BADGERS appear to be one of our best loved wild animals judging by the number of people from all walks of life who turned out on cold, wet, windy nights to try to protect them from the recent badger cull.

But they are also probably the most persecuted animals. For years they have been used in the cruel “sport” of badger baiting and in spite of the fact that this activity has been declared illegal, it still goes on.

Badgers are also killed by landowners in snares and traps when they venture near pheasant pens, where young birds are being reared as living targets for the shooting fraternity. Then, of course, many are killed on our busy roads due to road widening schemes and increased traffic.

The enormous amount of industrial development and whole estates of new houses being built to accommodate our rapidly expanding population has certainly had a disastrous effect on many badger families, look no further than Priddys Hard, once a haven for wildlife!

Now the flood waters are covering so much of the countryside the impact on all our wildlife must be absolutely catastrophic. Farmers are moving their sheep and cattle and other livestock to higher ground, but small mammals and other wild animals have nowhere to run to – all those who live underground will drown in their flooded burrows.

Does anybody provide food or shelter for these poor creatures, indeed does anyone care?

The Charity Care For The Wild puts the cost of the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire at £4,100 per badger shot, the total cost at an estimated £7.3 million. Charity spokesman Dominic Dwyer called it “one of the most expensive and disastrous wildlife culls in history, scientists saying almost universally that it will not have any significant impact on the spread of TB”.