Monday, 5 September 2011

Bill Badger: A Sad Tale.

Badgers receive seriously poor press. Often maligned by the agricultural lobby, they are the subject of mass culling in the face of possible bovine disease.

Personally I like knowing that there are Badgers about. It's a sign that Mother Nature is doing her job.

Yesterday morning as I took Monty for his first walk of the day, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and began to growl. As I continued up the track behind him, his concern soon became obvious. A Badger was by the side of the track halfway up a small bank, and looked to be in extreme distress. It appeared that he had been run-over, and had tried to climb the bank; without avail. The soil around him was bare from his frenzied scratching.

I hurried home to fetch my 'priest' (a small .22 hand gun), and returned to end his obvious pain. I took no delight in my action.

Once he was dead I noticed that a wire was restricting his rolling down to the bottom of the bank. He had not been run-over, but trapped in a snare, and the snare itself was attached to a heavy metal spike in the field above.

Farmers everywhere have their reasons for reducing the population of certain destructive animals, and I am certainly not going to rebuke them for their actions. But I will never stand by and let an animal suffer.

Reluctantly I shall say nothing, and will have to bite very hard on my tongue. But I am still very shocked, upset, and saddened by the whole affair.


  1. A sad story.

    You did the right thing.

  2. Cro, that is so sad and I know that they do similar things her for what they call vermin,thank goodness you came along to end his pain...poor old badger,just living his life the only way he knows.

  3. Just another case of mankind's complete arrogance that we have the right to live on the earth above all others.

    I'm not going to bite my tongue, Cro, as I feel too strongly about this badger cull.

    Cattle are farmed - we put them out in the fields for us. Badgers are wild and have a right to live where nature intended them to be.

    Farmers and the country 'lot' that inflict or are about to inflict this kind of cruel barbarity om the indigenous badger population are bastards.

    I'm sure it took a lot to end that poor creatures suffering, but it was the right thing to do.

    There are schemes in progress now to inoculate badger populations for TB, but to some, it's far easier just to needlessly kill them all off.

    Fucking disgrace. (Rant over)

  4. I have never seen / or heard of a badger being killed here ( apart from the dreadful badger pit that was constructed up the gop a few years ago) and although I dislike their antics sometimes ( the killing of my broody hens) I would never want a cull to start in wales...
    I do have concerns though, that the population is running away with itself.... many creatures seem to have this "success" story from time to time.. and this of course will impact on man...unlike France, there are fewer and fewer areas in the UK not overrun with it is inevitable that man and badger conflict will continue..

    The farmers I know here dont bang on about TB
    they worry that badger success and over population will be a major problem..

    who knows where this problem could lead
    Bring a cull into play will encourage private hunting.....and we will see more and more cases like the one you witnessed cro.

    Larger numbers of badgers will also increase private hunting......

  5. There is absolutely no excuse for cruelty - which is what such a snare amounts to. There are more humane ways to cull.

    The feeling locally here is, that if badgers are not a problem, then leave well alone. A cull could draw in others carrying disease and a healthy resident population is the best way to keep them out.

  6. I'm not sure that it has ever been conclusively proven that badgers are the major carriers of T.B. to cattle. Snares are - rightly - illegal in Britain, are they in France? A lot of the badger sets here are watched over by police because of the psychos who enjoy badger-baiting, so this protected status has lead to farmers shooting them on the quiet (or as quietly as you can shoot) then putting them on the side of the road to make it look like an accident.

  7. the road thing, I have been told is a bit of a folk tale.
    I am sure that farmers occasionally cull.. but I am sure the badger lands up in a field ditch rather than the farmer running the risk of being "caught" throwing the badger onto the roadside.

    Most farmers ( though not all) generally are humane killers.. but I have heard more complaints about lambs being killed by badgers ( they kill in a distinct way)than any comments about TB

  8. How sad. Snares are wicked, cruel things. Surely they are illegal here in France?

  9. Sorry John but it's true. I've seen it happen. There's a stretch of road near me where badgers are regularly found as 'road kill' but I've seen them being dumped.

    We live in a cotton wool society here in the UK. I don't think we'll ever be happy until every indigenous predator has been wiped out.

    Don't get me started on foxes.

  10. Poor Bill. Good thing you and your priest were there to help.

  11. Glad you had the good sense to put Bill out of his misery. I too hate to see an animal suffer.

  12. How sad Cro.
    Thank you for your courage.
    If only we could just share our space.

  13. The badger population in the woods and fields around us has increased greatly over the past few years. They make a terrible mess if they succeed in getting into the garden. But snares are a cruel, cowardly solution. Good for you for doing the right thing and putting the badger out of its misery.

  14. That was just so atrocious for the poor Badger, being hung up like that. I'm glad you cared for him; cared enough to do the one thing you could.


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