From the title you probably thought this blog entry was going to be warm and fuzzy. Sadly,no. Here in the UK we like small furry animals. We like voles (er…what?), foxes, however, the Hunting Act 2004 has now banned fox hunting. And now the plight of the poor old badger. Can you say ‘bovine tuberculosis’?
Bovine Tuberculosis is the biggest challenge facing the cattle and farming industry in the West and Southwest of England. If you drink milk or eat meat from an infected cow. You will die. End of. Luckily for you, there is no record of humans contracting disease through the consumption of meat. And in any case the risk to public health is low due to pasteurisation. For once it pays to be a vegetarian in England (see previous blog entry).
In the 1950’s herds that were positive with bovine TB were slaughtered. By the 1970’s cattle herds were cleared of bovine TB.
It is well established that badgers harbour the disease and infect herds. As a result, there is discussion far and wide whether or not badgers should be culled. So, kill the badgers so they wont infect cattle. Seems simple enough but these badgers breed like rabbits if you know what I mean. Its difficult and costly and no one wants to see a furry animal killed.
We do seem to like big animals here in the UK. Horses, cattle and buffalo roam wild here. Ok, kidding about the buffalo-but they could if they wanted to.