When mad cow makes a comeback

Local | 18 May 2021

Back in the late 1990s, mad cow disease reared its head, with the added scare that a form of the disease could affect humans in certain rare situations.

There are times when one wonders if the disease, now crushed by science, has somehow reemerged and managed to infect certain parts of the population!

A recent trending social media video apparently drove a lot of young people out to acquire ducklings, in order to copy the video.

Poultry farmers suddenly found themselves having to refuse to sell to potential inexperienced duck parents, because those demanding "cute, fluffy yellow ducklings" had no idea that ducklings can't survive without their own mother until they grow their own feathers.

While ducklings look cute and cuddly, they need a lot of mother duck care to reach an age to be self-sufficient, and by that time, they are adult and no longer the cute yellow duckling the trending video demanded. Some trenders even snatched wild ducklings from rivers and ponds - guaranteed to kill the immature creatures very quickly.

In yet another mad idea, someone keeping a nine-month old tiger managed to mislay it in a densely populated city. Fortunately it was captured before it was shot by budding hunters or injured someone, despite claims it was tame.

Tigers are apex carnivore predators that can weigh 270kg as adults and should be living in the wild, not amusing humans in back gardens or strolling round suburbs.

In yet another instance of brain freeze, people seeking merit or karma have fatally damaged wildlife by "freeing" hundreds of endangered terrapins into totally unsuitable environments, killing many of them and harming native species.

The world, it seems, is getting madder by the minute, with common sense thrown out the window, then trampled under foot. Sometimes, however, nature tries to get its own back, with an English town visited by a band of young steers, happily munching their way around suburban gardens and peering in people's front windows, like visitors at a zoo.

The quote "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" has probably been around forever, but it is very apt when it comes to our interaction with animals.

But there will always be those with some sort of brain disease that makes them believe that they can do what they want without a thought to the consequences.

Georgina Noyce is an equestrian judge, and has a menagerie of adopted four-legged waifs and strays.


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