Sunday, August 02, 2015

Dear Sir / Madame....

We gave our opinion of the amount of personal bTB data now available courtesy of Defra, Oxford University and assorted 'consultees' (NFU) and published on the WorldWideWeb, in the posting below - [link]

We are also of the opinion that the consequences of publishing such sensitive data would be manna from heaven to the Badgerists. Sharing TB breakdown information with a neighbouring farm is sensible.
Anything else is just plain mischief.

 At no point when an APHA official obtains signatures to buy steal a reactor cow, following a TB breakdown, is there a box to explain that this individual farmer's data may now be shared with a third party. In fact up until last year, it was impossible to prise out of animal Health the location of any neighbouring breakdowns due to 'Data Protection' laws.

So when personal Data is shared without the consent of the person to whom it refers, and is used in such a way to cause harassment,  intimidation - or worse, is there anything that can be done?

The answer is yes.

 Initially, any complaint should be made to the person or organisation who has caused the alleged problem. And helpfully a 'how to make a complaint' template is shown on the Information Commissioners Office website. We post this in full below:
Dear [Sir or Madam / name of the person you have been in contact with]

Information Rights Concern [Your full name and address and any other details such as account (or holding) number to help identify you]

I am concerned that you have not handled my personal information properly. [Give details of your concern, explaining clearly and simply what has happened and, where appropriate, the effect it has had on you.]

I understand that before reporting my concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) I should give you the chance to deal with it. If, when I receive your response, I would still like to report my concern to the ICO, I will give them a copy of it to consider.

You can find guidance on your obligations under information rights legislation on the ICO’s website ( as well as information on their regulatory powers and the action they can take. Please send a full response within 28 calendar days. If you cannot respond within that timescale, please tell me when you will be able to respond.
If there is anything you would like to discuss, please contact me on the following number [telephone number].

Yours faithfully [Signature]
Another avenue of contact, if one wants to avoid this sort of harassment -[link -* may be broken] or this -[link] is the European Commission's site - [link] which deals with the 'Misuse of Personal Data'.

*The broken link on the BadgerKillers website had screen grab photographs of a farmer's buildings and farm, together with that of his neighbour.

Now to our cynical team, it is inconceivable that the consequences of putting this data up on the internet, was unforseen. And thanks to a joint effort by Defra and the NFU,  Camel Ebola, aka Jay Tiernan - [link] who the NFU are proud to have funded a High Court action against for harassment, intimidation and damage in the two cull areas, now has a high resolution, sat nav map to individual farms which have had a TB breakdown in the last 5 years.

Farmers Guardian have this week published a statement on Owen Paterson's - [link] time in office as Secretary of State. One paragraph stands out to us.

Speaking about the pilot culls, designed by Natural England  with their convoluted and costly protocols to be as unworkable as possible, Mr. Paterson remarked that the cull policy had been compromised all along.
“The antis placed so many obstacles to make it fail. I can’t tell looking back, whether they were inside Government or outside – or both,” he said.
Although Mr. Paterson has moved on, those 'obstacles' are still there, 'tuberculosis' being a name they never speak. But this latest bit of political chicanery, dressed as 'bio security' and delivered by a naive union,  is designed to arm their followers even more.

So to any cattle farmer unlucky enough to have become a victim of badger TB in the last 5 years (but not before) and who has not expressly given permission to the current Secretary of State via her agency, APHA to share details of a farm breakdown with the world in general, and Animal Rights activists in particular, to be picked over like vultures around carrion, maybe use the above template and make your feelings known?

Having successively removed the ability to control infectious badgers from farmers, taken licensing such an act 'in house',  and then refusing to take any action (even under license ) whatsoever, Defra have now made any cattle farmer unlucky enough, through no fault of their own, to suffer a TB breakdown, a sitting duck target for Animal Rights anarchists to shoot at and then chew over.

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