.. turn out the lights. Further to our posting on the recently published work from York, and the flying teddies response from the Badger Trust, we read in the Western Morning News, Anthony Gibson's take on the paper.
Mr. Gibson is a former SW director of the NFU, and now a freelance agricultural journalist. The article has many good points - until he follows the line of the scientists who did this research which showed that 'boss' cows had more contact with badgers than those further down the pecking order. In order to use this seismic (to scientists, if not to cattle farmers) snip, the scientists, and to a certain degree, Anthony, have both tried to shoehorn this to a practical herd situation.
Their thoughts were along the lines of 'identify, separate and test the boss cows more frequently', and even segregate them in a (hermetically sealed?)building.
And what then?
As we have said, in any group of animals (or people for that matter), there is a leader. And if that leader is removed, then jockeying up the scale will be another one to take its place.. And another.
The boss calls it 'cognitive dissonance'. Which means that even if a policy of shooting the messenger doesn't work, by dispassionately carrying on regardless, sooner or later the problem is solved because all the messengers are dead.
We see a certain parallel here.