Culling resumes …. ‘Hibernation’ as Autumn arrives?

There is still plenty to be seen and heard out there as the Autumn weather brings change.  This handsome beast, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so ….

Deilephila elpenor (L.) 69.016 (ex 1991)

Deilephila elpenor (L.) 69.016 (ex 1991) Elephant Hawkmoth

This particular specimen, found on one of its foodplants Greater Willowherb was somewhat lethargic and appeared about ready to fall to the ground where it would pupate amongst plant debris on or just below the surface and spend the winter.   Assuming it does not fall prey to foraging mammals

Another species easily found at this time of year is Metellina segmentata, it is a common species as can be seen from the distribution map via the British Arachnalogical Society Recording Scheme website.

140905 T M segmentata SH 0148 - Copy

Arachnid image above courtesy of Steve Hiner.

 

BADGER CULL STARTS AGAIN …. 

Unfortunately we have received the sad news that the Government is proceeding with the badger cull and we have learnt that tonight the unmonitored killing will start up again in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.

In the sights of ‘marksmen’ tonight are some 931 (minimum) 1876 (maximum) badgers.  615 in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset or 1,091 in Gloucestershire and 785 in Somerset.  See Natural England’s authorisation letters for detail.  Needless to say they are redacted versions.

The topic remains a topical one, unsurprisingly and The Guardian has created a ‘badger’ page dedicated to the topic, the most recent piece by Damien Carrington has already attracted over 300 comments in just three days.  Interestingly this event is a ‘private event’, see the Glouchestershire Echo.  It is worth a read to discover the Police stance on this year’s event/culls.

The same article reports that the cull cost the public pocket £2,338,248 last year, a sum which was reimbursed to the force afterwards.  Is this figure the national bill or just West Glouchestershire?  There are also figures estimating that each badger culled last year cost £5,000 and the cost is set to rise this year.

No one could fail to have sympathies with farmers over the issue but is culling badgers in the barbaric manner of last year a way to get support from the British public at a time when they need loyal customers?  Will we still want to buy regional cheeses when we see the images from the area where the NFU and its members have held a private event and culled badgers?

There has to be a better way, Government has to listen?  Science has to prevail surely …. credibility is at stake if there is no monitoring?

See STOP THE CULL, where Perturbation and the consequences for the disease to spread as a consequence of this are explained.

 

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