Monday, March 27, 2006


We are quite 'peturbed' to find that much information on bTb which has been peer reviewed and well publicised is subject to 'airbrushing' by organisations who really ought to know better.

This site has been provided with a reply from the RSPCA concerning a letter which they received querying their support for the 'Back off Badgers Campaign'.

We quote from it below;

"You state that the RSPCA is a political organisation. I can confirm that charities may seek changes in government policy. In fact, this is one of the ways charities are able to meet their aims and secure public benefit. Indeed, the RSPCA was set up in 1824 to help not only those animals that had already suffered, but to bring about lasting change by lobbying parliament on aspects affecting the welfare of all animals. Such work by the Society's founding fathers led, for example, to a ban on cruel dog fighting in 1835, and the Protection of Animals Act in 1911 * which is soon to be replaced with the long-awaited Animal Welfare Bill.

All of the Society's political and campaigning activities, including the current battle to stop the unnecessary slaughter and inevitable suffering of thousands of badgers, takes careful account of Charity Law and the guidance issued by the Charity Commission.

They want to stop the suffering of badgers? Not enough to accept that tuberculosis is a wicked, delibilitating and fatal condidtion in any species and not enough to print pictures like this:

They continue:
"The government set up an eight-year trial to study the impact of badger culling on the incidence of bovine TB in cattle. The recently published results showed that badger culling actually increases TB infection in cattle in surrounding areas and achieves only a limited reduction within the areas targeted. The chairman of the Independent Scientific Group, responsible for overseeing the culling trials, has warned that the Government ignored the scientific advice provided and misinterpreted the results of the trials. He has stated that a badger cull will almost certainly make the situation worse and that it would be better to focus on cattle controls.

Given the RSPCA's raison d'ĂȘtre is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals, our opposition to a proposed cull of a protected species which goes against sound science should need no further explanation."

And needless to say, it does not get one either (explanation) Well there isn't one really is there? Previous trials have shown that if the infected badgers are removed, Tb in cattle just - disappears. But the RSPCA's flat earth world obviously begins in 1997, with the diminutive figure of John Bourne. Nothing prior to that then? No Thornbury, East Offaly or even the 4 county trials? No cattle to cattle trials in Ireland and no earlier attempts at pre movement testing? And 30,000 dead cattle are just fine with the Royal Society for their Protection.

No attempt either to establish the extraordinarily weak basis for the Krebs' RBCT in that its whole basis to 'cull badgers' in two comparative areas in the first couple of years at least, were so badly carried out that in some instances it only accounted for 20% of its target, leaving 80 % shaken, stirred and stressed - and that is VLA's conclusion. John Bourne doesn't need one. A conclusion that is. Peer review the work? You have to be joking.
"We are the experts" he told his audience at the last ISG meeting. In what he did not say.

The RSPCA continues:
"With regard to the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, where possible, every effort was made to address potential animal welfare problems before they happened. Pressure was put on the Government from the start to ensure that animals were not slaughtered inhumanely and to allow the RSPCA to monitor the slaughtering. This took almost six weeks of liaison before DEFRA agreed that Society staff should be allowed onto specific slaughter sites. We continued to voice our concerns, but I must point out that when the RSPCA did voice its concerns in a press release, which was nearly always preceded by a letter to the Minister, the press had no obligation to print our concerns. We could not insist that they carried our story. "

Now hang on a minute. "We could not insist that they (the press) carried our story".
So in this instance you printed your own? I don't remember any adverts during FMD protesting at the totally needless slaughter of 12 million animals? But hell, they were farmed animals so who cares. Well the RSPCA should care. Animals are animals, and many of us did care and care a lot that 'valued and cherished' flocks and herds were shot and piled high, when PCR technology was available to identify and vaccination was available to ring fence. But the RSPCA were content to "monitor the slaughtering". So that's alright then. They must have missed the 'cowboys' on the quadbikes aiming rifles at terrified cows and calves, and the lorries of dead sheep - but some not so dead - arriving for burial.

"The RSPCA made numerous approaches to the Government from the start of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease relating to a number of aspects of the outbreak which directly impinged upon animal welfare. The Society issued over 20 foot-and-mouth related press releases, circulated our views to hundreds of national and regional newspapers as well as conducted a substantial number of television and radio interviews. The Government, like everybody else, could choose not to act on our recommendations. The Society reacted in a number of ways to try and alleviate the suffering of the animals involved. Members of the organisation met the Ministers from both the Commons and the Lords directly involved with the management of the crisis and senior DEFRA officials in order to express our concerns about the welfare aspects involved with the cull and other issues. The RSPCA's Director General and the Chief Veterinary Officer were regular correspondents with the various Ministers involved."

But not to the extent of taking out an advert at their expense to oppose 'government' policy?

Keeping their powder dry then. And their cheque book handy? What will this one be called if not 'donation' or 'loan'?

1 comment:

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