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Badger Cull
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grain may be part of a grass type species, but it is vastly different from "grass". In nature cattle would not eat it. If it hadn't been for the destructive selfishness and greed of the early white settlers in the North American continent, there would be tens of millions of bison on the plains, which didn't need feeding grain in the winter. The US own estimate for the forecast life of the topsoil in arable areas is 80 years. What then?

Edit to change "hundreds" to "tens"


Last edited by woodburner on Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
In nature cattle would not eat it.

You have obviously never raised a cow. Razz
edit to add.
There are about 100 million head of cattle now in the USA and Canada.
The bison herd before we showed up is estimated to have been 60 million.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In nature, the wheat that was available was a far cry from today's hybrids, therefore the cattle would not even have access to it.

Where is the food for the 100million sorced from? I doubt it is all grown in the US, and if it is, it is part of the destruction of the topsoil (that applies whereever it is grown). Pasture feeding is less of an environmental load, and the bison could look after themselves for winter food.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
In nature, the wheat that was available was a far cry from today's hybrids, therefore the cattle would not even have access to it.

Where is the food for the 100million sorced from? I doubt it is all grown in the US, and if it is, it is part of the destruction of the topsoil (that applies whereever it is grown). Pasture feeding is less of an environmental load, and the bison could look after themselves for winter food.

The grasses that wheat barley and the other grain crops excerpt corn were all native to the middle east and central Asia. Cattle there might still find the parent species growing wild. The fact that today's varieties have large seeds and a large seed count per plant makes no difference to a cow. They will happily eat the young shoots as they do grass, and hay made from the semi mature plant with the seeds still attached is good winter fodder. The exception being wheat straw which is of course of little use except as bedding. You might check out Robert Frost's poem "Hay your oats".
Grazing buffalo anywhere near where grain or corn is being grown is a non starter as buffalo are extremely hard to fence in or out as they can clear six feet vertically and enjoy horning and pushing over small trees and every fence post looks like a small tree to them.
The USA is a net exporter of grain so all the feed for American cattle is grown here and as has been said they spend more then half their lives on grass and the breeding cows much more then that.
The Canadians do sell us quite a bit of hay but a large part of that is fed to pleasure horses.
If you want to talk about a waste of pasture ,topsoil and feed take a look
at the horse people. They don't even recycle the carcasses after they are done with their big expensive pets.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with your points about the pointless horses.

With regard to the wheat, the old varieties ie Einkorn had 14 chromosomes, the modern varieties (Triticum) have at least three times that, ie 42. This has given rise to some novel proteins amongst other things, so it may well be that it makes a significant difference to the cow, it certainly makes a difference to humans and not all good. Some of the questionable techniques can be seen in the video after about 12 mins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbBURnqYVzw
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That moment when we see government policy is not evidence based. #badgers https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/05/bovine-tb-not-passed-on-through-direct-contact-with-badgers-research-shows
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Little John



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It gets passed on through badger droppings as opposed to direct contact between badgers and cows. Furthermore, the pathogen remains active in the droppings and subsequent environment for months afterwards. I state these newly discovered facts irrespective of any personal position I may have on this issue. That is to say, it is misleading to imply that these new findings are a fundamental contradiction of the central argument that TB is passed onto cows from badgers. It is indeed passed onto cows from badgers and now the specific pathway is better understood, that's all.

In terms of culling policy, the fact that the pathogen persists in the badger droppings for months afterwards goes some way towards explaining why there is not an immediately apparent improvement in infection rates in cows where badger culling has taken place. However, that is not a good in-principle argument for not culling since culling will stop the continuation of badger droppings in a given area. Though, it would require that such a culling policy, to be effective, would have to cover a very large radius from the site of the initial infection in order to avoid infected badgers from adjacent areas traveling in and leaving droppings. All of which makes culling far more difficult to effectively implement than was previously thought. Though, to repeat, none of which is an argument, in itself, for culling not being used.

There are, as it happens, more fundamental ecological arguments for not culling badgers and I am happy to state here that I am broadly against badger culling except insofar is it may prove necessary to maintain a given (largely man-made) eco-system in balance. But it's important to get the facts straight instead of engaging in the usual hyperbole in the pursuit of a "greater good".


Last edited by Little John on Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:31 pm; edited 3 times in total
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Government policy being evidence based? What a suggestion.

Further reading indicates badgers may not be the only vector.

One disbenefit of larger numbers of badgers is there are fewer hedgehogs. A tasty snack for a badger.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite so. Due to ecological degradation more generally, hedgehogs are in serious, possibly terminal, decline in this country without the necessity of badgers hurrying their demise along. The facgt is, quite apart from the commercial concerns of farmers, our entire eco-system in this country is now so degraded and/or transformed by the actions of humans that it is completely necessary to manage that eco-system. This is going to inevitably involve culling certain species under certain circumstances.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better make sure it's cost effective then, and start with the most troublesome and destructive. Erm.........that means it will have to be humans.

Killing badgers has already proved to be a total cock-up, under Owen (anti-environmentalist) Pattison. There is no reason to think that another episode will be any better.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
Government policy being evidence based? What a suggestion.

Further reading indicates badgers may not be the only vector.

One disbenefit of larger numbers of badgers is there are fewer hedgehogs. A tasty snack for a badger.


While deer may not be a large source of bTB in cattle they contribute to spreading the disease among wildlife in general and domestic cats. Deer are most likely the vector for TB in our cattle as they have little contact with badgers on our common and little contact with them at home. We often have deer in our fields though.

The only problem with the deer cull was the trouble with protesters and the costs of policing them. The cull could have gone ahead quite satisfactorily had it not been for these ignorant people. If a few thousand badgers had been killed ten years ago the country might have been free of TB now rather than having the disease spreading eastwards and northwards in a tidal wave across the country quite independently of cattle through the wildlife and cats. We have ignorant people such as Brian May to thank for this.

If the Ministry just removed the ban on killing badgers within the infected area and perhaps ten miles beyond it farmers and shooters would do the job for nothing. If it doesn't happen soon though there will be no TB free badgers left in the country to restock from.
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Catweazle



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The South East has thousands of badgers and few cattle, surely this is a better area for the badgers to live ?

As Kenneal writes, if the affected areas removed the shooting ban the farmers would shoot them to protect their own cattle and smallholders would shoot them to prevent the damage they do to fences, beehives, fruit bushes etc.. Perhaps in 20 years time the ban could be re-introduced and healthy badgers could move back into the areas.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farmers would shoot them, not to protect their cattle, but because the operation method for agriculture is to kill everything; except what you are cultivating.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
Farmers would shoot them, not to protect their cattle, but because the operation method for agriculture is to kill everything; except what you are cultivating.


I don't think that that is true of all farmers, by any means. Yes, there are some who do that but it is not all by a long chalk!
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
woodburner wrote:
Farmers would shoot them, not to protect their cattle, but because the operation method for agriculture is to kill everything; except what you are cultivating.


I don't think that that is true of all farmers, by any means. Yes, there are some who do that but it is not all by a long chalk!

I have to second that Ken. No farmer I know would kill anything that is not directly destroying their crops. One I know pretty well is losing ten percent of her crop yields to deer grazing. Beyond calling them "Those wretched creatures" she has not persecuted them beyond inviting in some extra hunters during the season and has even hired a biologist to determine how best to manage their population while keeping the farm land profitable.
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