A controversial badger cull has kicked off in England despite protests, and conservationists object to the widespread killing of the small mammals.
The badger cull is an attempt to reduce expensive outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis, which have resulted in expensive payouts in the millions to British farmers.
But some politicians say the badger cull “flies in the face of the scientific evidence,” and proponents of protecting badgers argue the cull is not only inhumane, but ineffective.
The badger cull is expected to last six weeks, with trained marksmen sent to shoot on sight any badgers spotted at night or lured to traps.
Protesters have attempted to rescue injured badgers harmed in the cull, but so far have not encountered any of the condemned mammals since it began early this week.
England has more than 300,000 badgers, and the badger cull will attempt to reduce the population by about 5,000.
According to The Guardian, science is iffy on whether a widespread badger cull will have any impact on rates of bovine TB, which resulted in the loss of 37,000 cows in 2012 alone.
The paper reports:
“A group of leading scientists, including Lord Krebs, the architect of an earlier 10 year-long culling trial that ended in 2007, have called the culls ‘mindless.’ They say the pilots risk increasing bovine TB in cattle, and that the ‘pilot culls are too small and too short term to measure the impacts of licensed culling on cattle TB before a wider roll-out of the approach.’ “
High-profile badger fans like Brian May (featured in the track above) and Dame Judi Dench have spoken out about the badger culls — and the song in the video is climbing the iTunes charts.
The exact location of the badger culls in England have not been disclosed to the public for “security reasons.”