.. and depending on your point of view, Government shafts responsibility.
THE NFU on line site reports Lord 're-cycled' Rooker's speech to their conference as giving
"the clearest indication yet of how government intends to deal with the reservoir of bovine TB in badgers".
Having read Lord Rooker's speech, it is fair to say that 'government' does not intend to deal with it at all - it wants farmers to do the job. And to facilitate this, the 1997 moratorium on badger culling will be lifted after the final report of the ISG in June, (Do us all a favour John, collect your gong and just go. Now.)
We have described before the cavaliar application of law as far as the licence issue is concerned. And PQ's described the Minister's answer perfectly;
"It is current policy NOT to issue any licenses under sub-section 10(2) (a) to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis, except for animals held in captivity".
(18th March 2004: col 431W 
But no discussion had taken place, no Statutory Instruments laid and in effect, British Law had been 'set aside' courtesy of the ISG. But we digress, that was then and Lord Rooker is now. But has anything changed? Not really. That goverment want rid of bovine TB is a constant, as is the fact that they still are unwilling to take seriously their own responsibilities in its clearance. And Lord Rooker's speech is the clearest indication yet that farmers will be given the green light after the ISG report - whenever that may be - to apply for licenses under Sub Section 10(2)(a)- to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.
While the NFU welcomed the news, they cautioned that any culls must be carried out in the context of a strategy drawn up with the full co-operation of the SVS. And the wildlife teams who advised and carried out such operations?? Err no, they've gone. Defra sacked them - or most of them - last year. Stood down, was the expression used. So 'farmers' are on their own with this one. But possibly clutching a licence to get Defra off a very sharp and costly hook, and to clear a disease which is 100 per cent Defra's responsibility. A disease which has severe implications short term for the country's trading status and long term for the health of all 'mammalian species' - including human beings.