Thursday, October 3, 2013

Britain's Badger Problem

I hear that the UK is having trouble with, is it badgers? Yes, it is and they look like this.

Britain's largest surviving carnivore.

Here is a link to read about the problem.

Apparently, this is a long-standing situation and, predominantly, it seems that farmers and rural folk are having the most difficulty.

Celebrities have become involved. Lead guitarist for the rock band, Queen, Brian May, is championing badger rights and with some success. He has written at least one column for The Guardian and is leading the fray to save the badger.

For a balanced read on the subject, Hugh Warwick in his review in The Guardian of Patrick Barkham's recently released book, Baderlands, is a good place to start.

We don't have badgers in this region of Canada, except for the small ferret-type that are often kept as pets. However, we too have problems with wildlife, some of which I have been outlining over the last several weeks.

So when I read about the situation with badgers in England, and there was a call for input from the public, I sent a brief story about problems with urban raccoons. And I included the photo of the raccoon in my bathtub taken during the summer. You may recall this photo.

There is a similarity, except the stripes go in opposite directions.

I just thought that Britain's got badgers killing hedgehogs and, ostensibly, playing a role in the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

We have raccoons within city limits with no natural predators, breeding willy-nilly, with the threat of spreading noxious diseases through their feces to people and to domestic animals.

We  have no cull, no vaccination plan, no discussion of how to deal with the problem.
In short, we have nothing.

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