A mass cull of cattle, not badgers, is the only large-scale action that can end the scourge of tuberculosis in England’s livestock, according to new scientific research that represents a heavy blow to the government’s current policy.
The work is the first national-scale model of how the disease spreads and also found that more rigorous cattle testing and cattle vaccination would significantly curb the disease. But it concluded that the impact of the government’s favoured option of a widespread badger cull would fail to prevent the epidemic growing.
The research was published on Wednesday in Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, and is a heavy blow to environment secretary Owen Paterson and his ministers, who have resolutely backed the badger cull as an essential part of tackling the disease. The study was immediately rejected by farming minister George Eustice, who said a mass cull of cattle would kill the industry.
– from Tuberculosis threat requires mass cull of cattle, not badgers, study reveals, The Guardian
A classic example of knowing what to do, not wanting to do it, so doing something else instead that doesn’t really work. From the beginning, it’s looked as if they focus on the badgers to (a) appear to do something, and (b) chose an option that doesn’t upset the farmers too much. (I am not saying in I necessarily in favor of a mass cull of cattle, only that the badger option makes no sense at all.)