesions, are isolated from their fellows. Some require invasive surgery. Some are treated with a long (6 - 9 months) intensive course of three drugs with some very nasty side effects.

All mammals, including human beings, face increased risk of the transmission from tuberculosis left to fester in wildlife.

Matthew said...

Please keep on thread. This posting was to illustrate the futility of Defra's 'bio security' advice re a 30 inch trough height for feeding cattle.

That badgers are strong, intelligent and agile enough to leap into food containers at around that height for fun, is the issue. Particularly as at some point, Defra may decide to penalise farmers who have not put their feed and water troughs above that mythical 30 inches.