Badgers and Cognitive Dissonance

badger

Another badger cull debate

The UK government’s policy of culling badgers as part of tackling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) was debated in parliament for a second time on 27 March 2017 (Transcript/Video). What was striking about this debate, as well as its predecessor on 7 September 2016, was its ineffectiveness in informing or influencing. Much heartfelt opinion and many purported facts were aired, and there is some value in bringing the issue to the public attention again, but I doubt anyone changed their mind, certainly not the government. Continue reading

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Squirrelling Away

red squirrel

The squirrel debate seems straightforward: red squirrels are native to Britain. Grey squirrels are invasive aliens. Reds are endangered. Greys are rampant. The disease squirrel pox threatens reds, while greys are immune carriers. Greys outcompete reds for habitat and food. So greys must be handicapped? Like any ecological relationship, the truth is much more complex and fascinating. Continue reading

Bullfighting: cruel, outdated, and paid for by us

Bullfighting

On Wednesday MEPs have an opportunity to end the use of European funds to support farmers who breed bulls for bullfights. Please ask them to use it.

Bullfighting takes place in a relatively small number of countries across the world including Spain, Portugal, France, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. There are also many bull running or fiesta events, which often lead to the death of the bull. Many countries have banned bullfighting by law, including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Forty thousands bulls are killed for this bloodlust every year in Europe alone. The bulls are abused beforehand and tortured throughout the unfair fight. This barbaric activity is certainly not entertainment and has no place in the 21st century. Traditions should expire as our moral sense evolves. Yet, not only is it going ahead against the wishes of most Europeans, we are paying for it. Continue reading