Saturday, June 22, 2013

Not just for Zoonotic tuberculosis ...

... are badgers controlled in other member states within the European Union. Still operating under the Berne Convention, and with closed seasons as well as open, many other states, including the main axis of France and Germany exercise population control of badgers.

 We hear from contributors in Germany that the 'open' season for controlling badgers which may be causing damage to property, crops and livestock is by shooting and runs from August 1st to October 31st. each year. However, any hint of their involvement in the spread of bovine zoonotic tuberculosis and it's 'open' season all year round.

Meanwhile in France, terriers are used to dig out 'les blaireaux' prior to shooting. The control season in France is from May 15th - September 15th., and this is a rough translation of their methods:

"We practice this hunt from May 15 to September 15 in a regulated environment. We are available to persons who suffer damage caused by badgers and foxes.

We make every effort to ensure that the animal does not suffer. We are driven by a common passion for purebred dogs without which searching the tunnels would be impossible. We use Jack Russell terriers, or fox terriers for preference. Sometimes it takes several hours of work to get to the cavity where the badger earth. We stir cubic meters of earth.

Dogs do the work of locating and we'll dig the wells, several meters below, can capture one or more badgers. New member of the Terriers Mount Sacon, Yves discovered this activity: "I hunt for forty years in the plains and I discovered this practice. Without the crew and their dog handlers, it would be impossible to locate badgers. And the worst is yet to do, we dig into all types of terrain. A titanic work, "says the latter.
By a 'regulated environment', they mean at the request of the landowner and with permission of the local 'prefecture' and his superiors. This report came from Sost and Mauleon, about 40 miles south of Toulouse.

Another area which has reported problems and called in 'la chasse' is Doullens, an area between Calais and Amiens.They describe:
Five crews digging up, or Hunting underground had an appointment at 8 am at 30 Daniel Garenne, President of ICG. Their area was mainly located around Doullens.
"Badgers, the number of which in recent times has significant growth pose major problems for hunters and especially farmers, causing damage to crops , "says Daniel Vahé, agent of the Federation of hunters.

Badger is an omnivorous mammal, depending on the season, feeding beet or corn stalks layer to access the ears.
Moreover, as it is also a great digger, he created with its burrows a risk of machine breakdowns by their collapse. The Hunts underground, including the unearthing of badgers is an activity ensuring the regulation of species, adds Daniel Vahe.
These are some of the five crews, together with their terriers, ready for work on May 15th.

And finally, from Limoges, where land owners and the Hunt want a longer season to control badgers and other animals which destroy crops and livestock. This translation is from the annual hunt report.

"The list of work is long: twenty hunting for foxes is unlikely to beat the deer they have let slip through the tall grass, a handful of hunters is to man'uvre to retype the local hunting Bussiere Magdalene, made available by the municipality.

Coypu and forty two badgers day control, three hunters for a badger in a hamlet at the request of an owner, and all the seasons, many villages déterrages , Roux at The Age, The Age of the Curé ... not to mention a survey in a field of corn destroyed at the request of an expert.

But the service does not stop there: hunters have a sacred patience as availability. They are named (called) for the loss of livestock in the field or around the farm when the diagnosis is difficult, local officers may have the backing of the National Guard as was the case in April 2012, in Bussière-Madeleine,
"I was called to a birth devoured by a beast; a calf eaten by - fox, badger, boar or stray dog - explains Jacky Rigaud, the center of the Creuse was contacted and the National Guard came to see, took pictures, have concluded badgers and invited to monitoring, as the opening of this species date is 1st May. "
 The translation is not great, but we get the picture. Badgers are controlled by the hunt (la chasse) whose activities are overseen by the prefecture and other bodies. This ensures the survival of species, but controls outbreaks of damage to property, crops and livestock.

So in Germany and France, badger control is not just for Christmas Zoonotic tuberculosis. Other countries still manage to operate population management when numbers cause problems.

And in the UK, we give that sort of licensing to an organisation which is quite open in its contempt for controlling any badger at any time for any reason.

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