DAY 335: OH BUGGER, THEY’VE STARTED RANDOMLY SHOOTING BRITAIN’S MOST ICONIC ANIMAL
I’m becoming scared of myself. I’m slowly but surely turning into the sort of person I never thought I’d be. Angry, confused, political, opinionated. How repellent. The badger cull has started and so has my ire.
On Monday eve marksmen went into the Somerset night with various guns (anything other than a water pistol will suffice) and started shooting the first of five thousand badgers, Britain’s sometime ‘protected’ species. The shooting will continue for up to six weeks. Many badgers will die immediately, but some slowly of organ failure or infection. Shooting a badger at up to 70m in darkness doesn’t guarantee a clear hit and the chance of a miserable slow death are high.
A scientific debate?
The debate about killing these creatures has not, as you might think, been about whether cute, fluffy creatures deserve a right to life. Most animal rights people know that really important arguments don’t get your far in the public sphere. It’s been about the fact that top independent scientists, having spent years of the government’s money and time, have come to the conclusion that the badger cull is pointless and that other alternatives are available (vaccination, bio-security, cattle movement, EU regulations…)
The aim, as you must know by now, is to try and stop bovine tuberculosis in cows, a problem that all sides agree has devastated farmers. The belief is that since badger can infect cows we must kill the badgers to protect the cows. The problem is that all the science suggests this isn’t a full or even adequate solution and in many scenarios might make the matter worse.
And don’t forget: this is only a relatively ‘small’ test area designed NOT to establish whether culling helps stop bTB in cows but whether the killing of badgers can be effective and humane. Shooting in the dark at 7om? hmmm.
I’ve been to Parliament, I’ve witnessed the pointless debate in the house of commons, and I’ve recently interviewed a top MP about all this which I will write about shortly. I’m currently out of the country (more on this soon) but as soon as I am back I will have to temporarily interrupt my pig work to get back to helping the badgers. This means the ‘year to help’ may be a ‘year and a bit to help’ but I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
And by the way if you think this means I”m not concerned or devastated that children and other civilians are being gassed alive in Syria then think again. So many people assume a compassion for animals means less compassion for humans. But the heart is not a wallet it is a muscle. Compassion for animals has only heightened my concern for all fleshy things that have a beating heart…and strangely it has got me more in touch with my own.
Why not send the badger marksmen to fight with the rebels in Syria, go give Assad tuberculosis and stick him in hole, milk the Syrian government for all its money to give to…er..badgers in Britain.
ME FOR PRESIDENT.
WANT TO HELP THE BADGERS?
PLEASE GIVE MONEY TO SOMERSET AGAINST THE BADGER CULL IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT LOCAL ACTION ON THE GROUND TO TRY AND HELP THE WOUNDED BADGERS AND PROTEST AGAINST THE SHOOTING
OR IF YOU WANT TO GO DOWN THERE CONTACT ME AND I WILL DIRECT YOU