Author Topic: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis  (Read 1656 times)

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Offline baldy

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I remember seeing hedgehogs squashed flat in the roads regularly back in the 80s. These days you don't see dead hedgehogs because they are far too rare. Now you see dead badgers in the road as regularly as hedgehogs were 40 years ago.

I've discussed this with animal rights folk who are against any cull of badgers and they flatly deny that badgers reduce the hedgehog numbers, though some admit that badgers will eat hedgehogs when they can find one because they can easily overcome the spikes with their powerful front legs and claws.

I am convinced that badger numbers are now out of control and that this is the primary reason for hedgehog numbers being vastly reduced, though I accept that other factors have been unhelpful for hedgehogs, not least the reduction in hedges ...

It seems to me that there is a conspiracy amongst animal rights campaigners to protect badgers that extends to denial of the truth that there are now far too many badgers which are eating our hedgehogs.

Discuss.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 10:46:11 AM by baldy »
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Offline Shizzy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 13:30:49 PM »
The problem with 'activists' is that they will only accept their view of things, and have no desire to discuss or even contemplate the view of others, which makes having a rational debate with them difficult.

Possibly one reason you are seeing more badgers dead in the road is because  DEFRA no longer collect them.  Years ago DEFRA (or whatever it was called then) collected dead badgers to check if they had TB. 
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Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 14:08:37 PM »
I nearly came to blows with a RSPB rep who was trying to sell RSPB memberships in the mall in Warminster earlier this year as he got really angry when I said that there are too many badgers and that they eat hedgehogs. I had watched a TV programme the previous day where it was pointed out that badgers do eat hedgehogs. The RSPB rep was totally in denial and I left before I got onto the question of why most most of his material on display was about animals like deer and badgers instead of birds ...
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 15:03:47 PM »
Badgers do eat Hedgehogs they are Omnivores. But they are not responsible for Hedgehog decline. Hedgehogs are declining even in areas where Badgers aren't, such as parts of East Anglia. Habitat loss is the main reason.

As for Badgers spreading Bovine TB, this is true but other wild animals also spread this disease such as fox's. There is a clue in the statement as to where the Bovine TB originates. I believe culling Badgers has only a limited effect. Other measures could be more effective such as vaccination of Badgers and cows to prevent the infection. Also the farmers have to take some responsibility in prevention. In the 50's and 60's BTB wasn't so prevalent because dairy herds were smaller and better separated. Today we have large herds separated only by a single fence or hedge at the best. Farmers removal of hedges hasn't helped.

There is no one single answer to the problem. I believe a vaccine directed at the cows is under development but could be as far off as 10 years before it can be used.

As for the RSPB rep, they have changed their stance a bit in the last decade. they are now protectors of all wild life not just birds. Indeed their magazine is now called 'giving nature a home'.
I almost cancelled my subscription when they started allowing wind farms to be built on their reserves. Especially when there was evidence that they were killing birds. But they are now being more sensible as to where they will allow them. i.e. not directly in migrating flight paths of birds.


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Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 11:01:05 AM »
Habitats have not changed that dramatically in the last 40 years. It was the previous 40 years when they changed most due to hedges being ripped out etc.

Also, since badgers became protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, their population has spiraled out of control so that they are more than 10 times more abundant than they were only 30 years ago.

In East Anglia, the habitat loss is so severe that it has reduced all wildlife including hedgehogs and badgers so that example is not relevant in terms of whether badgers are killing off our hedgehogs elsewhere.
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 14:09:07 PM »
I wouldn't say Badger numbers have spiraled out of control. That's a bit dramatic sounding. They've maybe recovered to pre 1970's numbers.

It's a complicated situation. Habitat change or loss of hedges and feeding grounds as well as Badgers (and other carnivores such as foxes) eating hedgehogs is partly responsible for hedgehog decline. A bigger cause is probably due to the increased use of pesticides which kill the hedgehog food. i.e. invertebrates. Invertebrates are also eaten by Badgers so if there is a reduction of invertebrates what's the Badger going to eat?

So, do we cull the Badgers to save the hedgehogs? Is it morally right to cull one indigenous species to save another?  Maybe the correct answer is restricting or even banning pesticides.

