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Badgerland DO NOT provide an Emergency rescue service.

Advice to Farmers

Just in case whether you are wondering who "Badgerland" are, and who we represent, details of our farming policies are described on our Farming Policy page.

"The world of badgers is in some ways analogous with the human world. Like us, their behaviour is greatly influenced by their need for homes and living space, and being social like we are, they too have their problems of learning how to live together ..... and with us"
Ernest Neal

Almost since 1971, when a badger was discovered to be suffering with TB, badgers have been blamed for giving TB to cattle. Of course, TB existed in cattle for at least 2000 years before 1971. Irrespective as to whether badgers give TB to cattle or not, badgers are NOT the only source of TB infections in cattle. Other culprits could also be cats, rats, water voles, deer, and, of course, other cattle.

It's also worth noting that some members of the National Farmers Union (NFU) want to see badgers exterminated across whole sections of countryside as a "precaution". It's worth remembering that as at August 2003, there is no scientifically-validated proof that badgers give TB to cattle. In addition, many badger scientists believe that the primary infection route between badgers is from mothers to cubs. Research has shown that the most mobile badgers may be females and young males - very possibly the ones with the greatest likelihood of being infected with TB. As a farmer, you might not be very pleased to find out that as well as a negative publicity of having exterminated all the badgers on your land, it turned out that they did not have TB anyway. Imagine your shock, therefore, to find a couple of years later that the newly-arrived badgers brought TB with them. You might then wish that you hadn't agreed to kill the first lot of badgers in the first place.

Despite the announcements by the NFU that they are an organisation which represents farmers, we think the BSE and Foot-and-Mouth crises should set alarm bells ringing as to whether the NFU do, in fact, provide farmers with any overall positive benefit at all. This news article from the 22nd Jul 2003 (Private Eye), suggests the NFU may not, in reality, be quite as popular with farmers as their leadership might once have thought.

Of course, no-one, apart from perhaps a few extreme badger-hating nutcases, believe that badgers are the only animals which give TB to cattle. Even if you killed every badger in the entire country, TB would still exist within other wildlife species. Even if you wanted to kill every cat, rat, water-vole, deer and cat; you could not achieve it anyway. But, even if you did, bovine TB would still remain within the cattle population, and cattle would still give TB to one another.

Here at Badgerland, we hope and pray that badgers do not give bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) to cattle.As at August 2003, we believe that badgers do not give TB to cattle, except in the most extreme "laboratory" conditions. However, for far too long we have been waiting for DEFRA to publish some scientifically-valid results. Until they do, we can not rule out the possibility that badgers (and other wildlife) might give TB to cattle.

Irrespective, what the pro-badger (e.g. NFBG) or and anti-badger lobby (e.g. NFU) might say about the connection between badgers, cattle and bovine TB; farmers have the difficult job of running their farms. Whatever the personal beliefs of the scientists or the terminological inexactitude of the spin-doctors, the truth is that the science is not yet known. Eventually, the truth will be discovered; but until then bovine TB remains a risk-management issue for farmers.

In these uncertain circumstances, it makes 100% pragmatic sense that farmers follow a well-defined risk assessment to mitigate against the risks of a TB Breakdown in their herd.

In answer to the question "why should I make the effort to stop TB in my herd?", look at the following article entitled: Costs of a TB Infection in a Dairy Herd.

Reviewing those figures, we would then recommend that you study the article entitled: Reducing the risk of cattle getting TB. Whilst this is a Badgerland document, it is heavily based on advice given out by well-regarded scientists at MAFF (as it was then) and DEFRA. Following this advice is not guaranteed to prevent you getting TB in your herd, but it will reduce the risks of an infection very considerably.

Legal Notice regarding the banning of Renardine:
Renardine was the only legally permitted chemical deterrent which was effective against badgers. As from the 24th March 2005, Renardine has been banned. Importantly, ALL the approvals for Renardine have now expired. This means that:

* Renardine can no longer be advertised for sale.

* Renardine can not be bought from any shop, wholesaler, mail order, agricultural supplies merchants, internet or by private sale.

* Renardine may no longer be supplied, sold, given away or swapped.

* Renardine may no longer by used.

* Renardine may no longer be stored (so any stocks you have must be disposed of).

RenCoco ( Renardine-impregnated cocoa shells) has also been banned.

For more information see the PSD's web site at http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/approvals.asp?id=1567