• peace, poesis & wild holy earth •
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I take a look at the controversial measure under consideration in the UK for a large-scale “DIY” badger cull to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis, and consider some of the potential consequences that threaten the extinction of this iconic animal, a protected species under British law:
In an article in the Guardian today, Damian Carrington outlines the frustrating flaws and competing interests facing lawmakers in the UK as they consider a controversial proposal for a large-scale, “DIY” badger cull in an effort to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis that has infected English cattle herds in recent years. Animal rights activists and other opponents of the cull argue that better regulation and testing of the cattle industry, along with vaccinations of infected badger populations, could do much more to combat bTB outbreaks without risking the potential extinction of the English badger. Instead, the government has backed itself into a corner, accepting budget cuts that leave it without the means to pursue more effective solutions. Unfortunately, the “zero-cost” self-run badger cull under consideration has several fatal flaws that could not only render it ineffective but actually make the problem worse.
Many consider the badger one of Britain’s best loved and iconic animals and a poignant symbol of the British countryside. Badgers are even considered, according to some folklore, to be the oldest inhabitants of the island. They have been celebrated in modern literature and ancient mythology alike, a creature of stubborn perseverance and fierce strength who are also connected, because of their nocturnal nature and underground burrows, with the wisdom and mysteries of the underworld.
In fact, this controversy in the UK came to my attention as a result of some experiences I’ve had recently during ritual trance work, in which an unexpected ally approached me in the form of a badger. Though I try to keep the “woo” to a minimum in my spiritual practice, I can’t help but feel that this is more than a coincidence and that I’m obliged to see what actions I can take in the real world to help protect this creature from uncoordinated and unsupervised killing and cruelty.
If you’d like to learn more about the proposed cull and its potentially deadly drawbacks, or if you’re interested in signing a petition against the cull and finding out other ways you can help, please visit the websites below: