Target: Andrew George, Member of Parliament, Cornwall, England
Goal: Applaud the vaccination of wild badgers
Farmers near the city of Penwith, England have begun a humane pilot program that will replace the current mass slaughter of badgers. The program, spread over western Cornwall County, will have farmers trap the creatures so that they may be vaccinated. The creatures will then be released back to the wild, where their potential for harm will be greatly reduced.
Badgers are considered a pest, even a plague, to many UK farmers. The small animals are believed to spread Bovine Tuberculosis among livestock, though evidence suggests that they play an insignificant role in proliferating disease. Each year, the public is welcome to slaughter the badgers for a set period of time, in hopes of reducing their numbers by 70%.
A cull can sometimes be counterproductive, especially in the case of a hardy species like badgers. Reduced numbers mean greater food and territory availability, which encourages breeding. Diseased creatures left injured but alive can be disturbed, prompting them to leave their territory and increasing the risk of infecting others.
A project proposed by Andrew George, Member of Parliament, suggests that a more effective method of preventing disease would be to vaccinate badgers in the area. Currently, a pilot study of five farms in the West Cornwall region is underway. The study traps and immunizes the creatures, and if effective could set a new standard for disease control in the entire United Kingdom.
The cull of a species in great numbers leads to dangerous fluctuations in population and has been proven ineffective in the reduction of disease among livestock. Your signature will thank Andrew George for his efforts to find an efficient and humane alternative to the mass slaughter of badgers in England.
Dear Andrew George, Member of Parliament, Cornwall, England,
The culling of badgers can be responsible for over 50,000 unnecessary deaths annually. Though proven ineffective in reducing disease among cattle, the public is invited to trap and kill the creatures in hopes of reducing their numbers by over half.
A program has recently been proposed that will more effectively combat the issue of bovine tuberculosis while also being compassionate to the badgers. Farmers will begin to trap and vaccinate the animals, before releasing them to the wild again. This will efficiently reduce the spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary slaughter and population fluctuations.
If successful, the pilot program could become a compassionate standard used throughout England. I commend your ethical proposition for a culling alternative, and wish the program all the best of luck.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BadgerHero via Wikimedia Commons