The self perpetuating price of culling … a tale from Ireland

We received the message below today from someone living amidst and campaigning against the ongoing killing of badgers in Ireland – sent to us in response to the news that the High Court have ruled the Coalition Government’s proposals to kill thousands of badgers in England are legal.

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“Perhaps the powers that be would like to take a closer look at the situation around the Ballintra area in southern Donegal, Ireland. In the late spring of 2011, one local farmer in the area was found to have bTB in his herd.  He contacted the Department of Agriculture, and their representatives came into the area and culled the badgers on his farm.  At that point, they initiated the 5km culling practice (done by an aerial map, rather than on land, so that the area culled is in effect much larger than 5km).  By November, the culling had reached my area, some miles away.  I am originally American, and was totally unaware of this practice until it came to my townland (where there had not been an incidence of bTB in over 50 years).  I had a ‘pet’ badger, that I had been feeding since it was a cub, 4 years previously.  I began to read everything I could regarding this issue and was immediately overwhelmed with the science that this practice was not only ineffective and temporary, but actually exacerbated the situation.

Despite coverage of my opinion on the local radio station as well as the local newspaper, I was ineffective to stop this practice in my area. Literally all the badgers (including my pet) were killed (using the ‘restraint’ snares) in my area.  The culling was extensive in this area.  And all the farmers, who blindly follow the DofA directive, and do not read the science nor accept any personal responsibility for this issue, were happy.  So, let’s fast forward to May 2012.   After the extensive culling of 2011, what is the situation now?  Strangely (and coinciding with the science), bTB is now RAMPANT in this area.  The farmers are meeting hither and yon and want desperate action to be taken, ie, another cull.

Doesn’t anyone pay attention to logic and science anymore?”

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Spread the word – not the disease…

 

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