Badgers, Bees , Disappearing Hedgehogs, and of Course Bovine TB …
Greg Lance – Watkins
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Badgers, Bees , Disappearing Hedgehogs, and of Course Bovine TB.
The jungle drums are busy and there is animal rights outrage in the air; the Government is about to double the size of the annual badger cull to 20,000 animals. Shrieks of horror there may be but seldom is it admitted that the badger population is already over one million (according to unpublished figures from within Defra) and growing. It is astonishing; when I first started writing about badgers and TB in 1981, the badger population was reckoned to be about 50,000.
So yes, the rocketing population has been caused by the badger and its sett both getting complete protection. It is ironic, the rabidly anti-hunt Labour MP, the late, urban, dapper, Tony Banks obtained protection for the badger’s sett, not to protect the badger, but to inconvenience fox hunters if a hunted fox disappeared down a badger hole.
So why is an animal that is as numerous as the badger given complete protection in Britain when several countries in the EU, such as Sweden allow a properly regulated season when badgers can be controlled and I write this as a badger-lover who has in the past kept badger cubs for a time after they had been lost in a field of barley. They were a complete delight. But the truth is that the badger is an Apex predator and its population explosion is causing untold damage to numerous other species of wildlife.
Although an assortment of populist “conservationists” on bunny-hugger television shed crocodile tears over the loss of the hedgehog – none will confirm that the primary cause is predation by badgers – see the book “Badger”, New Naturalist Series by Prof Timothy Roper and “The New Hedgehog Book” by Dr Pat Morris (Whittet Books). Badgers eat the whole hedgehog except for the spine covered skin, stripped completely of all flesh. Other favourites on the badger’s menu are bees nests and hives – honey and bumble, skylark eggs and young and of course hibernating dormice that settle down in the leaf-litter of hedgerows in the autumn – prime badger territory. Many ground-nesting birds are also hammered. A farming friend in Oxfordshire who manages to produce honey , but every year gets hives trashed by badgers, is part of a Breeding Wader Recovery Project. Out of four curlew nests on his farm this year every single one was predated. Three were taken at the egg stage by badgers. The RSPB put an electric fence around the fourth – the chicks were then taken almost certainly by a buzzard or a kite. And what does the RSPB say about the situation in public – precisely nothing. My farmer friend says:”Marvellous isn’t it. I can shoot foxes, crows and magpies to protect the curlews, but I can do nothing to protect them from badgers, buzzards and kites.
It is a serious, crazy situation – and this is without even going into the nightmare faced by many dairy farmers with badger spread bovine TB.
It is interesting to note that when The Times published Robin Page’s article on 25-Aug-2017 they opted to sensationalise it by altering the title seemingly as an animal rights wind-up choosing to misrepresent the article with the title “Badgers are vicious predators and need to be culled”.
That a failure to act responsibly and cull, not only the badger but foxes and raptors as their numbers burgeon and move out of control we see large areas of our countryside denuded of other species that are now too heavily predated. skylarks, curlew, ploverts, hedgehogs, dormice, teal, moorhens, coots are paying the price of the idiotic policies dreamed up by ill informed theorists.
Strangely there is no outcry when city dwellers opt to massacre rats, mice and cockroaches – the pests and vermin from which they suffer – all too often when it is they who take an irrational & ill informed stance on rural problems.
It is good to see so well informed and dedicated a voice as Robin Page speaking out with common sense – it is this very common sense approach that provides Robin Page with a following that has sustained his articles in the media, his 30 or so books and his sterling achievements with CRT Barton CLICK HERE his consistent exposure of common sense relative to the countryside and its residents in his blog CLICK HERE and daily on his Twitter timeline at CLICK HERE
It was the clarity of the common sense presented by Robin Page and for that matter David Belamy that has led to their falling foul of the corrupt, the self serving and the idiots of the Politically Correct brigade and why we no longer see their ilk on the biased propaganda pap to be found on the BBC – where questionable science is all too often put forward as fact without the worthy challenge of actual experts in the countryside such as Robin & David.
It is because of Robin Page’s practical & workable common sense you will note that I have followed his work for about 50 years and have included his blog on my main website at: http://www.infowebsite.uk/gregs-websites/
HERE ARE SOME OF THE COMMENTS FROM Robin Page’s Blog, that can be found @
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