This is a bee in my bonnet

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Post by ospreylian on Sat 28 May 2011, 4:11 pm

Here in this beautiful country we call Wales, some call it God's country, there is a movement afoot to go out and kill.

I'm talking Badgers. This animal shares this land with us and has done for thousands of years, so how come it now has TB?
It has BTb simply because of poor animal husbandry, on too many farms the cattle are kept in conditions that would appall most who witnessed them, sometimes up to their stomaches in filth hardly able to walk, if humans lived in such conditions we would be full of disease. Over the last few years things have improved a little but now the damage is done, and the answer is to kill all the badgers!
This response ignores the fact that the National Trust has banned such an action on it's land in Devon and has, instead decided to go for vaccination. Vaccination is NOT the farmers preferred choice simply because they are banned from selling the cattle so innoculated for a set period, but surely that's a small price to pay for the life of an animal.
Tell me what you think.

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Post by Glas a du on Sun 29 May 2011, 11:19 am

ospreylian wrote:Here in this beautiful country we call Wales, some call it God's country, there is a movement afoot to go out and kill.

I'm talking Badgers. This animal shares this land with us and has done for thousands of years, so how come it now has TB?

Are you saying it never had TB before? Where is your evidence for this?

It has BTb simply because of poor animal husbandry, on too many farms the cattle are kept in conditions that would appall most who witnessed them,

Where? Where are these farms? If you know of any report them to the RSPCA or your local authority now.

...sometimes up to their stomaches in filth hardly able to walk,

Use your noggin for a bit. How is any animal in those conditions going to be productive. Again if you know if any such farms then report them

...if humans lived in such conditions we would be full of disease.

[i]Yes, but the vast majority of animals don't, so why such a simplistic version of cause and effect.[/i]


Over the last few years things have improved a little but now the damage is done,


Has it? And there was me thinking that the drive for low prices at Supermarkets was keeping the pressure on for intensification. In which case the risk of what you claim may increase.

and the answer is to kill all the badgers!

For years this country had an effective TB eradication policy which revolved around cattle testing and badger control. The current situation arose from the protection of badgers in the 1980's, the reduction of testing AND the intensification specifically of Dairy agriculture. Significant measures ate now in place on a firefighting basis and are costing millions of pounds and are significant in terms of farm animal and human welfare. The cattle culled can not be used for the food chain. This is waste. In an age of the human population exploding it us highly immoral not to avoid this waste by any means available.

This response ignores the fact that the National Trust has banned such an action on it's land in Devon and has, instead decided to go for vaccination.

Of what? The Badgers? How are you going to vaccinate them all?

Vaccination is NOT the farmers preferred choice simply because they are banned from selling the cattle so innoculated for a set period,

Where can I get this vaccine then? There is no commercially available, appropriately tested Cattle vaccine on the Market! If you know of some please tell me as I would be delighted!

...but surely that's a small price to pay for the life of an animal.

What about the thousands of cattle that are dying needlessly?

Tell me what you think.
[i]

Ospreylian, I am a farmer. I declare my interest. I do not seek to change your mind. However many of tge above statements are either factually inaccurate or only look at one side of the story.

Your article is simplistic in the extreme, ignoring the world population increase, inflation and tge governments desire to keep food prices down, the supermarkets role in the intensification of agriculture and the suffering caused to farm animals (which you seem to discount) and tge farmers who care for them. Yes there are some poor farmers and they need to be weeded out, the basic rule of thumb is though that happy, well cared for stock produce the more and/or better food.

Badgers produce nothing and unless we start eating them will not keep our grandchildren and their grandchildren fed.

If you look at the wider picture, I'd be quite happy to debate this one with you till the cows come home.[i]
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Post by ospreylian on Sun 29 May 2011, 2:14 pm

Glas a du
I lived in Pembs for a time and the farmer next door kept his rearing stock in a shed in just such conditions, 3 ft deep in ...., another down the road was just as bad, yet another was the height of perfection. Happy cows giving good yields, so I agree completely there. As for the RSPCA, total waste of time they didn't want to know, unless the animals were qctually dying.

Yes, the issue of the massive factory farm is yet to make it's impact, but pro-tem the incidence of TB is reducing and now the cull is to start. How then can it's effectiveness be really measured?

The badger trust believes it can control this, given time and money, but during the foot and mouth outbreak many thousands of cattle were slaughtered, apparently needlessly according to latest scientific thinking. additionally, the WAG paid for "blue tongue" vaccines but farmers failed to use this and at great loss they were then forced to sell the vaccines off, would they be likl;ey to use ANY vaccine? The National Trust clearly thinks there is a vaccine, maybe you could ask them.

