Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The BBC never Disappoints..

... when it comes to supporting or promoting badgers. And true to form,  it did not disappoint this week when Panorama showed half an hour of cattle (being shot), a badger (being shot) and interviewed the usual uniquely unqualified commentators on what is a matter of Public Health.

A huge missed opportunity from a very uneasy Nigel Gibbons, as the dear old Beeb did its usual trick of isolating this bacterium to badgers or cattle. No mention of Government's statutory duty to protect public health, and no mention of overspill into hundreds of companion mammals, pets and their owners.
No mention either of the word 'Tuberculosis', which many still think can be cured with an organic carrot and  paracetamol.

 But the light has finally shone for the organisers of this proposed shooting party, as NFU leader Peter Kendall (reported in the Farmers Guardian)  suggests in the programme that Natural England may have wanted the cull to fail. Surely not?

We discussed this when NE's many annexes, choc full of tank traps for the unwary, were published in August 2011. And again in this posting, which co-incidentally mentioned a FERA / NE 'mole' which could possibly blow the whole thing to smithereens. And sure enough, in this programme, he popped up from his burrow.

 Dr. Chris Cheeseman, ex boss of Central Science Laboratory's Woodchester Park 'badger heaven' appeared quite relaxed as he explained he'd shared information, presumably gleaned from his sett mates at FERA / NE, with those intent on stopping a perfectly lawful (if daft) activity. Of course the whole thing was designed to fail.

The farmer whose cattle were filmed through the monotonous ritual of 60 day testing, followed by the slaughter of those having had exposure to m.bovis , was a tremendous figurehead for the cattle industry. His raw emotion and frustration, just below the surface as good young cattle went to be shot  was accompanied by Team Badgers's crass shrug, and throw away remark that 'they'd have been slaughtered sooner or later anyway.' 

Finally, conspicuous by their absence were clips of what tuberculosis does to badgers. These remained on the cutting room floor, as Cuddles Pauline Kidner cuddled cuddles chirping baby badger, to assorted 'ooohs and aaaahs' from her paying customers.

Rattle those tins why don't you? - no one would give a single penny to keep this poor old badger going.

Tuberculous pleurisy in any mammal is not just deadly, this type of lesion is excruciatingly painful.

There were 14 badgers in this group, all of which were in the same emaciated state and with advanced tuberculosis. Infectious to any mammal, with every step or breath they took.

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