Friday, July 19, 2013

Nothing if not persistent

We are grateful to the South West  TB advisory group, for sight of a video clip, taken at Bicton college, of their attempts to exclude badgers from grazing areas. In this case a one acre paddock containing a couple of alpacas and now occupied by goats..

Below are stills from the clip, showing this persistent creature slotting himself sideways through the 4" gap  between the netted gate and the sunken mesh fence. First he tries the conventional way...

Nope, that's no good. I'll turn sideways and try again... That's more like it.

 Bingo! That's sorted their 'badger proof' fence. Yeah!!

Now, before anyone gets too excited about the concept of badger proofing their whole farm, the cost of the donated materials used by Bicton college for the one acre paddock constructed using free student labour is quoted on the McVeigh Parker website as '£209.30 + VAT for the wire which is buried underground, and £145.60 + VAT for above ground wire.' (50m rollls)

For a comparison on prices, conventional mesh sheep wire costs between £26 and £31 + VAT for 50m.
And with posts, strainers and labour, to back fence with this product, a 10 acre field will set you back between £8 - £10,000. Badger proof fencing multiplies that cost by at least 10 - and don't forget the gates.

The surface under the gate at Bicton, was concreted at 8cm to the bottom of the gate. That's 3 inches in old money. Because, as the video clip shows, if gaps are just 4 inches, badgers can get in, under or through.

 ** Please note that the link to the Defra website showing cases of zoonotic Tuberculosis in other species, referred to in SW TB Advisory service's piece, should be viewed with extreme caution scepticism.

For sure, scant mention is made in the notes accompanying these tables that Defra are counting their single confirming microbial sample only, and not total TB casualties. There is no indication there, that deaths of other mammals, including pets and companion mammals now number thousands, not the comforting handful shown as an excuse for ignoring the increasing spillover of this disease.

No comments: