Describing his reaction to badgers and bovine tb, Trevor Lawson, excused the transmission from badgers to cattle in the following way:
"Cattle get killed anyway - that's what happens to them ultimately"
As the listener said, "he was sickened" to hear Trevor Lawson say this. Us too, and yes you are right, we are all reminded of the inaction and intransigence of the so-called 'animal rights' supporters, including agencies such as the RSPCA, during Defra's FMD culling spree. Their silence was deafening.
It is just not good enough to say cattle do not matter "because they will ultimately end up in an abattoir". Yesterday - Sunday afternoon I spent calving a cow whose presentation was a breech birth. With skill and a lot of care, both cow and calf are well. It does matter. Of course it does. But Lawson's words about the transmission opportunities of bTb are telling too. In answer to the point that the Badger Trust are only interested in badgers and no other species:
“Culling tends to make things worse – the more you cull badgers the more the disease spreads among badgers and that increases the negative feedback to cattle."
Now that dear readers, seems to us to say if we may paraphrase Trevor's words, that if you do a rotten job and disperse badger social groups, (just like John Bourne did?) then they not only infect each other but they infect cattle. "Increase negative feedback to cattle" the man said. Badger speak for giving them Tb then. Yes?
Trevor continues :
"But also lets remember two key things. First of all cattle get culled anyway - that’s what happens to them ultimately. Secondly badgers are a protected species as well and, if they’re getting the disease as a protected species from cattle then the onus is on us, particularly because people value badgers and they’re protected for a very good reason, the onus is on us as a society to focus on the key source of this disease and that is cattle.”
But Trevor, Trevor your little furry friends are not 'getting the disease from cattle': you said it yourself "they [not only] infect each other". For sure they do. And PQ's archived on this site provided us several ways in which this happens, without shaking and stirring the groups up. Transmission from sow to her cubs in the confines of the sett; transmission within the occupants of the group sett, as Tb survives for up to 2 years in dark, damp places : bite wounding and social 'grooming'. All transmission opportunities for badgers to infect other badgers. And you are comfortable with that? But then you do not see the results of these transmission opportunities do you?
And then there are the microbiologists at VLA, beavering (or should we say badgering?) away, clocking badger spoligotypes for 30 years. And guess what? They haven't budged. Not a bit. (That's the spoligotypes not the VLA people) And furthermore, the overlay of cattle Tb matches the spoligotypes in an area's indigenous badgers in up to 95 per cent. of cases. Now for sure, this isn't 'science', we didn't say it was. That's the ISG's domain. Lousy science with a moth eaten base, tortured through computer models, but 'science' non the less. These spoligotype data are a 'correlation', but one that we are very happy to live with.
The less savoury results of letting badgers infect themselves with a serious, debilitating zoonsis like Tb, while airbrushed out by those who say they 'love' badgers, are evident from the post mortem pics which we showed again in our
March posting .
It may suit the executives of the Badger Trust to assert that "badgers do not suffer from Tb", but that it not the reality of this disease's progression.