I have decided to publish someone else’s words on my Soapbox today – not my usual course of action.
I don’t know who “oldlongdog” is, but his reply – his comments – on a particularly stupid article in the Spectator, are perfectly expressed.
Why is there one rule for badgers, and another for mosquitoes?
11 February 2016 – Camilla Swift
Well, the article is ridiculous, rather than stupid, because, as this commentator notes so adeptly, the whole purpose of the article, thinly disguised, is to demonise badgers, in an attempt to justify the NFU’s completely ineffective and unjustifiable badger cull.
But let me leave it to oldlongdog. He says it better than I. Right on the nail.
oldlongdog • 10 hours ago
What a fatuous article. The original piece in the observer was intended as a lighthearted rant against the inconvenience of mosquitoes not a serious scientific position. How typical that the Spectator then publishes this piece of blatant pro-NFU/CA/tory propaganda masquerading as a ‘justification’ for killing yet more badgers against a mass of scientific research (and farm-level data) that says it won’t and never has made a blind bit of difference to levels of TB in cattle.
The fact is, it would be impossible to entirely eradicate mosquitoes as it would be for badgers. Neither scheme would be either ethical or beneficial. We live in a modern world of science and rationality where complex epidemiological problems are solved on a broad front using testing, movement controls and vaccination not the mediaeval slaughter we are currently witnessing both for cattle and badgers.
The government and their right wing extremist Press are being utterly irresponsible in promoting so many myths about cattle TB and badgers. TB in cattle has been declining for five straight years in a row with the greatest reduction in Wales where no badgers have been culled. No cattle or badgers are ‘suffering terrible, slow deaths’ from TB. Cattle are slaughtered as soon as the disease is detected which is often before it has really taken hold or, worse still, after it has become naturally immune to TB following contact with the disease.
Contrary to persistent disinformation there are three countries in the world that have tackled TB without killing wildlife and badgers in particular. Wales, the UK (in the 1950s/60s) and more recently Holland, which is currently applying for TB free status at the EU. Improved cattle testing, movement controls and a proper system of risk-based trading is all that is required to eradicate TB in cattle. it takes time but it can and has been done without this depraved mass killing of wildlife that we have seen in this and other countries.
I can’t say much about it yet, but we’re far from idle as regards the fight against TB, at Save-Me. And this week we have an amazing consolidation meeting as Team Badger, with all the animal comings more united than ever against the idiocy of the badger blame game. I’m more optimistic than I’ve been for a long time this week, having spent time with people who are sincerely engaged in the battle, as opposed to making a noise about it, blaming badgers, and getting nowhere ! And making plans. This horrible plague will only be defeated by those with open minds.
HOW TO DENIGRATE AD DEVALUE BADGERS. AND HUMANS
Just one thing to add to the comment on this squalid piece of journalism in the Spectator (the editor of which should be deeply ashamed).
How short is the step between comparing badgers with mosquitoes, to comparing human refugees with cockroaches ? Now we begin to understand the mentality. Don’t be taken in, folks. There are bad people about. And a lot of them are writing in British newspapers. Some of them are in Government.
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