Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Snipping the truth.

We have pointed out many times, this brazen and deliberate misquoting editing both of scientific papers and television programmes when it comes to badgers, or indeed the disease which they carry, Zoonotic tuberculosis.

In this week's Telegraph, countryman and writer Robin Page,  having spoken to contributors to a recent BBC 'show', wrote an extensive piece showing just how much celluloid attracts the BBC's editorial scissors, and what a biased view this can give.

He points out that a recent Countryfile programme show was edited to explain that the decline of hedgehogs was due to habitat depletion or passing Reliant Robins. There was no mention of predation by badgers. After contacting a main contributor to the programme, who confirmed that she mentioned the badger point several times, Robin Page concludes:
In my view, this is highly selective editing. I will leave it up to readers – is the badger omission simply a matter of “editorial discretion” or is it the Disneyfication of nature? [snip] In my view it is not objectivity; it seems to be little short of animal-rights propaganda. What is the BBC hierarchy going to do about this unacceptable situation?
We would guess, precisely nothing. A coughing badger is a very valuable asset to many, including or especially,  the British Broadcasting Corporation.

In another snippet from Robin's excellent and informative piece, he describes the arrival of 'bovine' zoonotic tuberculosis into a dairy herd in Dorset which has been 'closed' to cattle movement for decades.
Cattle on a closed dairy farm in Dorset – “closed” meaning that no cattle have moved on to the farm (it has been closed for 99 years) – have suddenly got TB. Since autumn, more than a third of the herd has been slaughtered. And the strain of TB? A virulent form usually found in Exmoor.

This almost certainly means that animal rights campaigners are trapping badgers in the Somerset cull area (illegal) and releasing them in Dorset (illegal) with no concern for the consequences. This also means that healthy Dorset badgers will get TB. It is an act of stupidity and cruelty, as bad as when those misguided hooligans released mink from mink farms into the general countryside several years ago.
We too have described the utter stupidity of allowing businesses to make a living out of translocating badgers 'rescued' from other areas. The risk of disease transmission both to other badgers or any mammal is huge.

But it appears that  the 'asset' value of a badger outstrips common sense. And thus far this loophole has not been closed; which is pretty damned insulting to those of us with cattle under restriction.

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