The Fate of the Badger - extract 3
"Have we in the past, and are we now, grossly underestimating the capacity of social animals to feel emotion? If so, what are the consequences for a social group of badgers - in other words, a tightly- knit extended family - of an insensitive and heavy-handed culling operation? And what if the slaughter is protracted and inefficient? It seems not unreasonable to expect increased incidence, relapses and a general lowering of natural resistance. Moreover, the indirect disruption caused to neighbouring groups and their inter-relationships, deeply ingrained - often over many centuries - can perhaps be imagined. The boundaries between badger tribes represent an equilibrium - where countering force and influence is spent - and where an uneasy alliance could represent security. A system of scent signals, like banner waving, normally forestalls physical conflict. When normality is destroyed, by nature or man, anxiety increases, and health and rational behaviour take a dive - in man as in nature."