But listening to the tide of emotional claptrap - [link] coming from speakers at the recent Labour Party conference debate on zoonotic tuberculosis, one could be forgiven for thinking that the problem was farmers demanding game shooting for entertainment and not control of a Grade 3 zoonotic pathogen, only one level below the dreaded ebola.
Dairy farmer, Phil Latham and vet, Den Leonard gave facts and were heckled. (Click on right hand side tool bar of the above video stream link to hear that) But what really grates, is the absolute faith lodged by the three speakers who opposed culling badgers - for any reason whatsoever - in what they all referred to as 'the science'.
For those of you who have not listened to or read what the arch magician of this recent £50m charade known as a 'culling trial', please refresh your collective memories on what Professor John Bourne actually told the Efra Committee on June 18th 2007 about the basis of the RBCT.
We covered it in this post - [link] at the time, but will repeat again the corrupt basis of 'the science' which the three people opposing the motion, support: This of course is the 'political' science, bought and paid for, steered by the then Labour government, with the help of a few computer models and corrupt scientists in 1997.
Listen to what the arch magician, Prof. John Bourne, told the EFRA committee on June 18th. 2007 and weep:
"Let us go back to 1999 when we started our work. It was made very clear to us by ministers of the day - and they have not refuted it since - that elimination of badgers over large tracts of countryside was not an option for future policy"A horrified Geoffrey Cox, MP intervened "Is it not the function of science...
"It was on that basis that we designed the trial. We also had to take into account welfare considerations with respect to culling used, and limitations on culling with respect that cubs were not killed or died underground [ ] Those were clear political limitations that we operated under; I have no reason to believe that those political limitations have changed".Geoffrey Cox, MP then asked Bourne to clarify the report's findings and its conclusions in the light of his statement describing a political steer in what should have been a scientific exercise. Professor Bourne replied thus:
"We repeatedly say 'culling, as conducted in the trial.' It is important [that] we do say that. Those limitations were not imposed by ourselves. They were imposed by politicians."And it those same politicians, following their very own brand of 'science' who may be in charge again in 8 months time. So what's in store this time? Certainly not culling this 'iconic animal', so beloved by 'the public', many of whom Dominic Dyer confirmed have never seen a badger, but who are fired up on a wave of his misplaced and dangerous emotion to somehow 'save it'. Try telling that to the disease now endemic in it.
And on the basis of their own brand of 'political science', described above, Labour's politicians would scrap any notions of a cull of infectious badgers, and instigate more crack downs on cattle movements, and vaccination forays.
Cattle crackdowns - [link] have been tried before with predictably ignominious results - [link] but politicians of all hues are following Bourne's computer generated 'success' rate which relied on an assumed data input of 2 parts cattle to one part badger.
And the ad hoc vaccination of badgers, now in its 4th year, appears to be giving results the opposite of that which was expected, as this link - [link] shows.
So we will finish by adding a little mischief to this toxic mix of politics, political science and emotion by putting our own spin of some real science.
When Lesellier, Chambers and their pals postmortemed a few badgers in a previous vaccine trial to to see the effect of vaccine + TB - [link] these animals, the process gave one animal (D313) such a hammering that he developed tuberculosis in every labelled organ, and few which were not.
He was one of nine given the high dose vaccine now being used indiscriminately the field. Further investigations of his miserable carcase could find no reason for his violent and lethal reaction. Thus in percentage terms, D313 becomes 11 per cent of previously clean and pathologically healthy badgers, given a 10x strength BCG jab and rendered 'super excreters' during the process of vaccination and exposure to m.bovis. And he is airbrushed. Forgotten. Dead.
And that really is honouring the lie.