Open Letter to the Badgers of the UK “Trial Cull”

badger cullDear Badger Cousins,

I write to apologise for the failing of my species.

I am so utterly sorry for our short-sightedness, for our unreasonable behaviour when we claim to be the only species that carries reason.

I am so sorry for the killing of your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I am sorry for the killing of your children.

I am sorry that our government has decided to allow this “trial cull” to go ahead despite scientific evidence that it wouldn’t help the problem.

I am desperately sorry that even though there is a vaccine for bovine TB that our dairy farmers refuse to use it, as it means they cannot trade with the EU should they vaccinate.

I am so very sorry that those being killed are not even taken back and tested to see if they have TB as per article 6.7 in the Bovine TB Policy.

I am utterly sorry that this “trial cull” has nothing to do with bovine TB, and isn’t the main objective in article 6.1 of the Bovine TB Policy – that it is mainly looking at the effectiveness of shooting to see if they can kill in a safe and cost effective fashion.

I am sorry that because of us humans, you were put on a protected list in the first place, and that now we are killing you off even more, for no apparent reason.

I am sorry that dairy farmers are not asking for better monitoring and control of moving cattle across the country to prevent the spread of bovine TB.

I am also sorry that the living conditions on some dairy farms are what are causing bovine TB.

I am sorry that DEFRA have allowed the use of dogs to locate injured animals, and allowing the possibility of further mauling of your kindred by our hounds.

I am sorry that hundreds, if not thousands of you will not even have a clean kill, and die in excruciating pain due to the lack of monitoring of the people who are doing the killing, and the lack of specialists in this abhorrent so-called trial as per DEFRA’s statement.

For all these reasons and more, I apologise on behalf of my species.

Know that I continue to support the protest movement against this genocide of your species.  I continue to sign petitions, write letters and make the truth known.  Though distance is a factor and I cannot protest where the shooting is taking place on the other side of the country, please know that I am doing all that I can for you. I know it is still not enough.

When the developers built their new estate in my village, promising to leave the badgers living on the brown-land alone, and providing a “badger exclusion zone” we knew they were lying, and we could do nothing to stop it.  That crucial evening, as I stood outside in the moonlight and raised my arms towards the construction site, I opened my heart to yours and invited your brethren to come and live here, with us, on the quiet cul-de-sac, the bank beneath my hedge a good place for a sett, and food and love and sanctuary provided.  A few days later we saw our first badger, and we were glad.  Though this is a small act in the horror of what we are currently witnessing, know that people are fighting and working to save your kindred each and every day.

Know that I pray for you every day.  I know that prayers cannot change the world, but they can change the individual praying, and therein lies the power.

Dearest badger cousins, I am so deeply, deeply sorry for the failing of my species.

10 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Badgers of the UK “Trial Cull”

  1. Absolutely. A dreadful, brutal and pointless exercise. Last year, when the government delayed this slaughter, I thought they were trying to abandon it without losing face. But it raised it’s ugly head again this year in June, but no badger was killed, I thought it was more a statement of principle, but I was sadly wrong…….

    The killing is cruel and “unprofessional”, is there not a legal issue here, regarding cruelty to animals?

    What messages does this give to society, regarding the use of violence?

    As a vegan, I must say that the entire dairy industry is cruel and environmentally damaging. It is unnecessary and it’s products are generally not at all good for our health. I encourage everybody to Dump Dairy!

    • More and more I am agreeing, and going dairy-free Keith – the switch to veganism is becoming ever more clear for me. It is such a shame, as the UK was one of the leaders for animal welfare and conservation, and this has totally trashed that…. x

  2. I don’t believe praying will help, but I share all of the other sentiments here. Please sign Brian Mays petition we are nearing 300,000 signatures. Also please buy the BADGER BADGER BADGER song it is almost top of the charts

  3. I am opposed to the badger cull as it is not only inhumane but also scientifically flawed but I do have some sympathy for the farmers as well. I believe they are being mislead, manipulated and forced into a situation where they cannot win. I suspect that the government’s long term aim is to remove the need to pay compensation to farmers for slaughtered cattle. First they make farmers’ co-operatives responsible for the cull (allowing the public to direct their anger and distaste at the farmers rather than the politicians who have actually devised the plan in the face of the scientific evidence). Next they will remove compensation payments from the farmers for cattle slaughtered because they are found to have TB (saying that the farmers have not done enough to control the disease). All of this would, of course, be perfectly reasonable if the farmers were able to receive a fair price for the milk they produce but the supermarkets make sure that this doesn’t happen. The result of this policy will be that many small farms where cattle live relatively “normal” lives in fields will go out of business. The only farms that will survive will be the huge “factories” where cattle are kept permanently inside and where isolation from TB vectors is easier. In addition, more milk and milk products will be imported from the continent where welfare standards are not so strictly enforced.

    I’ll declare my bias here, unpopular as it may be. I drink milk and eat milk products. My father was, at one time, a herdsman and my mother reared the calves that were born. This was on a small farm (with its own milk round) where all the animals were known by name, loved and cared for. (When we had to keep a young bull inside for a couple of weeks, rather than just feed him hay and cattle feed my mother used to go out every day (with scissors!?) to cut him fresh grass.) There are still farms and farmers like this and these will bear the brunt of the problems and cost.

    I am opposed to the badger cull (have signed the petition etc), I am opposed to factory farming, but I think that both the public and the farmers are being mislead and manipulated here by a union of government and big business. The best way to eradicate TB in both cattle and badgers seems to me to be the Northern Irish scheme but, without government support, the only way forward here (unless we all follow your example and become vegan) may be for the public, if they really care, to start only buying from farmers who oppose the cull, who maintain proper welfare standards and, when buying, be prepared to pay a fair price.

    • Indeed, Chris Packham, a well known “nature celebrity” here in the UK made very similar comments…

      It is all down to personal responsiblity. Farmers should be responsible for the well-being of their stock, in every aspect. Consumers should be responsible for paying a fair price. And, as they have no voice that the government are paying attention to, we also have a responsibility to speak out for our wildlife. x

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