In a stance reminiscent of the General Sir Richard Dannatt's statement on Iraq, its relationship to government policy and the media, which our sister site has flagged up:
Western Morning News yesterday placed the head of the 'Sustainable Food and Farming Delivery Group, Sir Don Curry, squarely in the frame over the politically thorny issue of bovine tb.
For the full article, see link at: http://tinyurl.com/vqrko
"Bovine Tb is a barrier to progress for so many livestock farmers in the region", said Sir Don, while on a visit to the Westcountry. And he continued "Until we recognise the source of the infection in wildlife, we shan't make the progress that is so vital. There are many of us who have believed for a long time that we need a comprehensive campaign to beat bovine Tb."
Quite. And the key word here is 'us', in fact the 'many of us' Sir Don is reported as saying.
Your cynical contributers believe that Sir Don's timely statement is a smaller echo of the situation we see with General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Daily Mail (and others) and the British army's presence in Iraq, still under scrutiny at; http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/#116084217396013090.
Government knows what it needs to do, but for reasons of perceived 'popular support' either in the form of votes, donations or inter country links, is reluctant to step into the frame and so spins up a heavyweight 'outsider' to the media, who then spearheads the unsavoury decision for them. That it was the decision which government wanted to make anyway is thus removed from their responsibility and media reporting attributes the idea to an independent source.
More in Western Morning News' editorial: http://tinyurl.com/sogsw which concludes:
"No one relishes the prospect of a badger cull, but those who oppose it need to recognise that there are animal welfare issues involved that transcend their routine arguments. There is the welfare of the wildlife afflicted with this spreading disease; there is the welfare of the cattle [ .. ]and there is the welfare too of the farming economy that is vital to the life of the countryside and the nation as a whole."
Government recognise this; of course they do. But the RSPCA's / Badger Trust's recent campaign only shows that with skewed information, there are more votes in dead badger than a dead cow. Coupled with an administration which has handed responsibility for the security and safety of British food production to the supermarkets, government desperately need a figurehead to extract them from the ever deeper hole (of bTb) which they have excavated for themselves over the last almost ten years.
In Sir Don Curry they may just have found one.