Farmers Guardian editorial (March 4th) looks vainly for something on which to comment in the 69 page 'Framework' document issued March 1st by Bradshaw (on behalf of an absent Beckett), and makes the following scathing comment:
"You are a farmer in a Tb hotspot area, desperately worried about your cattle contracting or re-contracting TB. The government is launching a new strategy to tackle the insiduous disease and you think that maybe this time they mean business.
You receive the document, open it and go straight to bit where they say what they are going to do about the badgers. You read this:" We will develop a transparent process for making policy decisions on whether badger culling may form part of future policy, in light of new evidence as it emerges".
Pathetic, and of no use to any farmer, his cattle, let alone the disease ridden badgers or the taxpayer. Defra is cynically postponing any decision on badgers for a few years but want to impose more restrictions on cattle and shift more of the financial burden on to farmers.
The strategy is a disgrace. The evidence for a targeted badger cull is there in neon lights and with bells on. What is missing is the moral fibre, intellect and compassion of those who make important decisions to grasp the nettle".
A badger management policy? Messrs. Bradshaw and Beckett, our duplicitous duo are still of the opinion that 'the public' would not like it. Rubbish - they are not being told the truth, and there is an election coming up so forget the cattle, this government sees more (lost) votes in dead badger than a dead cow.
This is another non-policy. We would say 'A Strategy for Doing nothing - very slowly'.
But what about the long term risk of Tb in the environment to anyone or anything that is in contact with it? Or are farmers themselves going to have to erect warning notices of the dangers?
' Enter at Your own Risk' and 'Now Wash Your Hands' on farm footpaths ?