Over 176,000 badgers have been killed since the current badger cull began in England in 2013. Badgers are killed in their thousands from Cornwall to Cumbria under misguided and fundamentally flawed attempts to control bovine Tuberculosis (bTB), an infectious respiratory disease which affects cattle.
Badgers are not the problem – Politicians Are !
Bovine TB is always present in the environment and can affect or be carried harmlessly by many species – livestock and wildlife alike. Yet the government has focused on badgers, even though 94% of cattle infections are from cow to cow. Many in the farming community wrongly believe that badgers are a significant vector in the spread of the disease. For many years, independent scientists, vets, researchers, as well as Badger Trust, have rightly challenged this claim.
Continue reading and watch several videos at the Badger Trust:
We’ve all seen the pictures of starving polar bears, struggling to survive climate change. But as global temperatures continue to rise, experts say bears today are spending up to a month longer than their parents waiting for the ice to return after summer.
Every year, starting in late June when the bay ice disappears, polar bears in the northern Canadian province of Manitoba move onto shore to begin a period of forced fasting.
Without the sea ice they are unable to hunt for seals, their main source of food.
“While these bears sit on shore, they’re losing a kilo or two every day. That can go on for about 180 days before they really start to have a problem,” says Geoff York, senior director of conservation at Polar Bears International (PBI).
Polar bears could starve to extinction due to global warming
Since the 1980s, the ice pack in Hudson bay has decreased by nearly 50 per cent in summer, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre.
If a bear is lucky enough to find a beluga whale carcass or if a seal dares to swim too close to shore, the large carnivore may be able to eat during the summer. But for most of those months they are fasting, or eating very small snacks of any fish they’re able to catch.
A report published two years ago in the journal Nature Climate Change suggested that this trend could lead to the near-extinction of these majestic animals: 1,200 of them were counted on the western shores of Hudson Bay in the 1980s. Today the best estimate is 800.
Hunger draws polar bears into dangerous proximity of towns
In desperation, bears began frequenting the local dump in Churchill, Manitoba – a source of easy, but potentially harmful, food for them. They could be seen ripping open rubbish bags, eating plastic or getting their snouts trapped in food tins amid piles of burning waste.
Since then, the town has taken precautions: The dump is now guarded by cameras, fences and patrols.
A conservation officer, Ian Van Nest, patrols the town’s limits to keep its 800 inhabitants safe. Every morning he checks the areas around schools to ensure the children will be safe upon arrival.
All across the town, people leave cars and houses unlocked in case someone needs to find urgent shelter during an unpleasant encounter with this large land-based carnivore.
Posted on walls around town are the emergency phone numbers to reach Van Nest or his colleagues.
When they get an urgent call, they hop in their pickup truck armed with a rifle and a spray can of repellent, wearing protective flak jackets. He emphasises that they do not shoot at the bears, but fire warning shots to scare them off.
Sometimes the animals have to be sedated, then winched up by a helicopter to be transported to the north, or kept in a cage until winter, when they can again feed on the bay.
Churchill’s only ‘prison’ is inhabited entirely by bears, a hangar whose 28 cells can fill up in the autumn as the creatures maraud in mass around town while waiting for the ice to re-form in November.