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One of the saddest days of my life

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Rev2
Rev2  4220 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
29 Aug 2013 - 10:32 PM


Quote: The biggest problem by far for us in the UK is the American Mink, could they also be spreading TB.

Another deplorable result from the fur-farming industry. Mink have never been linked to TB to my knowledge although I doubt if any studies have been carried out.

Mink create untold damage to our native wildlife and not farm animals so DEFRA aren't concerned. They'd rather hand out licences to shoot Buzzards to protect mass (non-native) pheasant rearing (to be shot) than concern themselves with real native wildlife issues.

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monstersnowman
30 Aug 2013 - 4:17 AM

Rather more a deplorable result of protest groups releasing mink in large numbers into the countryside from farms without any forethought for consequences although no doubt a small number will have escaped accidentally ... Wide scale trapping of mink to eradicate them has gone on for years but i doubt their effect on the countryside is as serious as tb which results in massive damage to farming and food production and the livelihood of farmers .. So its understandable that the mink issue is not as high profile as the tb issue with badgers .. I am sure any of us would be concerned about local issues affecting wildlife but naturally when it impacts on livestock/farming and food production and the destruction of 25,000 cattle a year, massive cost to farmers and to the nation it will understandably be a far more serious issue .. Its like the issue of non native american signal crayfish that destroy local species and cause issues such as erosion of river banks .. Obviously an issue but certainly nothing that is as big a concern as bovine tb even if that reason is for monetary reasons. Even the countryside runs on an economic basis .. Nothing is free and everything needs paying for.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315487 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 4:55 AM

I could be wrong but I was thinking that a lot of the British wildlife including Mink can also carry and spread the TB, including some birds.

monstersnowman
30 Aug 2013 - 5:24 AM

The badger population of the uk far exceeds that of the intoduced estimated population of mink and the mink is already being trapped with the intention of erdicating it from our countryside, quite different from the badger popuation boom, which is, at present unchecked and clearly proven to be spreading bovine tb and physically and economically damaging our farming industry.

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1023111 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 6:26 AM

DEFRA didn't hand out licences to shoot Buzzards. Unless I'm wrong Natural England granted a licence for the removal of nests.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110310 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 6:56 AM

Paul, in a similar vein, I spotted an interesting comment about this in a New Scientist Article (can't lay my hands on the link at the moment)

In essence it noted that:

The New Zealand cull of possums went well because the bulk of the population didn't find them cute, as a result of the cull TB levels are now down below the level required to be officially declared TB free

In the US there is TB in the White Tailed Deer population which has been linked to TB in cattle but the population love the deer so much that the subject of a cull can't even be discussed (in a hunting mad culture such as theirs!)

In the UK - well we know what an iconic creature the Badger is and what the response is here.

This seems to be a subject where emotion rules

Rev2
Rev2  4220 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 6:56 AM


Quote: DEFRA didn't hand out licences to shoot Buzzards. Unless I'm wrong Natural England granted a licence for the removal of nests.

Correct, apologies. Same result though.

"A widespread modern misconception is that the UKs wild population of American mink originated from mass releases of mink from fur farms by animal rights activists in the 1990s. Many people will remember these dramatic events for the sheer numbers of mink involved. In fact, the wild population was established decades earlier from multiple escapes (and perhaps deliberate releases) all over the country".


http://www.gwct.org.uk/research__surveys/predation/predation_control/mink/2553.a...

mikehit
mikehit  56555 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 8:31 AM


Quote:
This seems to be a subject where emotion rules

I'll agree that emotion is high in this debate, but equally there are sufficient signs that the cull has been brought about for reasons that are no related to any scientific evidence.

mikehit
mikehit  56555 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 8:39 AM


Quote: But what has that got to do with the comment I made about a sop to the farmers? All governments have been scared of the power of the NFU.

Ok, go back a step. What did you mean by 'pressured the government'? Lobbied them? Brought pressure to bear? Put them under pressure so the NFU could get its own way or hide something? Which...?

