Following the installation of the new Badger sculpture at Parc Slip Nature Reserve, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, who own and manage the nature reserve just outside Bridgend in south Wales, ran a competition amongst its members and on Facebook and Twitter to name the badger. There were many fantastic suggestions, but there was one name that won by a landslide!
Over the last few years, badgers have been the subject of hugely controversial persecution in the struggle against bovine TB. There is no denying that bovine TB in cattle is a significant problem which causes considerable anxiety for the farming community.
The scientific evidence shows that culling badgers is not the best option to achieve a reduction in bovine TB. Despite the evidence, pilot culls still took place in Gloucestershire and Somerset took place in 2013. These culls have proved to be unsuccessful, failing to meet quotas or to reduce bovine TB.
Queen’s Dr Brian May has been a high-profile campaigner against the badger culls since the very start, doing a huge amount to raise awareness and support for the petition against the cull. By popular demand, the badger sculpture has been named ‘Brian’ in recognition of the fantastic work Dr Brian May has done to help our British badgers.
The Wildlife Trusts believe that vaccination of badgers combined with more effective testing of cattle, stricter controls on cattle movements and greater bio-security on farms offers better long-term prospects to agriculture at a reduced cost to the taxpayer.