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Badgers and Buzzards - Blame and Game

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 189

Remarkably, it is an accepted practice still in the UK to breed game birds to provide shooting sport for wealthy men and women - who complain now that buzzards are taking their prey, restricting the number of birds they can shoot down.

The evidence, unproven, comes from the assertions of gamekeepers and landowners, who have a vested interest in encouraging viable shoots for the money it brings them - it is big business, and now the government is considering destroying buzzards' nests or taking these magnificent wild birds into captivity in order to "maintain a balance between captive and wild birds".

The RSPB and other environmental protection organisations are strongly and understandably opposed to the plan, not only because it is illegal under current legislation but because the buzzard population is only just starting to recover from such serious persecution that they were eradicated in many places.

Ironically, misguided government has created the present threat to buzzards: years ago it was decided, in the interest of sanitising the countryside, that farmers must remove any dead animal straightaway, to be burnt in unsightly industrial incinerators, whereas before they were buried or left for birds and wild mammals to feed upon them - nature's way. Large birds find it much harder now to find their food.

Some landowners understand that it is possible and desirable to encourage a balance of nature, including raptors, and value their presence in the skies above them, but there are others who see nature as a commodity to use, abuse and profit from, something I cannot condone. Buzzards visit my garden every day, taking scraps occasionally but never causing harm and it is an honour that they come. Man can be so selfish, and so cruel.

Another little reported fact in the news recently is that an animal parasite is spreading in the UK, affecting the immune system of cattle and their resistance to TB for which among farmers, badgers hitherto have been to blame.

A cull of badgers is planned for the UK still though this may be reviewed in light of the new findings about the Fasciola Hepatica fluke. Sadly, even if the cull is cancelled the persecution of these wonderful animals is likely to continue if the Welsh experience is a comparable example.

Living as I do in a remote farming community in the Welsh mountains, badgers (and cows) are a familiar sight: a family of badgers follows a centuries' old trail from their den in ancient woodland to my garden every night in their quest for worms and bee honey, and they are a delight to see. For me it was very good news when the Welsh Assembly government decided it would cancel its own intended cull in favour of a vaccine programme, but the results of the decision were quickly seen. Even though badgers are protected under law, certain people are doing what they can to reduce the badger population through poisoning and shooting, dragging the bodies onto the roadside to appear as if the animals have been run over. It is a sorry sight and a sorry practice.

Poor husbandry and lazy, opportunistic farming have created conditions perfect for infections and other problems, not the neighbours of nature, but it is easier to blame badgers than to address the core issue of ensuring good animal welfare. In England, and in Wales, it may take a long time for farmers to stop blaming badgers for all their cattle problems because they believe the myths and believe they know best.

Those farmers - and there are some - who truly care for their charges and their land have healthier, happier livestock and they themselves may be happier for it. Would that their voices were more loudly heard.

Claire Montanaro is a skilled and sought after spiritual teacher, speaker, lecturer and author, with a reputation for inspiring and empowering her clients, students and audience. Based in Wales, her heartfelt desire is to assist people to actualise their total connectedness to all that is. Additionally, she offers a global philosophy for living and being in the new age for all seekers of truth. Seven simple yet intensely profound Principles form the core of her teaching, the practice of which embodies the New Consciousness and is a catalyst for One-ness. Her book "Spiritual Wisdom" is published by Piatkus Books. Her website can be found at where you can read more articles like this in her regularly updated Spiritual Blog.

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Badger Cull


Shooting Sport


Buzzard Protection


Animal Welfare


Fasciola Hepatica

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