One of the arguments for a badger cull, that really annoys me, is the one about the emotional trauma to farmers about losing their cattle...and seeing them slaughtered on the farm. First: why are they being slaughtered on the farm, this is not normal - is it only cows in calf? I ask that as that is sometimes mentioned. I would imagine that most of the cattle go to the slaughter house. I was more distressed about our animals having to go off the land and not be slaughtered on the farm, especially as the lorry that arrived was enormous and not gated - this being illegal. We did mention this to animal health but they did nothing. We really should have followed it up but as we were in the limbo land of a family death at home after a long illness and the funeral, none of was in any fit state to deal with anything properly.
Many many more cattle get slaughtered prematurely due to lameness, mastistis, low milk yield and barreness. Infact these figues make bTB look insignificant. And some breeds of milking cow don't make it past about 3 calves - I was told that by a cattle judge. Also of course cattle are killed somewhat early in their life for meat.
Yes when you have been breeding your own herd and you lose a prize cow, you have lost all her future calves and her milk yeild. No compensation will cover that financial lose, or the loss to breeding - or the work and effort you have put into that animal. I have seen this happen on small farms in my area. And yes they have nurtured those animals and intended a lot longer life for them
So I guess that the farmers who are emotionally upset about the premature deaths of their cows can understand the distress that people who watch/study/protect badgers will feel if badgers are shot, especially when at least 70% - I've decided to be conservative - of those badgers will be healthy.
It is not an argument for badger deaths but for a long term strategy to be set up to tackle bTB, bsdger culling is not long term