It is difficult to find words to describe our reaction to today's headline in West Country newspaper, Western Morning News. Many times over the last couple of years, we have described the relocation of badgers - for whatever reason - as 'Tb takeaways'. This mainly because of the total ineffectiveness of the so called 'Brock' blood test, sometimes, but not always, used to identify lurking tb which although fairly good on a positive result, is only 40 per cent accurate on a negative.
We have also written of the dire results of Pauline Kidner's release policy from 'Secret World', in Somerset, where young badgers were chewed up by the indigenous brocks, resulting in Ms. Kidner releasing them elsewhere. Your place or mine? See: http://bovinetb.blogspot.com/2004/08/relocation-relocation-relocation-tb.html
The RSPCA, that veritable bastion of truth and guardian of all things four legged and furry- except cattle - which was found earlier this year to have used 'unsubstantiated and untruthful' (http://bovinetb.blogspot.com/2006/09/rspca-falls-foul-of-advertising.html )information to garner support for its 'Back off Badgers' campaign ( http://bovinetb.blogspot.com/2006/03/rspca-under-investigation.html) have done just that. Released a group of badgers in a Tb hotspot.
Read where at: http://tinyurl.com/vry8h
Local farmers seeing vehicles parked up with long antennae, were told that badgers had been released and these operatives were 'tracking them'. They didn't stay put on the few square yards of land authorised by the land owner then? Of course they didn't. They would be disorientated and a certain target for the nearest group to fight with. That's what territorial scrapping is all about. And that spreads Tb.
The more polite among us would say the RSPCA's action was misguided and unwise. Those of us on the receiving end of the Tb problem may be less charitable. Try ... recklessly bloody stupid. And who issued the goddam license ?