Cull conflict

Matthew at the Bovine TB blog is in favour of culling badgers (Meles meles) to help control bovine tuberculosis (bTB). ‘As two small pilot badger culls get underway in Somerset and Gloucestershire, the airwaves are full with pictures of badgerists holding vigils and farmers showing off their prime cattle – still alive at the moment.’

Yes those pictures have been in the news but I wouldn’t say the ‘airwaves are full’. Anyway, I’m still waiting for pictures or interviews with the badger shooters, telling us what they’ve actually shot.

In that blog post, Matthew links to an article by Alistair Driver at the Farmers Guardian. Mr Driver tells us that pilot culls are underway. We’d already heard that from other sources. Mr Driver adds detail. ‘The culls will be independently monitored to establish whether culling using this method is effective in reducing badgers numbers by at least 70 per cent without threatening local populations and is humane and safe for the general public. If the culls are deemed satisfactory the policy will be rolled out to up to 10 new areas next year.’

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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