Friday, 18 March 2011

Badgers on the block again

My thoughts today have very much been with Badgers and particularly those to be found in North Pembrokeshire and South Ceredigion.  It is here that Elin Jones the Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Environment Minister has decided to carry out a cull of these delightful animals.  This decision has been taken against all scientific evidence and at a time when improved cattle management has greatly reduced the instances of TB in Wales.

A similar plan for 2010 was thrown out in court after legal action taken by The Badger Groups and supported by activists throughout Wales.

Despite all of this the decision to carry on can only then be described as political.  It would appear that this is a sop to the farming community from which this lady comes, to ensure she is voted in at the Assembly elections in May.

What she asking is horrendous.  Many of the best Badger setts are on nature reserves and these are not to be spared the slaughter.  This makes a mockery of them being purchased as safe places for fauna and flora.  Some sites actually receive revenue from organising Badger Watches which helps in the conservation of all wildlife.  Perhaps wildlife charities should ask the Assembly for compensation too. In all 1,000 Badgers could be killed.

In addition some farmers who have Badgers but no TB in their herds are not anxious for a cull on their land.  Animals carrying the deadly virus might move in to fill the created vacuum.

In England a decision to consider Badger culling has been put on hold.  This was shortly after the public outcry at plans to sell off national forests.  The public response which caused the withdrawal of such a plan obviously caused Westminster ministers to reconsider any controversial plans for the environment.

What if 1,000 Badgers are killed with no significant improvement in TB in cattle?

The Welsh Assembly and Elin Jones seem to arrogantly ignore the cross section of public opinion in Wales.  Agriculture after all contributes far less to Welsh GDP than the environment generally so where is the sense. Perhaps Ms Jones will lose her seat in the May elections.  One can only hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment