From Chapter 10, 'The Politics of Science' (p.93) "Will some farmers be satisfied with anything less than the scalp of the badger now that it has been sold to them as the villain for so long?" [Is it credible I wrote these words over 30 years ago?]
- So 1971 turned out to be quite a year
- September: my first published drawing of a Badger (above) appeared in 'The Lady' magazine
- September: got married in Cornwall
- April: first tuberculous badger found in Gloucestershire
- May: Don McLean wrote these lines for his great song about Vincent van Gogh - an inspiration to me throughout my life - which includes the lines:
They did not know how,
- 15 years later The Fate of the Badger was published by Batsford
- 30 years on, Fire Raven Writing (www.fire-raven.co.uk) reprinted it with new material revealing its relevance today
- Dominic Dyer, CEO of The Badger Trust wrote:
So, if you haven't read it or you've forgotten because it was SO long ago, here's the first in a series of mini extracts to show just how little has changed in 40 odd years. Only the bigotry of our politicians and farming leaders has hardened.
From Chapter 8, 'Badger in the tongs' (p.65) "...a largely inoffensive animal that just happens to be of manifest size."
"... Some MAFF* trappers were recruited from uncertain backgrounds soon after digging was outlawed: gassing badgers was not a job dramatically to reduce the dole queues. Rural cowboys who once pursued the badger for pleasure now possibly had the chance of doing it full-time, on taxpayers’ money and behind a crown insignia."
* MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food) before Defra.
NB: I hope to exhume more extracts from time to time to show the ineptitude of successive governments' policies and underline how little has changed.