The National Beef Association (NBA) has issued a press release designed to draw public and taxpayers' attention to the cost of controlling Tb with only a one sided management policy.
"Tb is a two species disease with one-sided control management and as a result costs to the Exchequer over 2005 -2006 are expected to top £120 million with further 20 percent annual compound increases to come"
explained NBA policy advisor, Kim Haywood.
"Farmers are already hacked off with this unfairness and it can only be a matter of time before the taxpaying public becomes equally fed up and asks its own pointed questions about government's failure to tackle the expensive problem of Tb in Britains' badger population too".
At present badgers suffering from the disease are not included in the government's anti-Tb campaign and this tactic is encouraged by well organised pressure groups.
"Farmers cannot believe that diseased badgers are offered such high priced public and political protection, and are hoping that costly government shortsightedness will soon be challenged by taxpayers themselves" said Ms. Haywood.
"Besieged cattle owners would like to make it clear that they have no wish to encourage wholesale badger slaughter as some propagandists allege, but want culling limited to small, highly critical local populations."
"We propose that badgers in areas where cattle herds are repeatedly infected through eating contaminated grass (or other feed) are tested for Tb using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) portable laboratories and if found to be positive for Tb, are humanely put down along with their sett mates using inert carbon monoxide gas".
The NBA say that badger numbers have increased 5 fold over the last 30 years that they have been 'protected' and that there is no prospect of the species becoming 'endangered'. Tb in endemic in the badger population, its appearance "triggered by stress of overcrowding, semi starvation and fighting for territory - all symptoms of chronic over population".
The NBA are calling for a properly targeted anti-Tb campaign, which if "focused equally and fairly on both cattle and badgers would have the dual result of lightening the cost burden on taxpayers as well as improving the living conditions for thousands of badgers as well".
Ms. Haywood concluded, "It is important that the public, politicians and groups of activists who argue that there are no circumstances in which infected badgers should be culled, fully understand this"
We couldn't have put it better.
The aim should be Cattle Nil - Badgers Nil.
And no Tb.