But there isn't sufficient evidence to say Badgers are the reason for Hedgehog decline anyway. I think this is just another lever for the NFU to push for more Badger culling because of the BTB which Badgers are a carrier of. Which incidentally the cows gave to them in the first place.
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Offline Shizzy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 15:30:53 PM »
What's your beef (excuse the pun) with badgers baldy? You seem to have a bit of a downer on them.

The reasons are probably a bit more complicated. One thing's for sure it is our meddling that has either led to their increase or the hedgehog's demise.
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 15:54:34 PM »
They dug up some anthrax on his beloved Leigh Park a few years ago.
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Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 16:06:41 PM »
I think there are too many badgers now and they are causing far too many problems and do not need any protection as if they were ever in danger ...

Like deer, they need to be culled to keep their numbers down to a healthy number for their own good and to protect young trees (which are otherwise killed by deer eating their bark or leaves), given the amount of habitat left for them and the problems they cause like eating too many hedgehogs.

They actually cause all sorts of problems with their sets cropping up in all sorts of places and causing delays with building construction whilst permission is sorted to move the set ...

A few years ago, a badger set at Matravers School caused a year of delays to the construction of the new sixth form building.

I mention deer because they actually are culled ... though actually their numbers are still increasing to the extent that these days you can see them roaming about open fields rather than just in forests and large woods etc.

In recent years, I've noticed deer in the fields around Westbury, when in the past you would not have seen any unless you were up on the Plain or in Longleat Forest or another major wood ...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 16:15:42 PM by baldy »
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Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 16:13:06 PM »
They dug up some anthrax on his beloved Leigh Park a few years ago.

Actually, they dug up anthrax in a field by the River Biss at Storridge Farm next to the West Wilts Trading Estate, not Leigh Park.

It is possible that the anthrax upstream at the old Tannery, now buried under part of Leigh Park, was the original source of the anthrax which flowed downstream years ago ....

There was a separate issue when some extra houses were built at the far western end of Dartmoor Road, Leigh Park next to Black Horse Lane, though I think it was more a case of taking precautions because they were close to the old tannery site rather than any anthrax being dug up.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 16:51:45 PM by baldy »
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2019, 16:31:51 PM »
If you destroy their habitat by building on it what do you expect. Same for deer. They need culling as their woodland is being removed that's why you see them in fields.

At what point do you stop killing them? Or do we just go on until we are all extinct? The human population growing is the real problem. Lets have a cull ! Any volunteers?
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Offline Shizzy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2019, 16:52:57 PM »
The human population growing is the real problem. Lets have a cull ! Any volunteers?

Can I put forward Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonald?
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Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2019, 17:17:58 PM »
McDonnell.

I’d leave all the Labour left wing loonies, especially those from Momentum, alone as their existence will keep Labour out of power ...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 17:25:18 PM by baldy »
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Offline Silverthreads

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2019, 22:35:53 PM »
Before Leigh Park was built and it was all fields, Boultons Glove factory and then Canac, Badgers were often seen crossing the driveway into the copse. Woodpeckers and Owls also frequented the area. Are any of these seen since it was built on.
We are losing all our fields, hedgerows and wildlife to more and more houses!!!

When is somebody going to say STOP building.

Westbury is just one big housing estate with very little amenities and shops!!
Is it time for your Medication or mine?

Offline baldy

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Re: Far too many badgers which eat hedgehogs + spread bovine tuberculosis
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 00:15:04 AM »
Well, my original point was that badgers are virtually everywhere, though I did not mean within housing estates ... though actually they do crop up in older parts of the town all the time especially bits of green open space whether within a housing estate or not.

I last saw a Kingfisher on the pond at Becks Mill about 6 years ago ... though in more recent years we've had a regular pair of swans over the Winter, then during the Summer as well until recently when they seem to have gone.

I can hear owls regularly though I have not seen them.

There is a pair of red Kites living in a nearby huge tree... well, I have not seen them in the last 2 years but I have not heard that they have gone.

I've not seen a fox in Leigh Park, but I see them all the time in fields nearby - sometimes in broad daylight and last year one stopped and stared at me as I was walking diagonally away from it.

There is a huge bat colony living in the area, especially in nearby roofs including the old part of Becks Mill itself.

I saw a large cray fish in the stream a few years ago.

Wildlife is teeming all around us.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 07:21:36 AM by baldy »
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