Weather across The Cotswolds is getting back to what you might expect in early spring, bright light days and the odd shower of rain, chilly mornings and nights. On the whole, extremely pleasant and so welcome after such a miserable wet winter which we all encountered.
In a week that has seen another budget from the coalition government, George Osborne, the Chancellor looked exceptionally pleased with himself and to be fair to this government the mess they inherited from the last Labour government is no easy task to turn around.
On listening to some of the experts on analysing the cost of the 2013 Badger cull they have estimated that for every Badger killed it has cost the tax payer approximately four and half thousand pounds which I believe is a national disgrace. Surely this money would have been far more beneficial to the farming industry and all tax payers if it had been used towards the speeding up of a TB vaccine for cattle. It seems to me that there has been a total failure by the NFU and the government to prioritise and focus on a cattle vaccine, choosing instead to go out into the British countryside and create mayhem in amongst our Badger population with the killing and maiming of an animal that really has done no harm. It has been proven that the killing of these wonderful animals does not automatically and has certainly not been categorically proven that it affects Bovine TB by any real measurable scientific explanation.
This week Meurig Raymond the NFU President has said that the Welsh stand (pro vaccination) on the Badger cull is wrong and it has left farmers fighting the disease with one hand tied behind their backs, however, in my opinion quite simply the Welsh stance is the right stand and it has been our British Badger who has been made the scape goat of years of incompetence and mis-management and has left the Badger in a much worst state than having a paw tied behind his back. It has left him dodging lead, negotiating snares and a week by week threat of gassing being the cheaper and an ever more likely option to be used against the Badger to kill the sort of numbers ie; 70% of the Badger population in the Badger cull zones. News this week of past gassing experiments of Badgers at Porton Down a government military science Park near Salisbury leaves me horrified and sick to the stomach.
Other news this week, the Coopers who are real stalwarts for the Badgers have informed me that they have been totally re-charged and energised over the winter eating many of their stews and dumplings along with their log fires and they feel, now that the weather is drier and a tad more clement that they are once again able to take up the baton on behalf of the Badgers on the protective vigil of the sett. Their invalidity, cross country buggy has been fully serviced and they are now ready to rumble. All very pleasing news.
Dini the Fox who has been keeping guard over the sett in the absence of the Coopers and all the woodland Badgers will be as keen and pleased to see the return of the Coopers to the woodland as I am.
An update this week which reassured me, that if the Badger cull is re-launched in 2014, Mozart’s Magic Flute is still on track to be activated at a moment’s notice by the Evacuation Specialists’.
As I walk back this morning from the badger sett, sun shining, birds of all kinds giving that truly ‘great to be alive’ bird song chorus, I look down the valley and I can see how the phrase was once coined, ‘God’s own country,’ and the countryside without the Badger is a countryside without soul.
Please watch my short film on a female Badger grooming while her mate prepares the sett.
Female Badger at my Badger sett simply enjoying life.