Thursday, September 08, 2005

Never underestimate...

Defra's ability to spend YOUR money.

In a pilot study published September 7th.2005, Defra describe a 'Cost Benefit Analysis of badger Control".

The 'project' ran for just 10 weeks, 16th August - 31st October 2004, and aimed to estimate the overall effect on bovine tb in cattle of two different control strategies. Trapping followed by shooting or gassing.

*The cost of this little jaunt was £41,700.00 and Defra explain that:

* "Important assumptions remain untested, and further data is available but has not been used in this project".

* The pilot was a short (understatement!) preliminary study involving significant levels of uncertainty.

*The results of the study are not robust enough to provide evidence to support or reject methods of culling badgers.

* Defra has funded an additional 2 year project, which seek to build on the findings of the original study, to refine the assumptions used and to validate the findings with independent models and existing data.

One might interpret the 2 year project as "validating significant uncertainties"and at a projected cost - based on the 'pilot study' which has given such un-robust results - of £443,000.

I think we get the picture.

S t r i n g i n g it out, not grasping the nettle, hiding behind the RBCT until another election?

One tiny comment snuck into Defra's abstract and guaranteed to be missed by most of the mainstream media recycling press releases, we shall reprint in full:

"An early assessment suggested that between 26 and 85% of the cattle herd breakdowns (CHBs) were not linked with new cattle being moved onto farms and thus might be associated with other reasons. e.g. badgers."


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