The beleaguered badger

When we moved to Dorset in 2006 we were surprised at how many dead badgers (Meles meles) we saw alongside the roads, especially in spring and summer. After so many years in Hampshire where badgers seemed to be scarce these corpses were a clear sign that they are doing well in Dorset. We have subsequently seen many setts on our walks in the Dorset countryside and it is clear that badgers are widespread. We have also discovered that
, sadly, not all the corpses are roadkills; the badger is still illegally persecuted in the most cruel ways.

Thanks to Springwatch, which has revealed the antics of the badger to the whole nation, it is surely one of our most loved creatures even though, sadly, it is usually only dead ones people see. Seeing them in the wild is far from easy meaning a trek out in to woodland in the pitch dark and then a long, silent wait until they appear and then you may not see them very well!

Sadly, whilst to many the badger is a gem to others it is a pest and links to bovine tuberculosis have called for all these animals to be killed. The pilot cull evoked considerable disquiet and led to protests but it still went ahead although the results seem to have been something of a fiasco. I, for one, sincerely hope the science finds a satisfactory solution to this problem that is good for the farmer and good for the badger!

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