Sean's Wild Life

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The badger cull debate!

Season 3, Ep. 10

I sat down to chat about this controversial and often emotive topic with the President of the British Veterinary Association, James Russell and CEO of the Badger Trust, Dominic Dyer. We explored the issues surrounding the eradication of bovine TB, a disease of cattle which also affects wildlife species, most notably the badger. And we tackle the logic, pros and cons of the government's badger cull strategy as part of the plan to eradicate this disease.


It's illuminating and at times a little heated, but Dominic and James do a sterling job of setting out the issues, respectfully debating the finer points and making a very complex topic more clear. As we all agree at the end, it's vital to talk and come together from both sides of the debate. The all too common 'them Vs us' attitude that often crops up where difficult conservation or animal welfare issues arise can do more harm than good.


I'm very grateful to have had them both on as guests, coming together to bring clarity and explore the middle ground in such a divisive topic.


Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here: http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-life or at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.


Cover photo by Billy Heaney.

More Episodes

3/26/2021

Water Voles & Community Conservation

Season 4, Ep. 8
I showed Elliot Newton of Citizen Zoo and now Biodiversity Officer for Kingston Council around Ealing for the first time. Elliot is leading a community led water vole reintroduction project in Kingston on the Hogsmill River, a very special chalk fed stream where water voles used to thrive but have undergone a local extinction. Water Vole reintroduction is something that I've been scoping out as a project for Ealing Wildlife Group so it was great to get advice from Elliot who is already well underway with his community engagement, habitat management preparations and had just reached his crowdfunding target at the time of recording.We also cut to a previous conversation myself, Elliot and Kieron Brown of The Field Studies Council had in the pub where they debated whether water voles or earthworms were the more important animals. It got heated. I think I may need to get Kieron on at some point to defend the humble earthworm, his specialist topic.As Elliot has said when promoting his water vole project, the UK is one of the most nature depleted nations in the world. And if we can't even hold on to some of our rodent species we're not doing too well in terms of wildlife conservation. We discuss Ealing Wildlife Group's upcoming project to reintroduce Britain's tiniest rodent, the Harvest Mouse, and then ponder the possibility of our largest native rodent coming back in London. Beavers on the Brent? Watch this space!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.Cover photo credit: Elliot Newton (Citizen Zoo).
3/12/2021

Vets, Sustainability & 'One Health'

Season 4, Ep. 7
I talk to a veterinary colleague, Laura Higham, who I admire hugely for her work in the field of 'One Health' and sustainability within the veterinary profession. We discuss the unique role of veterinary professionals working at the intersection between animal health, public health of humans and our impacts on environmental health too. Laura set up Vet Sustain and also works for the Food Animal Initiative (FAI) who work in partnership with farmers and food companies for climate and food security. Powered by science and best practice, FAI Farms deliver strategic advice, data services, and education for a better food chain. There's interesting chat about what sustainability even means, how farming practices impact climate and the environment, what damaging traditions currently exist in veterinary practice, the apparent boom in regenerative agriculture principles, how consumer choices have the power to change things and how vets are arguably not as well recognised as perhaps we could be in being champions for our global ecosystem, and as leaders in the 'One Health' concept. Hope you enjoy!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.Cover photo credit: Biomed Central.