Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stats made clear

A contributer to the site has come across a little gem which we felt deserved a wider audience.

It is a well put together snapshot of wasted cash, wasted opportunity and political prevarication on a grand scale as shown by statistics gleaned from many and various government agencies, particularly over the last ten years.

Some good pictures of the effect of tuberculosis on the poor old badgers too.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant - bloody brilliant!

Peter Brady

Matthew said...

Yup, we thought so too.
Never underestimate the ability of a bureaucrat to waste your money.
Note that testing costs and other associated add-ons now way outstrip farmer 'compensation'. No matter how much gov'ment screw down that, the increase in numbers will gobble up any short term advantage.

Anonymous said...

Help please!

The graph at paragraph d headed 'Between 2000 and 2008 the proportion of TB infected herds in Devon increased from 4% to 25%.' shows approx. 22% herds restricted in Irish Republic 2008

Further down at para g headed 'Herd restrictions due to TB testing are over 5 times greater in Devon, England than they are in the Irish Republic' they state: "The number of herds which were under restriction in the Irish Republic at any time between January 2008 and 5th October 2008 is 4.4%."

Stats made clear? not for me

Matthew said...

Anon 12.39.

Both SW England and R of I lines on the graph are green with a small indent.
Could be confusing.

SW England in the author's referenced data capture shows 22% incidence, and R of I shows 5.5%.

Glad to see you're loking hard at the figures.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for alerting me to the confusing graph line colours.

Matthew said...

Anon 8.17
No problem.
Thank you for the extraordinary effort in putting this together.
November figures now posted. 8.8% incidence for GB, 35,955 cattle slaughterd. Are you going to roll forward your info with updates?

Another point on the big graph re policies over 1950s - 2004.
In the early 1980s gassing was replaced by cage trapping, and just after that, the land available to MAFF reduced from 7k down to 1km nd then 'only on land reactor cattle had grazed'.
And all that after they'd put an indvidual farm 'case' before the Badger panel - which only met quarterly.

Clean ring (early 1980s) was most successful, the Interim strategy was dumbed down to such an extent it was pretty ineffective. And that was followed by Bourne's (and £1million bung) 'moratorium' in 1997 which has yet to be challenged.

Anonymous said...

And Lord Zuckerman believed we had a problem with Badger TB in 1980 with the following MAFF stats extracted from his report:-

% Herds +ve to Tuberculin Test
3.4---0.7---South West

Once again enormous thanks to the author for this concise & succinct package

I was inspired immediately to go and muck out me coos to give me time to think about it! Excellent!

Peter Brady

Anonymous said...

Matthew: Thank you for this effort. My only mild quibble is that both of the papers are not quite citable. The first stats paper does not have author(s), date or journal; and the second does not have journal or date. Any chance of supplying these?

Matthew said...

Anon 8.31

Confused. Do you mean authors / provenance of the figures used in the linked paper from ?
If so, we've sent your request direct to the author. (There is a box for comments at the foot of the paper - below a list of references) The tables, as far as we can see, are compiled with information direct from the Defra website or from their stats division in York. Just put in a more readbale format.

Or do you mean something which we have mentioned, i.e sanitisation of policy 1982 - 1997?


Anonymous said...

Matthew. Sorry-o! What I meant was sufficient information for these papers to be cited at the end of, say, a summary paper something like:

Bloggs J., Smith J., Jones I.: Costs and incidence of Bovine TB (Mycobacterium bovis) in English dairy and beef herds, 1998 to 2008. Journal of Veterinary Epidemiology Vol.XXIV 2009.

Both of these papers are essential reading for those involved in the subject, so it would be nice if they are published in a peer reviewed journal; or at least, as many Defra papers are, accessible in terms of references. Certainly, as in the first, the author is not stated on the paper and this lacks credibility when confronted with the skewed arguments of the swivel-eyed-knuckles-being-dragged-along-the-ground brigade.

When I tried, I could not seem to get back to a home page of and so was additionally puzzled.

Many thanks,

David Eyles

Matthew said...

Anon 18.
The reference for the cost table is '19', listed at the end of the paper), which is a Defra paper.

"The above figures were sourced from DEFRA 19. As you can see, the cost of testing 8 now exceeds the compensation paid to farmers for slaughtered stock."

The graph which the author of clearstats has compiled is constructed from information gleaned by personal emails to Defra and the other countries which are cited.

And the same information was requested from Defra for the counties in SW area region.

Most of the rest are direct links to GVJ etc. and published papers. Defra statistics are no less useful for being just that - Defra statistics.