<<
Badgers produce nothing and unless we start eating them will not keep our grandchildren and their grandchildren fed.>>

Badgers are carnivores and nothing eats that sort of animal, so they have never been "of use" are you really suggesting that because they have "no use" they should be forever erradicated?

finally, Glas a du, can I say it's excellant to be able to discuss with you these issues, but dont underestimate the strength of feeling amongst the general public, I'm aware of several Plaid members who acknowledge that part of the reason they lost the election is simply because of Elin Jones' attitude. I apologise if my article was simplistic but for this forum I felt it had to be simple for clarity.

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Post by Glas a du on Sun 29 May 2011, 4:35 pm

Fair enough Ospreylian. Animal vaccination is licenced. Old vaccines (like tge BCG vaccine we had at school) are licensed but ineffective as TB is a virus and therefore liable to generate new strains that tge vaccine is ineffective against. I know a lot of effort is going into a vaccine for cattle re TB, but there a few years of development and licensing to go yet. The reason there is no vaccination plan is not to do with commercial expediency as you suggest.

As to blue tounge, that vaccine was purchased by the government, but sold to farmers. They did nor make it compulsory as the vaccine was thought to cause a rise in temperature which could cause side effect such as infertility, even death. Also by selling it they could get their money back in part at least. We vaccinated as did many others. However just as many did not. There were no incidences of the disease in Wales.

I do not propose the eradication of badgers. They do fulfil a necessary role in the food chain (they are omnivores by the way). However neither do I think that on the basis of sentimentality that the option of control pending a commercially available vaccine, or compulsory vaccination in blackspots, should be off the table.

As to the effectiveness of control, that is a moot point. Culling in blackspots often has the effect of drawing clean badgers in only to be infected themselves. Trials in Ireland confirm that control can help. My point is that only cattle are being killed in the current drive to eradicate the disease. The power to cull badgers, deer and other wild carriers if necessary has to be reserved and used judiciously as part of a wider strategy.

Your point about Plaid is interesting. I have not heard those sentiments first hand.

Finally, I have read you on here and in print in the Ospreys programes and guessed that you had lightened it slightly. However there are some than simply can not see beyond a cute fluffy creature being killed by greedy farmers. As a man of Penfro, you know it's a lot more complicated than that. Not everybody has that knowledge.

We have to keep the politicians in check, but Elin Jones had the guts to do what she thought was right, in possesssion of the full facts and the best scientific advice, even though she knew it was going to be very unpopular. It must be said she had broad cross party support in the assembly.

Finally as to those farmers, there are a raft of welfare laws now that the local authority polices. The likelihood is that the lazy bar stewards that give the rest of us a bad name would not have kept their stock tagged, kept movement or medicines records etc. The council may have mote interest than the RSPCA.

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Post by Doon the Water on Sun 29 May 2011, 7:05 pm

Badgers are very numerous and for the like of me I cannot understand why they deserve so much protection.

Wild animal numbers need to be controlled to levels that support.

Control deer, buzzards, rabbits, badgers,crows and even wild horses.
Destroy all mink and rats

It is pretty simple really but it gets skewed by folk who put animals before humans.
Some children in the UK live in appaling conditions and folk just turn a blind eye and leave thier inheritence to animal trusts. loopy.

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Post by ospreylian on Mon 30 May 2011, 11:59 am

Destroy all mink and rats

Been tried many times but can't be done.

Glas, two things.
I know that Badgers have a varied diet, pignut being a great favourite but farmers hate the plowing the badgers do to get it.
I have to also point out that I am NOT the bloke who writes in the Ospreys programmes............he pinched my name furious

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Post by Glas a du on Mon 30 May 2011, 10:32 pm

Ah right I see!

Yes the rooting is a pain. They do it for earthworms as well. I doubt anybody would mind if that was the extent of their impact though.

I just wish that everybody that spoke up against a cull were well informed and had taken a balanced view in receipt of the full facts and having studied the scientific evidence. Or even if they were to say, we value the badger higher than our cattle. It would be ruinously expensive to ban farmers in blackspots from keeping cattle in terms of compensation alone. This route is not an option for me.
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Post by ospreylian on Wed 01 Jun 2011, 11:40 am

Glas

Now you're opening another thread.............should farmers get payments for anything?

Devil's advocate, but in NZ they stopped them years ago, farmers screamed, but now animal welfare has improved immeasurably,. Could such a measure work here?

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