..survey. On what? How the public would react if a cull of infectious badgers is mentioned in the same breath as bTb.
After government's altruistic 'consultation' excercise of twelve months ago on this subject - despite being presented with an industry package, two parts of which the 'industry' has delivered - the NFU commissioned their own survey, and reported its findings a couple of weeks ago. After a favourable result, the organisation is said to be shifting all its lobbying efforts to that end rather than fight on the preMT issue.
FARMERS GUARDIAN carried the story a couple of weeks ago, describing the results of a poll carried out randomly by England Marketing. It showed that 74 percent of recipients supported a legal cull of badgers to prevent the spread of Tb.
And this week, another one. This time a survey into "Public Opinions on Badger Populations and the Control of Tuberculosis in Cattle", (sorry - no link) which was undertaken at the taxpayer's expense, by the Universities of Reading and Newcastle.
Their results mirrored the NFU poll. A combined telephone and postal poll of randomly selected recipients found that:
* 71 percent thought that management of badger populations is sometimes necessary.
* 92 percent agreed with the statement 'controlling bTb in cattle is important'.
But when asked whether bTb control should involve the management of badger populations, respondents were much more in favour of SVS / Defra influence than farmer licences.
* 49 percent agreed with farmer licences, compared with 36 per cent who disagreed.
* 68 percent agreed with the statement 'If badger populations are to be controlled, the Government should be responsible for it'.
And leaves the Right Honourable gentleman quoted in our post below, Lord Rooker, a tad adrift in his support of 'farmer licenses'. Not only do the contributers to this site feel Tb is a governmental responsibility, but the public appear to think it is too. While Defra ministers scatter weasel words like 'partnerships' around, what part of 'shared responsibility' does this administration not understand?
And how many 'surveys' will there be, one asks? As many as it takes to get the answer government wants to hear, one suspects.
(Survey published in full in Veterinary Record 24th. Feb. Authors R. Bennett and K.Willis. The study funded by Defra.
[No it wasn't, 'Defra' has no money. The long suffering taxpayer paid to support this 'beneficial crisis'- ed])