Most people won't know but I am chiefly responsible for managing the League's Facebook
pages. It's a thoroughly rewarding role. I really enjoy being able to interact with supporters every single day and then again with an organisation like the League you also get to interact with opponents, which can be altogether less fun.
The majority of the hunting community online, (well at least the ones who try to and I hestitate to use the word engage because it's more browbeat) are very strident and at times downright unpleasant. However, corresponding with the farming community over the proposed badger cull while it has been sad particularly when hearing about individual herds affected by bovine TB, it has been unfailingly civil.
Draw your own conclusions from that if you will.
I like to think it shows both how comfortable and secure that farmers are with their place in society and the rural economy. It could just be that people who like to hunt animals for fun aren't that nice as people.
A common refrain is “something has to be done”. It sums up the desperation felt in the farming community with regard to TB in cattle and shows the Government in poorer light for trying to sell this false prospectus to the country.
Something should be done, but science shows that perturbation can actually cause an increase in bTB transferring the disease to hitherto unaffected badgers, even if successful the most optimistic assessment says a cull can reduce bTB in cattle by 16% and that those affects are not sustained in the long term.
Something should be done and that's a vaccine to tackle 100% of the problem not 16% if we're lucky. DEFRA admit that that's the long term answer but cancelled five out of six vaccine trials last June on the grounds of cost and ask farmers to pay for a DIY cull knowing full well that it may cost them more money than they save. I think this is both a very shabby way to treat both farmers and badgers.
Conservative blogger Graeme Archer summed this policy up for me when he said it managed to be uniquely "irrevelant, malicious and ineffective".