My latest round of Badger watching has not been quite as successful as I hoped.
The Badgers have moved to a new sett and that is not on the farm. No worries, they still forage here and I can still watch them. Fizz and I set up a camera in a likely spot (Strapped to an Ash tree) and baited the area with a few handfuls of scattered raisins.
Stop eating the bait!
When I talk about baiting an area, I don’t use very much bait. I don’t want people to be able to see it, I have lost two cameras advertising their presence that way and I don’t believe in significantly feeding wild animals. I want them to search for my bait, it keeps them in the area and is cheaper that way. 🙂
Yesterday I went up to retrieve the memory card. The good news was that it had recorded twenty four videos and the bad news was that by the time I got home I had lost it.
After I picked up the card I wandered all over that field playing ball with Fizz because the grass was short and it was a good place to play. My card is out here somewhere.
Back in March I saw that one of the Badgers that I am following had been in a scrap and his right eye was closed. That never healed and since then I have been confidently identifying this animal and calling him Patch.
In this first video two Badgers meet and greet each other. The one looking at us has his right eye closed (Hi Patch) When the other one turns around he also has his right eye closed. (Doh!)
This next video shows a meeting between Fox and Badger. This is the first time that I have seen a Badger run from a Fox but I think that it was just surprise.
My next video shows how close the animals can get and still feel comfortable at the end of the video the Fox sits down beside the Badger.
Did you enjoy those videos?
A few people have asked in the comments section, “Why are they culling Badgers?” I sometimes forget that the internet extends outside of the UK.
They are culling Badgers in an effort to control the spread of bovine TB.
Bovine TB is a disease of Cattle that our wild life can catch from contact with the cows. It is typically spread through contact with urine. Scientists say that 94% of bTB is spread from herd to herd, Cows give it to each other but because Badgers can move freely from field to field if a Badger catches it and goes into another field it can pass the disease on to uninfected cattle. The same goes for Deer and other wild life.
Nobody is claiming that killing Badgers would eradicate bTB but DEFRA do claim that if they can successfully kill 70% of the Badgers in an area then it might reduce incidences of bTB by between 6 -12% but they also say that figure may be more or less.
If they killed every wild animal in England there would still be bTB in our Cattle herds. It is a disease of Cattle that wild life can catch.
Like any highly contagious disease TB is spread rapidly by overcrowding and poor sanitation, that applies as much to people as it does to livestock and the real answer to the problem lies in taking better care of our animals and keeping them in better conditions.
Many people would prefer to believe that it has nothing to do with the way that we treat our livestock and prefer to believe that if they shoot the Badgers the problem will go away. That can not possibly happen.
Last year DEFRA conducted two pilot culls to determine two things. Was free shooting an effective way to cull Badgers and could it be done humanely? They appointed an Independent Expert Panel to look at these results and their conclusion was that no, the pilot culls had been both ineffective and inhumane. However the Government have decided to repeat the culls without the help of expert monitoring and in that way hope to achieve better results.
The Government’s own scientific advisors have told the Government repeatedly that Badger Culling will not work.
There are effective vaccines against bovine TB for both Badgers and Cattle. European laws prevent us from vaccinating cattle because it interferes with the standard tests for the presence of bTB.
The Badger is a protected species in the UK it is illegal to harm a Badger or to interfere with it’s sett, unless you work for the Government.
For me there is no big debate…
Nasty people do nasty things, that is why they are called nasty and regardless of how many Badgers they kill there will still be TB in our cattle.
Hello little fellas.
My opinions are biased, I like and respect our native wildlife. (But I am also right 🙂 )