So there was some outrage on the ol’ tweets Sunday night while ‘Countryfile’ was airing. Ahh, ‘Countryfile’, the show you can depend on during the chilly and drab Sunday evenings to show you some beautiful cuddly imagery of natural life at its best. Beautiful skies, breathtaking landscapes and otters being given the chop because they’re eating farmer’s fish…
Wut? Run that by us again?
‘Countryfile’ ran a piece looking at the trouble carp fisheries have been having with otters stealing their livestock. FYI otters eat fish, and were there before the fish, but now the fish are there it’s like “alright lads, all-you-can-eat buffet over yonder! Huzzah!”
Appalled by #countryfile report on UK Otters, blatantly promoting "aggressive management" (ie culling) to protect carp fisheries. Nonsense!
— Marcus John (@MarcusBirding) January 15, 2017
So sure, we can understand the fishery farmer’s frustration. But is it fair, or humane, to resort to culling these meme-worthy creatures? (see “Benedict Cumberbatch/Otter”)
We’ve been here before with badgers, who CAN carry TB and put cattle at risk. But there is a vaccine. Or trying to “control numbers” of deer by picking off the sickly and the weak through man-made natural selection.
Why is it that, as soon as a species of animal even just slightly annoys or irritates humans, the answer is always "CULL!"? #countryfile
— Katherine Birkett (@Kitty_B_Good) January 15, 2017
Surely the otters get dibs since they were there first. There isn’t much “natural” about a carp fishery, it didn’t pop up by itself. The otters, however?
— Alan McElligott (@AMCELL) January 15, 2017
Maybe we should have the right to protect our stock, the same way a shopkeeper will ensure against theft and flooding.
Plus, anyone that has seen these furry little muckers at the zoo or on a reserve will know how rampant they are when it comes to feeding time. Like letting a fox loose in a chicken coop, they have been known to kill for the sake of it.
But do you know what else eats carp? The heron. The mink. The cormorant. Humans (although you probs won’t find it on the menu at the chippy because we prefer to just fish it rather than fish it and eat it).
Otters are not vermin, you can't destroy a species just because it eating your prize fish. Breed your fish in tanks.#Countryfile
— Neville (@Carthedon) January 15, 2017
— Harry Frasier Ⓥ 🌱 (@FrasierHarry) January 15, 2017
Perhaps, on the grand scheme of things, this is but a ripple in the water and we should be focusing on bigger environmental problems. However, the best advice on most things is to “start small” and there isn’t much smaller than an otter, eh?
How do you feel about it? Is the otter worth fighting for, or should farmers be allowed to protect their stock in this way? Tell us in the comments below