Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Conservation and Environment
Tavascarow

Government refuses to release badger cull report

Government refuses to release report into whether badger cull is a waste of money.
Quote:
The Government has blocked the release of a report into whether its badger cull is a waste of money.

The major analysis, held by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, is being kept from the public despite requests for its release under transparency rules.

The Badger Trust, an animal welfare charity, asked the department to disclose the Department’s cost benefit analysis of cull pilots undertaken in 2013 and 2014.
The analysis would show whether officials thought the policy was actually worth the money spent on it.

The Department however refused, arguing that it was “in the public interest” not to release the information to the public.

Badger Trust director Dominic Dyer told the Daily Mirror newspaper the report was being kept secret because its findings would likely undermine the Government’s policy.
dpack

methinks he has mistaken the public for the government,much like many examples of "in the national interest" really meaning in the interests of the gov and/or the elites who control them.

what ever it says we payed for it ,the cattle community deserve to know if culling works or does not work,badgers deserve to carry on doing badger stuff if culling does not work ,alternative measures to control tb need investigation etc etc etc

if it says snuffing badgers works it would be made public .

if it says it is very expensive ,often badly done ,underdone etc etc and has made no difference to infection rates or has made them higher etc etc etc only the people who insisted on it lose by that becoming public.

time for a leak .
Mistress Rose

It doesn't make much sense not publishing. If it says it works but is expensive, then it needs to be looked at to make it more effective. If it didn't work, as you say Dpack, the way infection occurs need to investigated.
jettejette

Not a surprise really! It's all been such a fiasco.
We had two (pet) cows who were shot when one of them reacted to the TB test. When the post mortem report arrived about three months later it said that no TB had been found! When I spoke to our vet about it, he said the results could be skewed by contact with birds with avian TB - not something that can be passed on but if there was some contact with the cow's exterior, it would react.
Ironically, we were in an area which had the first badger cull so there wasn't even a possibiity that they had been infected by badgers.
Since this time I have spoken to others who have had their animals shot, just to find out that there was no trace of TB. But presumeably because they had reacted, and the decision was made to kill them, they would still be incuded in the figures as though they were infected.Which means that reacting to the test is more widespread than the actual desease. No wonder they don't want to publish the resuts of the cull!
Rob R

It doesn't make much sense not publishing. If it says it works but is expensive, then it needs to be looked at to make it more effective. If it didn't work, as you say Dpack, the way infection occurs need to investigated.


The only reason I can think of not to publish it is to double bluff. By not publishing everyone is going to think it is bad anyway. I suspect we'll find out eventually.
Ty Gwyn

Considering one of the TB injections is Avian TB and the other Bovine,i`m not sure what your vet is getting at Jettejette,

But a very large number of cattle that have reacted to the second test have had clean results regarding TB,

I had a test on Tuesday ,returning to check tomorrow,clean herd for the nearly 29yrs i`ve been here,but worried this time,as 2 farms 2 mls down the valley have gone down with TB,one is in the valley bottom,all flat land,not really badger environment,the other is under a heavy wooded bank,and since they have started cutting the forestry down the badgers seem to be coming out in large numbers,the field above has been dug up badly by them,

Here ,i have not seen a badger on or near the farm for at least 15yrs,but they travel in a 3ml radius of their sett,that is the worrying fact,If they are infected.
Rob R


Here ,i have not seen a badger on or near the farm for at least 15yrs,but they travel in a 3ml radius of their sett,that is the worrying fact,If they are infected.


It's rare that I see them, could probably count my previous lifetime sightings on one hand but this year I've seen three. Lots of digging activity, too.
Mistress Rose

Badgers had a dig round our sawdust pile a few weeks ago. There are some grubs that seem to live in there, so suspect they were after them.

The bovine TB test doesn't seem to be very accurate. It seems that it would be better to develop another test rather than kill all the cows that react. As I have said before, I was a reactor to the BCG test, but that was nearly 50 years ago, and I haven't developed TB yet. Even at the time they knew that just showed antibodies, and didn't suggest actual disease, so why are cows different?
Ty Gwyn

Another clean test,thank goodness. dpack

Another clean test,thank goodness.

that is good news
Tavascarow

Another clean test,thank goodness. Excellent. Rob R

Very Happy Mistress Rose

Good news. Hope it keeps up. Tavascarow

Badgers, TB and intensive farming dpack

much like human tb being mostly a disease of overcrowding and cities.

it does indicate that the best way or reducing it might not be snuffing badgers but could be more use of more extensive systems and good stewardship.
Rob R

much like human tb being mostly a disease of overcrowding and cities.

it does indicate that the best way or reducing it might not be snuffing badgers but could be more use of more extensive systems and good stewardship.

Apart from wetlands...

But where on Earth they found the control for silage feeding I don't know. I don't know anyone exclusively hay feeding these days.
Mistress Rose

I can't think what the link with wetlands is either Rob, unless the bacteria can live in wet areas for longer than dry. Badgers do like woodland areas for setts, so I suppose that is one reason that woodland could increase the risk. I suppose that given a choice they also use hedgelines to get around, so it keeps them out of most of the field.

Suspect most of it is to do with more intensive farming practices though.
dpack

moist air is better for aerosol transmission of the bacterium hence epidemic hot spots such as damp slums(19th c howarth etc etc ).

titus salt built dry,airy workers housing and had a low tb rate among his workers
Tavascarow

moist air is better for aerosol transmission of the bacterium hence epidemic hot spots such as damp slums(19th c howarth etc etc ).

titus salt built dry,airy workers housing and had a low tb rate among his workers It's very often the subsidiary facts that effect the most.
I'd always assumed dairy herds where more susceptible because of too small a genetic base, & breeding cows with unnaturally high lactations, inducing stress.
I still think those things play their part but something as simple as more maize silage fed means more badgers I hadn't thought.
Mistress Rose

You are probably right Dpack, but I thought Saltaire was built because of an outbreak of some throat disease, possibly called diphtheria these days.

Cattle do better on damper ground though don't they as the grass is more lush and they like longer grass. The general rule round here seemed to be cattle in the valleys and sheep on the hills. Suppose if you have fewer cattle there is less of a problem.
dpack

iirc diptheria was the spur but the benefits were broad in health /wellbeing/docility and of course profits as he wasnt constantly replacing trained workers with newbies. Mistress Rose

True, but at least the workers got good housing, even in they were denied pubs. Bournville is another similar development and I think there are a few others. They have survived quite well, and having seen part of Bournville, they still seem quite pleasant places to live. Tavascarow

Anecdotal evidence of selenium deficiency increasing BTB outbreaks.
Quote:
In essence the article tells the story of a farmer in the Cotswolds who noticed that after he started growing maize on his farm he started to have TB breakdowns in his herd which he had never had before. He also knew that if you feed cattle with maize you also have to provide supplementary nutrients specifically selenium. He wondered whether the badgers who were also eating the maize had a selenium deficiency too and this in some way this was linked to the transmission of TB on his farm. As a result he started to put out selenium in the fields in small blocks of molasses which the badgers then ate and ….. yes the incidence of TB in his cattle dropped substantially. OK – its all very anecdotal but maybe there is a link between mineral deficiency in badgers and cattle which plays a part in the transmission of TB.

Several things spring to mind, firstly this piece was written 8 years ago, secondly as far as I know DEFRA haven’t followed it up and thirdly if I was a diary farmer and had TB problems I would want to give it a go to see if it made a difference.
Mistress Rose

I would agree that sort of thing is worth exploring, although nothing seems to have been done about it. There are also other avenues that haven't been explored, like the link with the increase in deer numbers among others. There seem to be too many people that think badgers should be completely sacrosanct or that they are the only cause of TB to get any balanced investigation.

TB in cattle is too important not to use full scientific investigation, and devastating to the farmers, as well as being expensive for everyone.
Tavascarow

More anecdotal evidence on Selenium.
Quote:
Following on from yesterday’s blog on organic farmer Dick Roper’s experiences of TB, badgers, selenium and maize I have been investigating the situation further. I have a friend Elliot Haines who is 5th year medical student at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter and we have been discussing tuberculosis (TB). He has found some interesting papers regarding human health, TB and selenium.

For example a paper states that people with TB have lower selenium levels compared to those who don’t have TB – see here. This paper suggests that people with TB (and HIV) who have been given vitamins and selenium show improvements in their health. Another paper also reports an improvement in patient’s health who are suffering from TB when they are prescribed selenium – see here. Selenium levels is clearly playing a role in human health and TB.

Interestingly the Farmer’s Weekly and farming academics have published articles stating that many areas in the UK are selenium deficient and that this is an issue for agriculture and human health. –
Mistress Rose

As I don't think selenium is a difficult mineral to add, it might be worth while doing some controlled testing by the sounds of things. Tavascarow

A new nature blog: Badger-Cull Roll-Out and Charity Gagging show Government is living in its own Bubble
Quote:
Killing badgers is very, very expensive. Just policing the cull in an area of Dorset last year cost £694000 for 756 badgers – that’s an eye watering £918 per dead badger. Total costs during the Somerset/Gloucestershire pilots were £6775 per badger killed.

Compare this with the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s budget of £278000 a year – a Unit which is under threat of its own cull by Defra.
dpack

early reports indicate that tb positives have gone up in some cull areas if this is true

which might explain the gov reluctance to publish their data.

a grand or more a badger to make things worse isnt something anyone wants to try to explain .

there is a tb problem and it does need sorting but it needs sorting effectively .

in some places there are too many badgers which also needs sorting.

the two are not necessarily parts of the same problem.
Mistress Rose

Think you have hit the nail on the head there Dpack.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Conservation and Environment
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home