Feature

United Kingdom: A willful misuse of badgers

Class warfare has returned to the countryside.

Cristina OdoneThe Daily Telegraph

Class warfare has returned to the countryside, said Cristina Odone. Now that hunting foxes has been outlawed, urban levelers have seized on another animal to serve as an excuse for “terrorizing members of the landed gentry”—the badger. Badgers are responsible for spreading bovine tuberculosis, which kills some tens of thousands of cattle a year. British farmers have been calling for a badger cull for years, and they’ve finally persuaded the government to allow it as long as those who own the land where the badgers are to be hunted agree. But now the envious radicals behind Stop the Cull have pledged to trespass on those lands and harass the landowners. “They can’t get the aristos to the guillotine, so they hope to wrest them from their privileged perches by intimidation.” In fact, they actually admitted that they chose as their main protest target one John Yorke, a gentleman farmer from Gloucestershire, specifically because he runs a 3,000-acre estate “and can trace his ancestors back to the Norman Conquest.” The sad thing is, these thugs may actually have the public on their side. “If they overstep the limits of the law, they can always point out that their victim went to Eton.” In the words of Stop the Cull’s Jay Tiernan, “Who has sympathy for someone like that?”

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