Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"The sight of a badger ...

.. now spreads fear in the countryside. So says a farmer, with her herd under TB restriction and losing cattle to zoonotic tuberculosis on her farm in Derbyshire.

An article by William Langley in the Sunday Telegraph explains that Angela Sargent, whose family have farmed the land since the 1930s, used to watch badgers play at dusk, describing them as 'magical'. But after losing her own cattle, and having the stress of imposed herd movement restrictions, that feeling is replaced by one of dread.

 The comments below this article are predictable, but Derbyshire Council, while quoted as being vehemently against culling badgers, appear to offer little alternative. This prompted a comment from one of our contributors which sums up the situation rather succinctly.

He points out that BCG is a very expensive and very ineffectual 'vaccine', especially when thrown at cage trapped, wild badgers, and that it will not prevent tuberculosis in any mammal. He suggests that unless there is an efficient, but targeted cull of the reservoir of bTB infection in the badger populations, the insidious five to ten mile annual spread of disease across the country will continue unabated.

The tested cattle are acting as the sentinels of a wider problem.This problem can now be 'targeted' very tightly:
"Using the polymerase chain reactor (PCR) technology the bTB infected setts can be identified. The dormant badgers are then fatally anaesthetised using Carbon dioxide generated from ‘dry ice’ as used for the production of artificial fog for recreational purposes.
After a few minutes the badgers would die peacefully in their slumbers. Pigs are routinely anaesthetised with Carbon dioxide, prior to stunning in slaughterhouses.
Carbon dioxide is itself an anaesthetic and being heavier than air would permeate all the chambers of the sett. A non-lethal dose would result in a full recovery within a few minutes."
Here is a link to the PCR test for badger setts, validated in three laboratories, located in two countries, which we described last year. Our contributor finishes his comment with this observation on the story:
"No reasonable, individual or group would be justified in objecting in principle to such a method of controlling the level of bTB infection in the badger populations."

Unfortunately 'reasonable' doesn't figure in badgerist's vocabulary.

We get the impression in their la la land that no badgers must be controlled. Not an infected badger, as this one with tuberculous pleurisy, emaciated beyond belief. Not any badger at all whether targeted for this evil zoonotic disease or not.

And that may be the case until such time as the chickens cats come home to roost  die, emaciated and coughing, on the family hearthrug.

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