Letting my mind wander...
I hear conflicting reports about whether the virus is still used to control the rabbit population on these lands. It perhaps sheds light though on why some foxes will wipe out the entire population of a chicken shed and bury the carcasses as food stores for later. As in all species, there will always be an individual that acts out of character. If a human being goes on a killing rampage, people will allow for that as 'not normal behaviour', thinking themselves to be superior to all other beings on the planet, and perhaps in the Universe, but if another animal such as a fox or a wolf were to kill off their livestock - those animals will be regarded as out of control, driven by blood lust and whatever other labels society sees fit to place on them.
Bird life is also affected by human habitat development. As one animal pushes out its boundaries, a species lower down the food chain will suffer. The RSPB reported reduced numbers of common garden birds last year and a drop in the numbers of migrant species. I would theorize that there's some commonality between the plight of the fox and our feathered friends.
It's good to see home owners in cities trying to address the lack of balance by leaving food out for birds, foxes, hedgehogs and whatever other visitors frequent their gardens. Further out in the wilds though, eagles, osprey and various other protected and unprotected species are being killed off - some by poison, some baited by traps. Poison's the gift that keeps on taking though as it's transfered form being to being. You only have to look at the dangerous run offs from some farms to see what's being added to our rivers and streams.
It all presents a question that seems to be continually swept under the rug: What are the government doing about population control in the UK? Should we as humans be allowed to continually reproduce and expand our communities and develop new towns and cities to the detriment of other species that have the same right to live? Will other species have to be near extinction before something is done to protect them? If so - will it then be too late? When are we going to stop poisoning the land and waters around us?
How many humans give a second glance, let alone a second thought to other creatures that inhabit their communites? The only hope for the future of wildlife in the UK, as always, lies with the young. Our generation's not effective enough in protecting the greenbelt, the government's warning about having to build 60 new towns is evidence of that.
Humans are living longer, euthanasia is still illegal in the UK - so severally ill people are forced to continue to live against their will - and the NHS continues to complain about a shortage of beds for patients. Their relatives relatives desperate to find a dignified ending for their loved ones.
Populations continue to increase and so does the demand for affordable housing. House prices are continually being pushed up as a result of the wealthy buying up properties in poorer areas. Property has always been a good investment but the by-product is that local people in areas of poverty are unable to buy a home for their families in their locale and Local Authorities are shedding housing stock and ill-equipped to deal with the housing shortage in the country.
As has become the norm in this country, people, governments and politicians seek answers to their part of the task rather than looking at how their particular problem fits the whole equation. Joined up thinking ended up flushed away years ago. We're now a nation run by limited minds with deep pockets that understand one language - greed. Where there is greed there will always be corruption. The property buying is reaching into the poorer quarters of Europe now as sister nations are now being raped by the property owners of the 'civilised' world. I was having a conversation on a flight with a businessman whose sole mission was to visit the Czech Republic and similar areas for the sole task of purchasing cheap property. I doubt that the locals will have considered the issue properly before selling. You only have to look in areas like Cornwall in the UK to see what this behaviour does to the local populace.
Some political sources felt that the moment a current government raises the issues of euthanasia and population control, they'll have committed political suicide. If you don't raise the difficult questions with regard to human responsibilities and communities for fear of losing power, how do you hope to educate and reform human behaviour with regards to responsible living?
All of the issues raised in this post are connected. As a great voice once said:
'Every part of this earth is sacred.
Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy. The rocky crest, the meadow, the beasts and all the people, all belong to the same family.
Teach your children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.
We are part of the earth, and the earth is a part of us. The rivers are our brothers; they quench our thirst.
The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The air is precious, for all of us share the same breath. The wind that gave our grandparents breath also receives their last sigh. The wind gave our children the spirit of life.
This we know, the earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.
This we know, all things are connected. Like the blood which unites one family, all things are connected.'
From an oration of Chief Seattle,
Native American, U.S.A., 19th Century
How many rivers can you still drink from in the UK? How many people are aware of the 'spirit of life'? What else has to disappear or go into decline before people in the UK wake up and read the writing on the wall? I guess the same goes for the USA. Instead of creating wars to to control the resources of other countries, we need to be putting the same amount of effort and funding into cleaning up our own backyards; instead of dumping dangerous chemicals in our rivers and oceans and killing off species of animlas that have more right to live on the Earth than us - simply because they live in tune with it, they don't contaminate it, destroy it or kill as we do.
Here's an example of something: We've had the technology for electric cars for quite some time now. Oil doesn't have to rule the world's commerce any longer. However, the oil barons want their money, so they won't permit the mass production of electric cars - they'll be left with huge amounts of oil that will last a lot longer than anticipated. You can get anyone to produce a paper to state whether something is viable or not - but do you really believe that the time hasn't come for deisel and petrol vehicles to be taken off the production lines? Hybrid cars are the half-way house. 'Yeah - go ahead and buy the hybrid, we can still palm some oil and fuel off on you that way!' Big Wink.