The Badger Cull

The UK government has caused controversy in the farming, science and public communities by announcing that the proposed cull of badgers in the UK will be postponed until the summer of 2013.

Badger numbers are estimated at between 250 – 300,000 and in 2011 alone 34,000 British cattle were killed due to the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis by the badger population. Ten years of trying to combat the disease has cost the UK taxpayer some £500 million, yet little progress has been made.

Not only is this disease extremely dangerous and expensive, it is causing huge problems to farmers across the country.

Annie Mackinder visited a beef and arable farm in Lincolnshire and talked to the farmer about how Bovine Tuberculosis is affecting his farm and the local farming community, and to get his thoughts on how it might be tackled.

IMAGES: sure2talk, megankhines on flickr

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2 thoughts on “The Badger Cull

  1. A very disappointing, fact and analysis-free discussion of both bTB and the badger cull project.

    No examination of the reasonably well-established facts that bTB is a cattle disease that has been controlled in the past by cattle movement controls. No examination of why bTB has (until recently) been spreading or why non hotspot areas (most of the UK) are free of bTB even though badgers are distributed throughout the UK. No examination – beyond the presenter’s passing comment – of whether badgers have any significant role in bTB.

  2. The piece was intended to be a insight into bTB from a farmer’s viewpoint, it was a short five minute interview to give some background to how bTB is affecting farmers. At no point was it supportive or against the badger cull. bTB in cattle is a huge problem, it is on the rise and it causing huge problems to farmers. It’s has not been controlled soley by cattle movement restrictions. In fact, as mentioned in the piece, thousands of cattle are being slaughtered every year and yet it is still spreading, so culling is not really a viable or effective control mechanism.

    This was not an analysis as to whether badgers should be culled it was merely to highlight the problem bTB causes, economically and emotionally to the farmers. To even attempt answering questions like those you suggest is unrealistic when there are so many contradictory pieces of research out there and clearly no direct answers as yet (as highlighted every day in the national papers and media).

    I believe you have completely misunderstood what the piece was intended for and are solely viewing the problem from one standpoint, which isn’t fair or realistic – though I do appreciate your right to an opinion.

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