The method is a side issue. The farmers have wanted a cull for years, and they have got it even though the government's own report doubted its effectiveness: the only possible interpretation is pressure from the farming community. Now I have no problem with the cull going ahead as such, but given the doubts about whether a cull would even work common sense tells you that the best way to prove one way or another would be to do bTB testing on the culled badgers - in fact it would benefit the farmers enormously because if the evidence showed that badgers were linked to bTB in cattle the cull would have stronger base in other parts of the country. So why are they not doing it?
The alternative to the cull is control of livestock distribution and the farmers hate that option.

monstersnowman
30 Aug 2013 - 8:39 AM


Quote: A widespread modern misconception is that the UKs wild population of American mink originated from mass releases of mink from fur farms by animal rights activists in the 1990s. Many people will remember these dramatic events for the sheer numbers of mink involved. In fact, the wild population was established decades earlier from multiple escapes (and perhaps deliberate releases) all over the country".

* so the mass release impacted massively on a much lower previous release/escape that as activists they should have been aware of or at least considered before releasing OR the mass release didnt really have a mass impact on an existing problem but they must have knowingly or ignorantly and foolishly contributed to it in a significant way due to the numbers released OR they acted totally without any concern for any historic/scientific knowledge by releasing a highly effective predator into a non-native wild without any thought at all for whether the ecology could support or defend itself against this creature ... Dress it up whichever way you want .. The mass release was and is a devastating blow to populations of many creatures such as the water vole and has seen the the needless slaughter of more mink by many fold than were ever released and the number is still increasing, not to mention their countless victims.

Last Modified By monstersnowman at 30 Aug 2013 - 8:44 AM
Rev2
Rev2  4220 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 8:51 AM


Quote: Dress it up whichever way you want .. The mass release was and is a devastating blow to populations of many creatures such as the water vole and has seen the the needless slaughter of more mink by many fold than werevever saved and the number is still increasing, not to mention their countless victims.

I'm not intending to 'dress it up'. The animal rights activists were ignorant and foolish in their acts and did harm to native species, I don't support them, just getting the facts right.

Read the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust article linked to above - "Consequently many of the mink released in the attacks of the 1990s were quickly re-caught and the remainder probably contributed little to the wild mink population"


I'm all in favour of a mink cull, the badger cull on the other hand is more about politics than scientific fact.

779HOB
779HOB  21021 forum posts United Kingdom
30 Aug 2013 - 10:44 AM


Quote: The farmers have wanted a cull for years,

Sorry this isn't true. The farmers in Somerset that I have spoken to clearly don't want the cull. Most don't think it will work but it's better than nothing. What they do want is a lifting of the protected status on badgers so they can control the population as they used to. This I am sure will bring comments about farmers being gun crazy killing machines. But I spend a lot of time around farmers and they are not all Tory voting landowners. There are some big commercial operations that rape the land and move on but the small farms are run by families who know about, understand and care about the countryside they live and work in.

mikehit
mikehit  56555 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 11:16 AM


Quote: The farmers have wanted a cull for years,

Sorry this isn't true. The farmers in Somerset that I have spoken to clearly don't want the cull. Most don't think it will work but it's better than nothing. What they do want is a lifting of the protected status on badgers so they can control the population as they used to. This I am sure will bring comments about farmers being gun crazy killing machines. But I spend a lot of time around farmers and they are not all Tory voting landowners. There are some big commercial operations that rape the land and move on but the small farms are run by families who know about, understand and care about the countryside they live and work in.

Some individual farmers may have not wanted the cull the but NFU has been calling for it for some time.

collywobles
30 Aug 2013 - 11:24 AM


Quote: This seems to be a subject where emotion rules

Yes it does but once we have sorted the Badger problem out can we then start on the Feral Foxes.

Overread
Overread  63770 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
30 Aug 2013 - 11:45 AM


Quote: the badger cull on the other hand is more about politics than scientific fact.

This is the core of the problem.
There is so much politics involved that the science and study gets lost. As a result we end up with policies that don't really make any sense and are driven more by either the demand to "do something" or are based upon the animals relative popularity as cute or devilish.

Then there is also this desire for all or nothing, but it seems to get used wrong. Where we have invasive species we seem to approach it timidly; whilst where we see overpopulation or such we approach with extreme culling methods (deer could be said to be one of the few who are controlled rather than culled madly).

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