Apr 18, 2021

Dancers are the athletes of God - Albert Einstein

Badgers, TB and Cattle

In the UK farmers want to cull badgers because they say it will stop their cattle getting TB. It’s been a bitter fought battle with little agreement on the science and it raises emotions like fox hunting did.

In Wales it looks like they are going to do such badger culls and I think it wretched regardless of if the science says it will work or not. We don’t grow wheat at the top of hills because you can’t get the harvest machinery in. The Fins don’t have an indigenous coconut industry either, and all because nature is against it. I feel the same re cattle – what’s the point in doing things with cattle in areas where nature is against it? It will be argued that agriculture is always about Man modifying his environment for best economic effect, but we have to draw limits somewhere and eradicating a species in some areas seems wholly and totally wrong and a price not worth paying.

The bonkers thing is that farmers get state money when they are hit by TB. I can’t think of any other industry that relies on the state all the time to insure and underwrite misfortune like this. Industry is constantly adapting to new realities but agriculture seems trapped and inflexible and surrounded by subsidies that are routinely denounced as not enough anyway. Nobody seems happy and the spending of money really seems a waste.

The furor around badgers has been going on for many years and you just wish that the government scientists had really got stuck into an accelerated programme that would enable cattle to be inoculated against TB. But while we are where we are, any state money given for TB problems should be coupled to encouraging the farmers to do something else with their land.

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