Can we believe anything Owen Paterson says?
OWEN PATERSON: “We will not have a dairy industry and the disease will have doubled in 10 years. it is absolutely shameful.”
Owen Paterson has also referred to the current situation of Bovine TB in cattle as an “epidemic” – “out of control”.
Let me show you something …
This is the report of Paterson’s own Government department. Is it possible that he hasn’t read it, or doesn’t understand it ?
https://consult.defra.gov.uk/farming/tb/supporting_documents/Draft%20%20Strategy.pdf Annex B, page 64
The number of tests that are done on British cattle are increasing, year by year. In a situation of constant infection, this ought to reveal more and more infected animals. So, to get a true idea of the progress of the disease, the DEFRA folks have divided the number of animals that ‘react’ to the skin test by the number of tests, to get the column we’ve outlined in red.
You can easily see that, relative to the high number in 2008, levels of TB are significantly DOWN right now. And that’s before the ‘pilot’ badger culls. So how can this Government minister be telling us that bTB is ‘out of control’, or an ‘epidemic’ ? Who, with the most basic understanding of statistics, would predict from these figures that levels of bTB will have DOUBLED in 10 years time ? One cannot say that Paterson is a stupid man. He has a college degree. So why is he, irresponsibly, misleading the British public ? Is it possible he simply doesn’t understand the work of his own department ?
Everybody knows that bTB is a serious problem for farmers. But the Government’s current policy is based on such flawed arguments that it is bound to fail the farmers. The University of Exeter’s new analysis published this week confirms beyond doubt what we have all known all along – those of us who bothered to study the evidence – that the badger cull will spread bovine TB faster than ever. This applies both to the ‘legalised’ slaughter that Paterson has instigated, and probably even more to the illegal gassing by farmers who decided to take the law into theor own hands. We must pity their neighbours whom they have recklessly put at increased risk of breakdowns.
The Government’s refusal to prioritise vaccination of wildlife AND vaccination of cattle represents a failure to act in the best interests of the farming community they claim to be serving. And for our wildlife, the other creatures who inhabit our countryside – a tragedy which will not be reversible.
We, dismissed as badger-hugging sentimentalists, are now offering vaccination at low cost to farmers who want the eradication of TB, and realise that vaccination is the only way to achieve this.
MESSAGE to FARMERS : Vaccination is humane to badgers, cows, and – yes – to farmers. Is it time to start listening to the badgerists? Because Paterson and the NFU have already failed to help you.
Wouldn’t it be strange if it turned out that the badger huggers were the ones with the right answers.
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