Thursday, July 07, 2011


This posting is an extension of the one below, in which we expressed our intense depression with the polarised comments following hyped up media headline grabs.

Many of these comments, after having the usual dig at cattle farmers, referred to the vaccination of badgers as an alternative to a hotspot cull.

If you remember, a tranche of vaccination papers were released in early November, with the ever predictable BBC offering the headline;
"In a four-year project, UK scientists found vaccination reduced the incidence of TB infection in wild badgers by 74%."
This is absolutely NOT what the papers showed, and no one from Defra stood tall enough to put the record straight immediately or publicly.

We added our take on the whole sorry debacle in this posting, after sight of an internal Defra memo in which they instructed;
"The data should not be used to make this claim."
Last week, Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for his Department of Evasion, Fables and Risible Arrogance, is reported as describing the press releases thus:
"... a research paper published by Defra suggesting a 74 per cent reduction in TB levels in badgers that had been vaccinated had been ‘seriously misreported and misunderstood’ and had ‘not helped’ the debate. "
This November 2010 release, as we said before, impeccably timed, has done a huge amount of damage - but that was intended. We have no illusions about the timing of these papers in the middle of a consultation on whether to cull badgers infected with TB, or the subsequent BBC press release, headlined round the world (even if it is now said to be "seriously misreported and misunderstood")
At the time it was eagerly supported with quotes from Cheeseman and MacDonald and swallowed hook, line and sinker by a gullible public and the Badger Trust.

The latest 'real' efficacy trail for BCG vaccination of badgers, even with a dose ten times normal, was done and published in 2010. We reported its findings here. And virologist Dr. Ruth Watkins explains the technical bits of BCG in an email to warmwell this week.

All the rest is pure mischief.

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