It was so short, that to save time fiddling around with the 'link fairy' we will cut / paste it in full.
Paice: Farmers forced to shoulder burden of more Government inaction
Commenting on the report, published by the Government today, into Bovine TB in cattle, Shadow Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice said:
"Once again the Government has left farmers with little reassurance that this problem will be resolved any time soon. Farmers have waited for 10 years for action, but still, after numerous reports and consultations, the Government is unable to commit to the package of measures which we have constantly advocated. The problem of Bovine TB will continue to escalate while the Government drag their feet and farmers will be forced to shoulder the burden of yet more Government inaction."
"The economic assessment of badger control appears to be entirely based on the cage system used in the trial which we already know was woefully inadequate."
"No-one wants to see large scale culling of badgers, which is why we have been pressing the Government for four years to carry out field trials of the PCR test. If successful, these tests would radically alter the form of a cull allowing only infected badger families to be culled.
"Sadly only now have ministers agreed to such research, which starts next month. Unless there is a significant reduction in incidence in the next year or two, which is unlikely, the whole issue will return and the last ten years will have been wasted."
Notes to Editors
The Conservative Party has consistently said that eradication of TB requires a package of measures, including greater efficiency in tracing and testing cattle, more widespread use of the gamma-interferon test, the urgent trialling of vaccines and the PCR test (to establish which setts are infected), and targeted culling to deal with the reservoir of infection in wildlife.
The PCR test would enable only infected badger families to be culled thus reducing the numbers making it more acceptable to the public and to reluctant landowners whilst significantly reducing the effects of perturbation.
Sir John Bourne, the auditor general at the National Audit Office, has himself said that Bovine TB will not be eliminated unless the effect of the infection in wildlife is addressed.
Now it may be politically incorrect to remind Mr. Paice that it was a Conservative administration which instigated the RBCT, together with cage trapping after their prolonged prevarication during the progressively sanitised 'Interim strategy'. Nevertheless we will remind him.
It may also not sit terribly well with the current Shadow Minister to remind him that it was his energetic predecessor who jacked PCR up the political agenda, visiting other countries to see it in action. And this may not be the place to remind Mr. Paice that actually the taxpayer has already funded highly successful trials on badger setts using PCR last year. The current proposals to which he refers, are a re-run - or maybe a 'validation'?
Until Ministers show that they are capable of joining the dots, and picking up portfolio information left by their predecessors, (in this case Owen Paterson's tranch of PQ's which form the basis of this site - and his work on PCR) then they are not a solution to the problem, they are the problem.
More than that, they are collecting payment as 'Her Majesty's Opposition' under a very flimsy label.