Saturday, 27th March, 2010.

Animal Magic

   I wonder if Elin Jones, AM, our Minister for
Rural Affairs is a fan of Queen.   No,
not her Royal Majesty Elizabeth the Second of
I mean the rock group.

   If so, she will be less of a fan now, having
found that guitarist Brian May of that august band is very much opposed to the
slaughtering of badgers.

   He was in Cardiff this week to argue against our
government’s decision to kill the creatures (albeit in “selected areas”).   The measure has been legalised in the hope
of spreading bovine tuberculosis – though animal-rights people claim that the
connection between badgers and the disease is not proven.

   Ms. Jones’ decision was not an easy
one.   She is, I know, from a very rural
part of our land and loves the countryside.  
And I wonder, if the anti-badger-slaughter campaign wins its case, its
supporters will walk away from the
Assembly Building singing “We Are The Champions”?


Continuing The

   It seems to have been a week of ecological

   Soon, it is hoped, we’ll have a pair of
pink-dolphins in the Dee Estuary.   A
chap called Jim Jayes is going to rescue them from a now-polluted site in the
Amazon basin and bring them to
(I wonder how their habitat became polluted – not by human activity,

   It is not the first time that species from
abroad have been brought to a Welsh environment.   Witness the growing concern about
rhododendrons and Himalayan balsam.

   Both of these plants came here to prettify
the country estates of the wealthy.  
They colonised quickly and have become so invasive that measures are
being taken all over
Wales to eradicate them.   They are spoiling our woodlands and clogging
up our rivers and streams.

   Wouldn’t there be a terrible outcry if pink
dolphins bred so well that they caused problems by devouring all the salmon and
trout?   And wouldn’t Elin Jones or one
of her successors have another heart-searching decision to make?


And There’s More

   And yet there’s good news about one of our
native species.   A bottlenose-dolphin
calf has been seen off

   The calf seems to have shown up early, too,
which has delighted everyone.   For those
of you who enjoy such information, its mother’s name is Spot.   It seems she gave birth very late in the season.

   However – and this may be a word of warning
– the habits of our native dolphins are changing.   It seems that the ones which usually
frequent Scotland’s East coast are been seen further and further South these
days, and the Scottish West coast ones are also moving further South.

   It’s due, I am told, to Climate Change and
Global Warming.   So maybe, if we humans
do not get a grip on the problem, those pink-dolphins from the Amazon may be
finding the Dee Estuary a perfect habitat in the not-too-distant future.

Archie Lowe


About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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