Saturday, March 23, 2013

A success story - but not for Team GB

We've mentioned the TB eradication situation in other parts of the world on many occasions, but closest to home - and arguably one of the most successful eradication processes - has been in that undertaken in the Republic of Ireland.

Farmers Guardian has the full story and you can catch up on past policies in one of our a previous postings which will update you on the Republic's TB history and the success of its eradication policy.

But the two main reasons for the success of the programme, were explained by a diminutive professor who was soooooo proud of the political steer which he accepted for that hugely expensive charade in England, known as the Badger Dispersal Trial Randomised Badger Culling Trial.

In evidence given to the EFRA Committee on 18th June 2007, Professor John Bourne patiently explained the difference between the Republic's attitude to badgers and that which he encouraged in the UK.

On trial protocol, so different from that followed in the Republic, he commented that the Irish:
"...have less welfare considerations than we were forced to give to the trapping that we carried out on the trial"
From that we assume he means that the Irish Wildlife teams cleverly reinvented snares as 'stop snares' or 'leg restraints' and together with shooting the 'snared' animal, actually caught some infected badgers. Whereas Bourne's TB takeaways   cage traps were subject to huge interference and sabotage. Our Parliamentary Questions assessed this as 69 percent of all traps set to October 2003.
Bourne continued his evidence:
"Very importantly, there was 100 per cent farmer co operation and we did not get that."
Why was that then? The Badgerists tell their followers that all farmers want to kill all badgers. Annihilate, eliminate, exterminate is the mantra. But Bourne says the opposite: "we did not get that [ cooperation]".
And we are told both by farmers and ex WLU teams that this was because those farmers who had 'clean' badgers did not want them disturbed. However they would have been more than happy to cooperate with the 'project' if it was targeting only diseased animals.

But arguably the most important obstacle, Professor Bourne helpfully pointed out:
"... is that there is no Badger Group in Ireland".
And there you have it dear readers. Farmer cooperation and no Badgerists.

And the result in the Republic of Ireland is a drop from 40,000 reactors to just 18,500 in 12 years, using reactive culling around an infected farm. The Republic has achieved 100 per cent farmer cooperation and no May Rants which owe more to political prejudice than control of a Grade 3 zoonosis.

With a 2012 total of 38,010 cattle slaughtered, GB has the third highest carcase tally on record. So well done Team GB.

Polite memo to Dr. May.
After we have given publicity to your latest rant, would you be so kind as to adjust your press release? You destroy your own credibility by so blatantly  scalping   Defra's TB statistics. And if you really can't add and subtract correctly, perhaps stick to star gazing asteroids:  preferably several million light years away, where errors of such magnitude can be safely and unquestioningly fudged.
You know it makes sense.

No comments: