Saturday, November 01, 2014

Halloween news.

A catch up of this week's news.

Announced on the 29th October,  the Court of Appeal challenge to culling badgers by shooting, launched by the Badger Trust, which we described earlier in October - [link] was unsuccessful.
As we pointed out in that posting, why the Badger Trust should be getting in such a lather about shooting a few hundred badgers in two small areas where cattle tests are indicating endemic tuberculosis in badgers, when Germany shoots 66,000 annually with apparently no problems, is a mystery.

But then if zTB was solved in their chosen species, their publicity income would dry up overnight.
Farmers Guardian - [link] reports the judgement.

And South West farmer, Anton Coaker - [link] explains in his own inimitable way, the logistics of gathering his cattle for a routine TB test.
There seems to be this assumption within Defra that it’s OK to make us run the cattle through the race again and again. After all, they’re all neatly grazing in the 10-acre paddock next to the farmstead... surely?

Well they aren’t, and it definitely not all right, buster.

Quite apart from the obvious labour and logistics, we’ve had to watch the weather forecast days in advance, with fallback plans on how to get various groups across rivers which go from “easily fordable” to “raging frothing widow-makers” in the space of about two hours.

Two groups might have had to be walked three miles around to a road bridge, which you don’t do on the morning of the test. In the event, we saw a window, got them back safely, and are holding them on the precious in-bye. While we’ve had leave to postpone the furthest forest cows for another month, everything else had to be gathered and failure would lead to the kind of Draconian fines we could scarce afford. It’s insidious State bullying.
Anton also has views on Badgerists, and also taking pot shots at badgers.

And after describing his week's work, gathering in cattle from the wilds of Dartmoor, he comes full circle to:
.... the whole can of “badger cull” worms.

Despite the ongoing misery TB is causing us, and the wildlife, the combined ranks of the badgerists are doing everything they can possibly think of to prevent anyone from prematurely killing any badgers. Clutching at straws, they pick holes in anything to do with the cull.

For my part, I strongly disagree with the method being used, preferring to see infected setts identified and gassed.

But I accept that the badgerists have driven us to this extreme place. We have to show that killing some badgers makes TB better. And by golly, they must be in a tailspin with news starting to leak out of the cull zones.

Farms which have been down for years are now testing clean again, hedgehogs are breeding successfully once more, and most embarrassing for the RSPB – which is vehemently opposed to the cull – ground-nesting birds are suddenly rearing young again.
Read the full story on the link above. Anton's article was published in the Western Morning News Oct 30th. 

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