The Winter Solstice, December 21st the shortest day of the year when up at the sett, I will raise a glass and toast the badgers “All the very best,” and wish them all a warm and peaceful winter.
Days after the solstice get very slowly, a tad longer, and although the weather gets decidedly colder, each passing day the thought of spring edges that little bit closer and more young badgers (hopefully).
The NFU tweeted recently that Dorset Wildlife was being very naïve with their vaccination programme and would cause unnecessary suffering and would basically be of no benefit to the badger whatsoever. What I find difficult to understand is that nearly all diseases are combatted through vaccines, so why the NFU is so anti-vaccine in the case of TB in badgers is beyond me.
Surely it must be a better policy to try and sort the disease out in a living animal rather than to have to aniolate the species.
We have seen many instances during this summer where badgers have been shot in a very adhoc, often in a totally mismanaged fashion. Bodies of dead badgers have not been tested for TB which in itself is a very straight forward procedure, just requiring a small sample of blood from the animal.
Although the majority of the scientific evidence tells us over a period of time, to tackle the Bovine TB in this way is futile, unbeneficial to the animal and the countryside and to add insult to injury, as many as 80% of the badgers that have been shot have probably been TB free. It is a scatter gun approach, a sledge hammer to crack a hazelnut. It seems now that you can barely pick up a newspaper without reading how the government can’t wait to roll out this policy in other counties with methods of killing that don’t bare thinking about, these include, gassing and snaring. A badger caught in a snare will torture himself all through the night trying to release himself of it resulting in a very slow, horrific death.
The gassing of a sett is totally indiscriminate. It kills every badger within that sett and the saddest thing to me about this whole gruesome situation is that this animal really deserved the ‘Protected status’ because in a roundabout way having had it removed, baiting badgers and all other cruelty towards them is nowhere near as taboo as it was before the cull started. For the badger, it has become a nightmare and you can only wish and hope that the government sees sense before rolling this slaughter out into other counties.
My film is in two parts. The first small part is of Daddy Cool and the second part is a film taken earlier of his family together. He has done well to get them to this winter solstice and with the help of the protection programme, ‘Mozart’s Magic Flute’, I am going to do my damndest to make sure I am able to raise a glass to him on the next Summer Solstice.
Please watch my short film:
Daddy Cool. I wish him and his family all the very, very best.