Monday, September 29, 2008

Going up

We are not referring to nationally acquired toxic debt, although a whole new blog could be devoted to the last few years' obsessional pyramid selling of unsustainable credit to people who hadn't a cat in hell's chance of ever paying it back. With that, like the Emperor's new clothes and our own core subject, the propagators of the resulting chaos, actually believed their own guff.

So as GB's debt spirals, and politicians who last year encouraged its growth now attempt to use our money to control it, so does the incidence of bovine badger tuberculosis. And growth more than fulfills Defra's predictions of 20 per cent year on year increase - should they continue current non-policies - which they seem determined to do.

Published figures for the period January - June 2008, show a rise of 23.8 per cent in herds under TB restriction from the same period last year. Another part of the labyrinthine Defra website shows stats in a slightly different format and quotes the lower figure of 19 per cent as an increase in Confirmed herd incidents. This figure is likely to change as more culture results are collected. But the most expensive part of this carnage is cattle slaughterings, up a massive 44 per cent on last year. (20,191 in six months, compared with 13,978 a year ago)

South and West Wales are recording herds under TB restriction of 13 and 14 per cent respectively, while in the West region, Gloucestershire has 24 per cent of herds affected, Hereford / Worcs almost 23 per cent and Devon & Cornwall 18.8 per cent. each. (This compares with the same period in 2007 of 18.6 per cent for Glos. 16.4 per cent for Devon and just 12.7 per cent for Cornwall. England's West region recorded 12.9 per cent of its herds with movement restrictions Jan - June last year. That figure has risen to 16 per cent in 2008.

This is a spiralling pyramid of growth which those of us with cattle herds, do not wish to be part of. Shooting the messengers does not seem to be assisting Defra's control of the situation one bit. These appalling figures, just like the totally avoidable mountain of toxic debt which all taxpayers will have to fund, are going up.

( Note: Web links will change when later statistics are published)

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