Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cattle Disease Creation

(Graph by Team Badger)

From the Save Me organisation (appropriate considering Wales grants permission for intensive dairy farms):
"Thousands of cattle are being needlessly slaughtered each year, at a cost of £1 billion to taxpayers, because they are infected with bTB.
Well, that’s not true either. Every year the UK’s farming industry sends 350,000 cattle for premature slaughter, most of which are suffering from illnesses that are easily treatable and preventable. Only 25,000 of these, or one in 14, are suffering from bTB. Intensive dairy farming, in which cows never graze in the fields, has not surprisingly, resulted in an increase in mastitis and lameness. Cows’ hooves, like those of horses, are unsuited to harsh concrete; and even lame cows that are unable to move, are often milked lying on their sides for the sake of profit. Dairy farming has changed beyond all recognition, and is now a highly intensive industry. Given that cows are held in crowded sheds where they suffer from severe stress, it is little wonder that bTB is prevalent. Cows now produce ten times more milk as nature intended, and are often milked for more than 6 hours a day. Inbreeding is used to increase productivity, and when their yield falls they’re needlessly slaughtered. It’s astonishing that anyone can regard today’s farming practices as humane."

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Good Packaging

Now and again we look at packaging, and whether it is recyclable or not. As before, we selected a sample of companies and looked at their products, then asked them for more information if their labelling was unclear, or they weren't using recyclable materials.

Recyclable is good; biodegradable (as long as it is clearly labelled) is even better.

This is a good company - after eating one of their tasty products I spotted this on the back:

Fully compostable bags: great! So many companies make excuses and try to claim that even recyclable isn't possible for their packaging - companies like Inspiral really show them up, and prove that it is possible to put the environment first.

Seed and Bean
The Seed and Bean Company have been featured before, but any company that puts such care into its packaging deserves regular praise:

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Slice up the green areas

Death by a thousand cuts. Always going on in little ways: green areas cut across, cut into; roads and paths widened. We got a few emails about Ceredigion County Council doing it again this week, and saw this letter published in the Cambrian News:
"I hate seeing trees cut and green areas lost so was annoyed to see Ceredigion Council workers digging up green areas near Ysgol Gymraeg. They cut down at least one healthy tree (and then removed the stump/evidence), got rid of the grass and snowdrops and bushes, all apparently to widen one of the FOUR parallel pavements in that area, and to add another unnecessary path cutting across the green area. How come the Council can waste our money for vandalism like that? And they say there’s no money for litter collecting and keeping schools open? It’d be nice if they knocked down their eyesore offices and put a nice park there instead. Scratch that – knowing the council it would become another supermarket."

Friday, 20 February 2015

Rats, Squirrels, Seagulls, "Pests"

Our last post was about Aberystwyth University targeting wildlife - apparently illegally. The inability of humans to coexist with other species is often fought out in this one-sided way. It's the basis of the whole badger persecution issue.

Ceredigion County Council has staff whose responsibilities include killing animals they think of as pests (they sometimes use temporary contractors too). Poisons are used for some species. The Council has no idea how many animals they kill a year (according to an FOI request). For the financial year of 2011-12 the Council spent £168,354 in this area.

Aberystwyth University uses contractors to kill any animals they don't want on their land. They also use poisons, and don't know how many animals they kill (target species or not). For the financial year of 2011-12 the university spent £10,800 on "pest" control.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Aberystwyth University And Herring Gulls

Aberystwyth University has allegedly committed criminal offences by removing the nests and eggs of a protected bird species. The Cambrian News carried this story about disregard for wildlife and the natural environment.

The Cambrian News states:
"It is a criminal offence to “take, damage or destroy a gull’s nest” or “take or destroy their eggs”. Under law, a general licence can be applied for if the actions “preserve or protect public health and safety” or to “protect livestock”, but guidance says, “gulls being a ‘nuisance’ (e.g noise or damage to property) is not a legitimate reason for control.”
Depending on your viewpoint the gulls are a minor nuisance (certainly less of a nuisance than humans are proving to be to their species), or a natural part of living near the sea that we should embrace. It would certainly seem that the university is breaking the law here. It's certainly not the first time they have ignored existing guidance in the area.