This is the new 30th Anniversary Edition of this iconic book,
with a new chapter and also a Foreword by Dr. Chris Cheeseman.
Probably more relevant than ever!
This is not facetious. Zoologist Dr Richard Meyer, like Mole at the beginning
of The Wind in the Willows, before he meets Badger, found himself blinking in disbelief.
In the clear light of day he could not believe the government was still, after four decades,
killing badgers in the mistaken belief that they gave bovine TB to cattle.
“Four decades!” Thinking he should rewrite his 30 year old book, he was astonished to
find that nothing in it was actually wrong. As Einstein observed,
To keep repeating the mistakes of the past while expecting a different result is a definition
of insanity, yet this was exactly what the British government was doing, and what’s more against the scientific evidence.
How could this be true? The new 30th anniversary edition of The Fate of the Badger (“The book I never thought I’d have to write”) confronts it head-on. In the Prelude to the original book we find another question. Back in the eighties, a girlfriend remarked, It’s the nearest thing we’ve got to a proper animal before asking simply, What is it about the badger anyway? Thus the saga began, and now 30 years on, Meyer brings it up to date with a 12,000 word new chapter, appendices on Ireland and Wales, and perhaps most tellingly of all a new Foreword by Chris Cheeseman. Before his retirement Dr Cheeseman was an eminent scientist and central to the government’s bovine TB research programme. No-one is better qualified.
“It is more than a human generation since the first edition of The Fate of the Badger was published. The basic substance of the book remains just as relevant today in providing essential background for those who wish to understand how the badger TB saga initially developed. The addition of Chapter 12 adds a seismic ending. I believe most readers will be truly shaken after reading it.”
Meyer, author and artist with a passion for the natural world, has written twelve books, illustrating many himself. He is a qualified teacher and freelance zoologist with a background as relevant as it is impressive. He began his career working for Sir Peter Scott (the driving force behind the creation of the World Wildlife Fund) at The Wildfowl Trust, Slimbridge before going on to gain a doctorate for his work on returning the Cornish Chough to England as a breeding bird. While serving on the government’s Bovine TB Consultative Panel, he gained a unique insight into how the badger – one of Britain’s oldest and most favourite wild animals – became cruelly misunderstood by the Establishment.
Praise for this new edition is widespread.
“Every key issue in Richard’s book is as relevant today as when he put pen to paper 30 years ago. If our political leaders and the farming industry had taken note of Richard’s wise insight, today we would not be seeing tens of millions of pounds wasted on killing mostly TB free badgers, in a cruel culling policy which has no scientific or animal welfare justification.” (Dominic Dyer, CEO, The Badger Trust)
“Richard is one of the best nature writers we have and our parallel lives and books have seen the fate of badgers swing one positive way and then swing back to these negative, dark days he describes so well. His new edition of a classic study of badgers is a must read for everyone and brings things right up to date.” (Michael Clark, author of ‘Badgers’, Whittet Books)
Photos ©S Clark.