Reviews for The Fate of The Badger
By Emma Powell
‘I'm not a scientist, politician, farmer or in a badger support group so I doubt I'm the target market but I enjoy reading books that are well argued, eloquent, well researched and illuminating whilst touching my heart. This ticks those boxes in spades!
I really enjoyed this book despite its tragic tales and would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn something and then want to support those trying to do something about it!’
By Christina Bonnett
‘We, the ignorant townies and blow-ins seldom fully understand the ways of rural life. We try to learn and fit in, accepting many of the practices that are distasteful to us but necessary for the production of food. We are often regarded as stupid or soft if we voice concerns about the ways of the countryside.
Richard's book sets out the the story behind the persecution of badgers for everyone from every side, suggests further reading and does so with humour and passion. It's not exactly an easy read - so much of it is distressing - but it is easy to read and triggers many a wry laugh - followed by tears.
"The Fate of The Badger" should be compulsory reading for the very people who would not give it a second glance.
Perhaps it should be subtitled "How to finally get Rid of Badgers" to catch their attention.’
By Jess Phoenix, PhD researcher
‘Richard’s book provides a complex investigation of bTB science and is a delight to read. I work with many groups affected by bTB policy and read this book with the hope of understanding Richard’s views on bTB related scientific studies. ‘Fate of the Badger’ is saturated with science interpreted through Richard’s lens; this amplifies the importance of the book as it provides an opportunity to understand anti-cull viewpoints and science in unison.
Richard provides an intense scientific insight into bTB and opened my eyes to findings I had not previously considered; for example, that some scientists conceive the degree of sampling of species- other than the badger- to be too low to calculate disease prevalence. The book introduced me to different studies and I have since followed up on many of the works that are usefully cited in the text.
The main text was published in 1986 and therefore provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the circular debate that has been prominent since the 1970s. For example, the writing about the Zuckerman report (Chapter 5) displays striking similarities with how science is created and critiqued today. The book helped me to consider the role of science in the bTB debate and whether disease control should be conducted outside the realm of politics. The final chapter on the current badger culls in South West England provides Richard’s views on this circular debate.
I advise all people interested in bTB to read this book, review Richard’s presentation of the scientific studies and question his interpretation of the science. Since meeting Richard at the Badger Trust conference 2016, I know he thrives off questions about his work! In my eyes this is a core book on badgers and bTB, and one that I will no doubt read time and time again.’
By R.H. (a farmer, identity protected)
‘Richard has said it all. Considering the state of things as I saunter round my woodland with the dogs, what is being done to badgers is pretty well constantly in my mind. Any thought that has occurred to me is touched on in this book. Quite honestly, he has given them hell - the NFU, the Western Morning News, a succession of useless (DEFRA) |Gov't ministers, and a heap of ignorant farmers. The sad thing is that the very people who should be reading this book, particularly the last updated chapter, and should take on board the message, are the very people who will never read it.’
Badgerland review of original edition
‘A superb technical book, which should be made compulsory reading by politicians and policy makers.’
By Tony Paine
‘A very welcome addition to my collection of Badger books. I think you will agree not a book to be enjoyed in the true sense of the word: not that was its purpose but extremely well compiled and very much an eye opener for those reading about the subject for the very first time. Dr. Meyer covers the subjects very even handed although of course no doubt where his sympathies lie. I initially thought as you both know that the photographs were extremely gruesome to say the least but upon reflection they do bring home in no uncertain way the appalling barbarities badgers suffer at the hands of what I can only call the very dregs of “human beings”. I believe it was Oliver Goldsmith who said “man’s inhumanity to man begins with man’s inhumanity to animals” and of course nothing has really changed. It was certainly the right thing to insert these photographs in his book because of the impact they make.
At bottom line this is all about money and vested interests; a battle between politicians and all their duplicity, seeking only to cherry pick what suits them and in the process ignoring the very best of modern science and those who genuinely yearn to see all wild life and their habitat preserved for the benefit of future generations.
In a nutshell politicians just pay lip service to environmental matters and alas will be ever thus. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if the Prime Minister was sent a copy. Now there’s a thought.
Anyway, I have had a bit of a rant and on a lighter note I did very much enjoy the poems by John Clare and Edward Thomas which added immeasurably to an extremely good book. I can do no better in concluding by quoting from the Prelude to the new section.
“How on earth did we get here?”… A series of blunders by our masters.”
If that isn’t a heartfelt cry from our badgers I don’t know what is.
By Freda Cave
‘This excellent work provides us with the entire package, an informative compilation covering everything we should know on all matters concerning and affecting our badgers.’
By Paul Smith
‘This book nails the truth behind the badger cull. It confirms much of what many of us think the cull is about. The government wants to normalize the killing of badgers alongside other animals, as many farmers I've spoken to see them as vermin. The cull is about perfecting shooting to allow farmers to kill when they want to. In my view, the ultimate aim is to remove the BPA. I urge everyone to read this book, and then to think long and hard about who our government really serves.’
From Dr Brian Jones (Feb 2020)I would also recommend you [George Eustice, Environment Secretary] (re-)read Dr Richard Meyer's 2nd Edition of The Fate of the Badger, which perfectly informs on mistakes and harms done by politicians and ignorant members of the public in contravention of laws to protect wildlife. Please take steps to undo these harms before it is too late.