Badger Update

It’s been a quiet month on the badger front in Wales, as the independent panel of experts review the evidence- with relatively little being said and done till their report is published, later this year.

So, this month we’ve decided to bring you something a bit different- ten tips for pieces to read on the subject of bovine tuberculosis and the role of badgers. We don’t expect you to agree with all the contents- and we’re not saying we do ourselves. But we’ve chosen them for their impact, perspective or thought-provoking nature. They are in no particular order, and cover a range of aspects of this incredibly complex debate. We hope you find them interesting.

1. The war against nature resumes- a piece by journalist George Monbiot on our attitudes to the badger cull in a world of economies and industrial progress. January 18, 2010.
http://www.monbiot.com/2010/01/18/the-war-against-nature-resumes/

2. Badger cull is ‘legal bag of nails’ – expert- Johann Tasker, Farmers Weekly Interactive. A piece on the legal impacts of culling badgers by free shooting- proposed in England, and permitted (though not currently planned) in Wales by the new legislation. July 22, 2011.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2011/07/22/127967/Badger-cull-is-legal-bag-of-nails-expert.htm

3. Early one morning just as the sun was rising- a blog by one of the committee members of Pembrokeshire Against the Cull (PAC) about their experiences as they recently completed the badger vaccination training course to become certified lay-vaccinators. August 17, 2011.
http://www.badgerall.com/blog/early-one-morning-just-as-the-sun-was-rising

4. Do we have to shoot the badgers- a piece by Patrick Barkham from the Guardian on the alternatives to culling and the work of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to vaccinate their own badgers. August 6, 2011.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/06/badger-cull-vs-vaccination-splits-countryside

5. Bovine TB- Time for a Rethink- Rethink are a relatively recent group, established to promote a new approach to the problem, and ask whether we need to be worrying about bovine TB being endemic in our cattle herds at all. Published 2011.
http://www.rethinkbtb.org/rethink_documents/BTB_rethink_2nd_edition.pdf

6. Bovine Tuberculosis: people, politics and culture- whilst this is just a briefing document, written almost in note form, it discusses some of the fascinating issues surrounding polarised opinion and press coverage, and the impact this has on engaging those involved to create a credible policy. May 19, 2010.
http://www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk/projects/rusource_briefings/rus10/1042.pdf

7. The problem with badger culls- a piece by Ben Goldacre, from the Guardian, on the role of appropriate science, evidence and analysis. July 22, 2011.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/22/badger-cull-trials-cattle-tb

8. Stress and Loss: a report on the impact of bovine TB on farming families. A high impact read on the dreadful effects of bovine TB policy on farming families, by Farm Crisis Network. August 2009.
http://www.farmcrisisnetwork.co.uk/latestnews/stress-and-loss-a-report-on-the-impact-of-bovine-tb-on-farming-families

9. South Yorkshire bull Boxy clear of TB after tests. A regional piece from England about one families’ fight to save their bull from a mis-applied TB test. August 17, 2011.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-14542067

10. A black and white issue- a piece by Graeme Archer from the New Statesman about statistics and the evidence for culling.
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/graeme-archer/2011/07/badgers-culling-cattle-isg