While the Minister for Conservation and Fisheries was on his holidays, his department (Defra) released bTb figures for the first 6 months of 2004. Remember our Ben's announcement in May, reported on this site, that bTb was down 14 percent? And remember that we told you that it was not. It was actually up 25 percent.
Defra's figures for Devon & Cornwall show that in the first six months of the year 1150 herds were subject to movement restrictions compared with 1500 for the whole of 2003 (which Defra had explained was still a catch up year after FMD)
Farmers are not surprised, and say they see no end to the drip feed of infection from infected badgers.
Tony Yewdall who has lost 89 pedigree Island Guernseys is quoted as feeling "completely helpless" at the onsluaght and in not being able to protect his cattle or his business.
But a Defra spokesman is reported as saying that the figures could change and it was difficult to identify trends from them. Really? How about UP.
At the end of the Clean Ring strategy in 1986, just 638 cattle were slaughtered.
After 10 years of 'Interim strategy' when everything the Ministry knew about bTb control was sanitised by copious donations and loud protests from single species activists, the figures crept upwards to 3,760 in 1997.
But after the £1 million dropped into Tony Blair's lap by PAL (the Political Animal Lobby) all badger control was stopped and guess what? We are now faced with slaughtering 30,000 cattle a year. But Defra have employed a Compensation Accountant (see recent post on this site) and are still hiding behind the diminutive John Bourne and his Kreb's 'trial'. (archived on this site).
Once again this site is indebted to Mr. Bradshaw for confirming in his PQ's (that "bTB is endemic in badgers" and that "under current strategies it will not be eradicated from cattle"
There are more votes in a dead badger than a dead cow.