Friday, July 16, 2004


For want of doing anything constructive about the epidemic of Bovine TB in this country, the egregious Ben Bradshaw has fallen in love with the idea of biosecurity - when he can spare the time from gazing at his own lovely form in the mirror.
And so convinced is he of his own private thesis that biosecurity is the answer - the only answer - to the TB scourge that he offered his "expert" evidence to the EFRA committee, whose gormless MPs not only copied it down but dutifully reproduced it in the current (thirteenth - shurely unlucky?) report on Bovine TB.
Thus, in all their glory, we see the profound words of the "Minister", naked for all the world to see - and what an ugly sight they are:
Some farmers do take biosecurity very seriously ... [But] some of the farms I have visited that have had TB breakdowns have absolutely no biosecurity at whatsoever.  they have gaps between the walls of the cattle feeding areas and the floors, they have modern dairies that are completely open to the elements.  Nothing is being done on a lot of these farms as far as biosecurity that I can see.

"Some of the farms" that our Ben has visited, amount to half a dozen at most, and of one where we know he applied his undoubted expertise, it appears he managed to do his highly skilled "biosecurity inspection" as he scuttled from the ministry car through the farmyard on his way to the kitchen for a mid-morning cup of coffee and a cosy chat.
Surprisingly enough for the time of day, doors were open, silage clamps were uncovered and drain sluices were clear.  But, such is the expertise of Ben the bodger, that he could deduce all manner of things about not only this farm, but hundreds of others as well.
And as to his "modern dairies that are completely open to the elements", does he not know that his own dairies inspectorate actually carry out licensing visits to these premises - at some cost to the farmers - to approve them, and that one of the licensing requirements is proofing against vermin?  Either his inspectorate is falling down on the job - in which case I think we should be told - or little Ben ain't quite got the expertise he thinks he has.
However, the essential point, which our Ben don't get, is what he thinks would happen to badgers if the biosecurity he so much loves was as perfect as his own visage.  Consider all those little Brocks who have come out to play without their packed lunches, and who stop off for a quick bite of cattle-block-to-go, only to find that the Stalag Luft Defra has got there first and the take-away trade had been shut down.
The Brocks may gaze in awe at the barbed wire, machine gun posts, and anti-tank traps surrounding what were once innocent fields, but they will go home hungry... and stay hungry.  Dead badger pie may then beome a common staple of ye olde cuntry volk, az they pick up the corpses of starved badgers, the badgers who had previously been silly enough to rely on the farmers for their nosh.
But inspector Ben will no doubt be very happy man indeed.  He and his biogarbage will have won the day.

No comments: