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Thread: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

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    Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Governance of strategy for controlling TB is critically important and is very rarely discussed. Unfortunately, badger culling is unpopular with the general public, and as years go by, opposition to it appears to be growing. This is why elected politicians in fear of losing votes tend to favour alternatives. Sadly for TB, government ministers currently set strategy because they are rightly responsible for how money in the public purse is spent.

    The AHVLA and universties can only work in areas which are funded and the bulk of these funds come from the public purse via ministers. An illustration of the impact of this process is shown below. See the statement highlighted in red made by Chief Vet Dr Christianne Glossop in conjunction with the u-turn performed by the government minister Alun Davies shown on the right.



    As such, although TB is a zoonotic pathogen, the AHVLA and universities are not going to do anything different to what they have been doing since the 70's/80's when I suspect research into practical ways of controlling TB in the UK started to lose focus. The only way these institutions are going to regain focus is if dogs, cats and humans start going down with the disease in numbers. As yet there is no indication that this is happening or ever will. In view of this, I think steps should be taken to take control of strategy out of the hands of ministers. The only way to do this is for the farmer industry as a whole to look at ways of going it alone in certain areas so that the role played by ministers are sidelined in these areas.

    One such area is the culling of badgers. A considerable amount of work is needed to develop technology needed to cull badgers both humanely and effectively before wide area roll out may be contemplated. Time to achieve this is likely to require several years. This is one area which has been and is currently receiving very little attention.


    Essentially if farmers are not prepared to pay and drive the program, there will be very little effort put into work in areas where progress is most needed.

    Are UK farmers going to be eternally snookered by fighting TB in small isolated groups or are they going to start organising themselves as farmers have done in New Zealand to achieve results needed to start turning things around?

    Has anyone any views on this?
    Last edited by ssimples; 09-06-14 at 02:02 PM.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    "Has anyone any views on this? "

    Yes. Let us get on with it ourselves.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by wr. View Post
    "Has anyone any views on this? "

    Yes. Let us get on with it ourselves.
    ..

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    This is already happening to a certain extent so how will this change anything?
    I agree with wr. But unfortunately, any success will be attributed to better cattle measures and bio-garbage. So we must have more of the same.
    All the world and his dog appear to have a view on zTB, but it mainly affects cattle farmers, and to a lesser extent alpaca, sheep, goat and pig enterprises. Pets and companion mammals are also involved, but to a lesser degree. (at the moment)

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    I agree with wr. But unfortunately, any success will be attributed to better cattle measures and bio-garbage. So we must have more of the same.
    All the world and his dog appear to have a view on zTB, but it mainly affects cattle farmers, and to a lesser extent alpaca, sheep, goat and pig enterprises. Pets and companion mammals are also involved, but to a lesser degree. (at the moment)
    Absolutely NO to funding zTB control by a levy system and then bringing in hoardes of non-practical personnel to undertake the control at inflated cost.

    The need is to issue licenses to livestock keepers in affected areas and the surrounding areas and let them organize the "control" methods themselves for an initial 15 year period.

    Details of the "controls" undertaken to be analyzed very 5 years (not sooner) by the current crop of experts and the findings be sent to government purely as a record.
    There are more engines killed through lack of water than through lack of oil

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by Courier View Post
    Absolutely NO to funding zTB control by a levy system and then bringing in hoardes of non-practical personnel to undertake the control at inflated cost.

    The need is to issue licenses to livestock keepers in affected areas and the surrounding areas and let them organize the "control" methods themselves for an initial 15 year period.

    Details of the "controls" undertaken to be analyzed very 5 years (not sooner) by the current crop of experts and the findings be sent to government purely as a record.
    Apparently the only country to have in place a levy with an independent board is NZ where the program is world leading. The manager of the NZ program is Dr Paul Livingstone and he gives some details of their set up in the following link.

    http://www.bovinetb.info/docs/why-is...-bovine-tb.pdf

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by wr. View Post
    "Has anyone any views on this? "

    Yes. Let us get on with it ourselves.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27433830

    A Freedom of Information request has shown tests using carbon monoxide have been taking place since last summer.

    The only way IMO.
    Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by skoda View Post
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27433830

    A Freedom of Information request has shown tests using carbon monoxide have been taking place since last summer.

    The only way IMO.
    Not before time. However a minister is very unlikely to sanction the gassing of real live badgers unless there are significant breakthroughs in getting gas to reach blind ends in complex tunnel systems. The chances of reaching this stage in various real setts, a minister giving the go-ahead to implement it in trials on real badgers, and then finally to implement it as a culling policy seem very poor to me.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    I agree with wr. But unfortunately, any success will be attributed to better cattle measures and bio-garbage. So we must have more of the same.
    All the world and his dog appear to have a view on zTB, but it mainly affects cattle farmers, and to a lesser extent alpaca, sheep, goat and pig enterprises. Pets and companion mammals are also involved, but to a lesser degree. (at the moment)
    Many farmers understandably feel uncomfortable doing something which in practice is very challenging to do thoroughly without having to repeat the operation. Treatment locations are often in full view of neighbours or accessible to the public. In my view even if we did have more of the same, the nature of the task, the challenges involved, and limitations posed by circumstances mean that these operations will never reach a stage of reversing the current spread across the country.
    Last edited by ssimples; 01-06-14 at 07:59 AM.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Aren't we already partly funding TB control in the shape of pre-movement tests & the like?

    It doesn't matter who funds it, not much will happen until public opinion changes. We need to win the propaganda war against the badger lovers.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheeplad View Post
    Aren't we already partly funding TB control in the shape of pre-movement tests & the like?

    It doesn't matter who funds it, not much will happen until public opinion changes. We need to win the propaganda war against the badger lovers.
    It DOES matter who funds it!

    If TB control through the culling of badgers is legal (it is through Section 10.2 see below) and money out of the public purse is not being spent then there is neither a need to change legislation nor a need to change public opinion because none of their money is being spent.

    [START OF EXTRACT]
    The Department is responsible for issuing licences under two separate sub-sections 10(2) of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 which permit badgers to be killed. These are:

    (a) for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease, to kill or take badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett, within an area specified in the licence by any means so specified, and

    (b) for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property, to kill or take badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett, within an area specified in the licence by any means so specified.

    It is current policy not to issue any licences under sub-section 10(2)(a) to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis, except for animals held in captivity.
    [END OF EXTRACT]

    www.bovinetb.info/docs/policy-on-issuing-of-licences-to-kill-badgers.pdf

    The only reason to win the propaganda war would be if measures were being put in place which principally uses funds from the public purse. If for example none of this money is being spent, farmers would free themselves from strategy set by ministers who are responsible for how public money is spent. Farmers in NZ realized this and perhaps more farmers need to realize this in the UK too.

    Obviously possums to New Zealanders are largely regarded as an introduced pest rather than a much loved native animal as are badgers in the UK. However I think this gives more reason for farmers to take control of the situation to reduce TB in both badgers and cattle.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote from above post, "It is current policy not to issue any licences (to kill badgers) under sub-section 10(2)(a)".

    And who makes that policy?

    In my innocence, I used to believe it was politicians who made the laws in this country. At least, that's what they keep telling us. But then you can't believe much that politicians say these days. If there is provision for licences to be issued, I would have thought that politicians had included that because they expected licences to be issued and only refused if there were good reasons, otherwise why include it? The tail wagging the dog?

    This country is no longer a democracy but a totalitarian state ruled by the little grey men in Whitehall, Edinburgh, and Brussels who make it up as they go along and keep moving the goal posts when it suits them.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    In his article in today's Western Daily Press Derek Mead has stated his intention to apply for a licence from Natural England to identify and cull infected Badger setts.
    This will likely be a test case and I can see it going all the way to Judicial review.
    Fortunately Mr Mead has the resources and strength of will to pursue this as far as necessary. We can but hope his efforts free up the bureaucracy so that any infected badgers can be removed by landowners affected.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by topground View Post
    In his article in today's Western Daily Press Derek Mead has stated his intention to apply for a licence from Natural England to identify and cull infected Badger setts.
    This will likely be a test case and I can see it going all the way to Judicial review.
    Fortunately Mr Mead has the resources and strength of will to pursue this as far as necessary. We can but hope his efforts free up the bureaucracy so that any infected badgers can be removed by landowners affected.
    Even if the politics are put to one side, I think there are big unresolved technical challenges associated with culling infected badger setts as outlined in the link below.

    www.bovinetb.info/targeted-gassing.php

    The problem with fighting the current ministerial-led system is that compromises will need to be made in order to reach implementation. The system needs to change to allow a solution with best prospects to be initially tried and then developed. Badgers are resilient and to cull badgers to meet the several criteria involved will present a number of challenges.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Even if the politics are put to one side, I think there are big unresolved technical challenges associated with culling infected badger setts as outlined in the link below.

    www.bovinetb.info/targeted-gassing.php

    The problem with fighting the current ministerial-led system is that compromises will need to be made in order to reach implementation. The system needs to change to allow a solution with best prospects to be initially tried and then developed. Badgers are resilient and to cull badgers to meet the several criteria involved will present a number of challenges.


    NOT culling badgers when they are spreading a Grade 3 zoonotic pathogen around our cattle, and now upspilling disease into many other mammals, their owners and vets, has far more challenges. And cost.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Even if the politics are put to one side, I think there are big unresolved technical challenges associated with culling infected badger setts as outlined in the link below.

    www.bovinetb.info/targeted-gassing.php

    The problem with fighting the current ministerial-led system is that compromises will need to be made in order to reach implementation. The system needs to change to allow a solution with best prospects to be initially tried and then developed. Badgers are resilient and to cull badgers to meet the several criteria involved will present a number of challenges.
    Ths sounds as though it could have been written by Sir Humphrey!
    it is the Civil Service in the form of Natural England that have to be challenged and beaten. The system they have put in place is designed to put off anyone who wants to deal with infected Badgers.
    Have you read the information about applying for licences on the Natural England website? Designed to deter ordinary mortals from applying. I suspect Mr Mead might employ some legal types to unravel the puzzle before he applies.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by topground View Post
    Ths sounds as though it could have been written by Sir Humphrey!
    it is the Civil Service in the form of Natural England that have to be challenged and beaten. The system they have put in place is designed to put off anyone who wants to deal with infected Badgers.
    Have you read the information about applying for licences on the Natural England website? Designed to deter ordinary mortals from applying. I suspect Mr Mead might employ some legal types to unravel the puzzle before he applies.
    Using current technology will neither identify all infected setts nor kill all the inhabitants in each targeted sett. The impact of these shortcomings will be exaggerated when applied to small treatment areas where disease levels are high. The impact of perturbation may not be as bad as concluded in the badger dispersal trial known as the RBCT. However if perturbation is significant, removing badgers sett by sett or even group by group risks giving disappointing results. The drop in herd incidences in the South West where gassing operations were confined in the 70's was no better than the drop in herd incidences in the rest of England and Wales. Although the picture is not clear cut as this (as explained in the link I gave above), this implies that the fire brigade operations which were applied over 7 sq km around each badger-induced outbreak had insignificant impact. The only operation for which evidence was strong for a substantial benefit was the operation carried out over 104 sq km at Thornbury. Both localization and higher disease levels will exacerbate any failings in the methods used.

    My view is that it would be far better to initially test an approach which has the best prospects of working, establish that it works and then adapt it for implementation by seeing if any of the conditions can be relaxed. This avoids the risk of going 10 years down the line only to discover that what has been implemented has not actually worked.
    Last edited by ssimples; 01-06-14 at 07:40 AM.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    My view is that it would be far better to initially test an approach which has the best prospects of working, establish that it works and then adapt it for implementation by seeing if any of the conditions can be relaxed. Each stage can by applied more widely so that not only the method may be improved but benefit in the treatment areas will be experienced. This avoids the risk of going 10 years down the line only to discover that what has been implemented has not actually worked.
    Work done privately by farmers who are also part of Derek Mead's 'Badger Welfare Association' has shown that bovine TB levels in cattle on those farms had been reduced by 94% in Two years. Surely the place to start would be to replicate the results we already know can be achieved.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtrixMan View Post
    Work done privately by farmers who are also part of Derek Mead's 'Badger Welfare Association' has shown that bovine TB levels in cattle on those farms had been reduced by 94% in Two years. Surely the place to start would be to replicate the results we already know can be achieved.
    Even at country level with thousands of farms involved TB in two years can dramatically change for no apparent reason. For instance between 2006 and 2008 % of reactor cattle in Wales more than doubled. Also TB levels in Gwent halved between 2008 and 2010 whereas levels in neighbouring Powys remained the same. When a much smaller number of farms are involved a substantial number of years need to elapse before an effect can be attributed to a cause. In view of this I am not sure how to interpret what you describe.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Even at country level with thousands of farms involved TB in two years can dramatically change for no apparent reason. For instance between 2006 and 2008 % of reactor cattle in Wales more than doubled.
    Was this when Wales went to annual testing for all herds? We 'find' instances of zTB Because we (AHVLA) look for it by testing some groups of mammals. Conversely 'we' [AHVLA] want to ignore it in other groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Also TB levels in Gwent halved between 2008 and 2010 whereas levels in neighbouring Powys remained the same.
    Other ecological effects can promote latent zTB in pipelines to full blown infectious status. These include construction work across territorial areas. Pipelines etc. or as in 2001, the removal of the prime driver of grazing ground, resident cattle and sheep and a change in cropping. The weather too can encourage big movements of badgers, e.g widespread flooding or drought. Not enough info to make a point.


    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    When a much smaller number of farms are involved a substantial number of years need to elapse before an effect can be attributed to a cause. In view of this I am not sure how to interpret what you describe.
    The work at Thornbury concluded that 'no other contemporaneous event occurred, that could account for the drop in cattle TB except the through removal of badgers'. No bio garbage, no preMT, large sticks and smaller carrots.

    Conclusion: Top down civil service mentality bullying doesn't work with a bacterium like zTB. Farmers are angry, and that isn't good. Gov'ment need co operation to operate any strategy, even though with this disease, they'd rather it went away quietly.

    As has been pointed out, the moratorium on the Protection of Badgers Act, (Section 10 (2) a) introduced in 1997 and still in place, is a block which N.England have no intention of 'helping' anyone to remove. The next opportunity to claw that part of the Act from this quango is 2016. It was missed in 2011 - despite advance warnings. (The Act was leased to NE in 2006 for 20 years with 5 year breaks)
    Carbon Monoxide afaik, has no license for efficacy as a euthanasia product.
    Carbon Dioxide does and is widely used to euthanise many classes of animals. Cruder forms of well used anaesthetics are similarly licensed. Whatever is thought to work, must, in sub lethal doses, not maim the target.

    I'm quite comfortable using the information and maps already collected by AHVLA when a breakdown in cattle, sheep, alpacas occurs to identify problem areas of the land and its co-occupiers. Any hang up on badger control seems to be identifying infected setts, and there is far more info collected on that, then is used at present.

    Agree response must be fast and local, and involve as many farms as are affected in a given area.

    Also agree - no levies, extra costs or penalties unless the above is in place simultaneously. Been shafted before in 2005/6 and 2011. Shame on you AHVLA.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    In reply to Matthew's query

    "Was this when Wales went to annual testing for all herds?"

    the following graph suggests that the doubling in % reactors in Wales from 2006 to 2008 was not primarily due to the introduction of annual testing for all herds since the big increase in testing occurred in 2009 and then flattenned off. However VETNET data may not be 100% reliable and testing peaks in Jan/Feb and this may introduce some skew.



    Regarding your comment about being shafted by AHVLA in 2005/6 and 2011 this is precisely why farmers should seriously look at taking control away from ministers who control AHVLA in terms of their funding. Farmers would then not be subject to the whims of ministers on account of their responsibility for how money in the public purse is spent and TB control strategy would be less subject to change when elections occur.

    I am not proposing the UK follows suit in everything New Zealand does, such as in the following example, but in New Zealand farmers pay a levy and sums raised in this way pay for TB testing and compensation for reactors. In fact the government does not provide any funds for testing or compensation.

    New Zealand are currently world leading in TB control and Dr Paul Livingstone who manages their program said the following in 2009

    [START OF EXTRACT]
    UK farmers don't appear to want to be involved - especially don't want to pay. Once farmers accept that they should pay, then they can start having a say in the form of the programme. From the New Zealand experience, it wasn't until farmers started paying and taking responsibility for the programme that it started making progress.
    [END OF EXTRACT]

    I should point out that I am not a farmer so perhaps I would feel different if I was but some comments in this post suggest that there may be many farmers in the UK who do not see a need to contribute to an effort to control TB on a national level. Although TB is a zoonotic pathogen, AHVLA are not going to do anything different to what they have been doing since the 70's/80's (when they gave up) until dogs, cats and humans start going down with the disease in numbers. As yet there is no indication that this is happening or ever will. In view of this, I think steps should be taken to take control of strategy out of the hands of ministers who control AHVLA's funding. The only way to do this is for the farmer industry as a whole to look at ways of going it alone in certain areas so that AHVLA are sidelined in these areas.
    Last edited by ssimples; 01-06-14 at 08:42 PM.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Originally Posted by AtrixMan
    Work done privately by farmers who are also part of Derek Mead's 'Badger Welfare Association' has shown that bovine TB levels in cattle on those farms had been reduced by 94% in Two years. Surely the place to start would be to replicate the results we already know can be achieved.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Even at country level with thousands of farms involved TB in two years can dramatically change for no apparent reason. For instance between 2006 and 2008 % of reactor cattle in Wales more than doubled. Also TB levels in Gwent halved between 2008 and 2010 whereas levels in neighbouring Powys remained the same. When a much smaller number of farms are involved a substantial number of years need to elapse before an effect can be attributed to a cause. In view of this I am not sure how to interpret what you describe.
    Some of these farms were continually under restriction for 7 or 8 years beforehand and have now been continually clear ever since. When something looks like a dog, acts like a dog and BARKS like a dog, then we should accept that is, what it is..!!!!

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtrixMan View Post
    Originally Posted by AtrixMan
    Work done privately by farmers who are also part of Derek Mead's 'Badger Welfare Association' has shown that bovine TB levels in cattle on those farms had been reduced by 94% in Two years. Surely the place to start would be to replicate the results we already know can be achieved.

    Some of these farms were continually under restriction for 7 or 8 years beforehand and have now been continually clear ever since. When something looks like a dog, acts like a dog and BARKS like a dog, then we should accept that is, what it is..!!!!
    What you have said does add to the evidence. Have you been given access to the TB histories and current situations of herds which neighbour these particular herds? It is a shame you cannot show your results in a detailed report which shows the data in the form of tables and maps.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    What you have said does add to the evidence. Have you been given access to the TB histories and current situations of herds which neighbour these particular herds? It is a shame you cannot show your results in a detailed report which shows the data in the form of tables and maps.
    I agree with that.
    Validation or 'science' becomes accepted when results are repeated. So until these farmers who are 'managing' their populations submit that data, and it is shown to be replicated time after time, we are fighting a losing battle on theory alone. Names and locations can be omitted, but cattle testing history and past/ present badger populations cannot.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtrixMan View Post
    Originally Posted by AtrixMan
    Work done privately by farmers who are also part of Derek Mead's 'Badger Welfare Association' has shown that bovine TB levels in cattle on those farms had been reduced by 94% in Two years. Surely the place to start would be to replicate the results we already know can be achieved.

    Some of these farms were continually under restriction for 7 or 8 years beforehand and have now been continually clear ever since. When something looks like a dog, acts like a dog and BARKS like a dog, then we should accept that is, what it is..!!!!
    In my last comment I should have asked how many of these restricted farms were closed during the complete study period and to what extent were these farms closed? Specifically, how many farms suffered these persistent and continual breakdowns and, of these, how many used artificial insemination throughout and never allowed stock to come into contact with stock from other farms? These are examples of important details which critics would search for if you were able to present your case in a report.
    Last edited by ssimples; 02-06-14 at 01:26 PM.

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    Even if the politics are put to one side, I think there are big unresolved technical challenges associated with culling infected badger setts as outlined in the link below.

    www.bovinetb.info/targeted-gassing.php

    The problem with fighting the current ministerial-led system is that compromises will need to be made in order to reach implementation. The system needs to change to allow a solution with best prospects to be initially tried and then developed. Badgers are resilient and to cull badgers to meet the several criteria involved will present a number of challenges.
    Are you a vet Ssimples by any chance??...

    In answer should farmers pay for TB control... then the answer is NO... all you will end up with is another quango where the industry will be forced to pay for it thru levys ( which we cant afford/ justify ) which will achieve nothing as the Government of the day will still hold the right to the final say about what can/ cannot be done not forgetting the issue of any legal challenges in the courts by the pro badger lobby... whole thing is unworkable...

    TB is costing me ££ssss a year already, im sure as hell not paying anything more thru a levy... take the badger cull's, what was the average cost to kill one badger?? £1400 odd... complete nonsense and should never be costing that much for one badger!!

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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    I am not sure why you are asking if I am a vet but in answer to the question the answer is "No".

    Whether the government of the day will still hold the right to the final say will depend on whether or not farmers do things independent of the government and infringe on what the government is responsible for doing. The government's No 1 priority is to win the general election every 5 years. The No 1 priority for farmers who have suffered TB or are about to suffer TB in the foreseeable future is to control TB. These are 2 very different priorities and is why there has been no progress in controlling TB where it matters most. Farmers need to take control of the situation. In view of how TB is spreading across the country in England and the cattle dense areas which lie in some of these Low Risk Areas which are being approached, things need to be put in place now.

    In my view the most constructive thing to do to would be to look at New Zealand's management structure and to use that insight to see what set up would be best for the UK's circumstances. One thing is for sure the UK needs to do something very different from what it is doing now and to do it in a coordinated and committed way. This is not going to happen by individual farmers or groups of farmers doing their own thing.


  28. #28

    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssimples View Post
    I am not sure why you are asking if I am a vet but in answer to the question the answer is "No".

    Whether the government of the day will still hold the right to the final say will depend on whether or not farmers do things independent of the government and infringe on what the government is responsible for doing. The government's No 1 priority is to win the general election every 5 years. The No 1 priority for farmers who have suffered TB or are about to suffer TB in the foreseeable future is to control TB. These are 2 very different priorities and is why there has been no progress in controlling TB where it matters most. Farmers need to take control of the situation. In view of how TB is spreading across the country in England and the cattle dense areas which lie in some of these Low Risk Areas which are being approached, things need to be put in place now.

    In my view the most constructive thing to do to would be to look at New Zealand's management structure and to use that insight to see what set up would be best for the UK's circumstances. One thing is for sure the UK needs to do something very different from what it is doing now and to do it in a coordinated and committed way. This is not going to happen by individual farmers or groups of farmers doing their own thing.

    You don't seem to understand that even if farmers end up paying for TB control the Government of the day will still have the final say on what can/ cannot be done... and you still don't answer the issue of pro badger court challenges??

    You say that farmers need to take control, well look at the mess the current trial culls are in... most of the problems that have arisen from those culls were forseen by many farmers on the ground but the farming unions refused to listen to us so what will change that if we end up paying for TB control?? not much other than you will end up with a quango similar to Exblex where they are fast enough in taking our money but refuse to use that money for the very reasons it was meant for and all you will end up with is another layer of people pushing paper around but achieving nothing....

    Simple answer to the TB problem, keep the badger on the protected list but the government can issue licences to any landowner to control the badger population on their own land... and police it accordingly..

    Gassing/ removing infected sets from farms in the 60s/70s worked to get TB under control and it will work now... no killing method for wild animals will ever be 100% effective so all can be done is make it as effective as possible.

  29. #29
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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by gone up the hill View Post

    Simple answer to the TB problem, keep the badger on the protected list but the government can issue licences to any landowner to control the badger population on their own land... and police it accordingly..
    Better would be to remove completely the extra protection given to badgers and uphold the anti cruelty/baiting laws that have been in place for far longer.

  30. #30
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    Re: Would it be in farmers interests to pay for TB control?

    Quote Originally Posted by gone up the hill View Post
    You don't seem to understand that even if farmers end up paying for TB control the Government of the day will still have the final say on what can/ cannot be done... and you still don't answer the issue of pro badger court challenges??

    You say that farmers need to take control, well look at the mess the current trial culls are in... most of the problems that have arisen from those culls were forseen by many farmers on the ground but the farming unions refused to listen to us so what will change that if we end up paying for TB control?? not much other than you will end up with a quango similar to Exblex where they are fast enough in taking our money but refuse to use that money for the very reasons it was meant for and all you will end up with is another layer of people pushing paper around but achieving nothing....

    Simple answer to the TB problem, keep the badger on the protected list but the government can issue licences to any landowner to control the badger population on their own land... and police it accordingly..

    Gassing/ removing infected sets from farms in the 60s/70s worked to get TB under control and it will work now... no killing method for wild animals will ever be 100% effective so all can be done is make it as effective as possible.
    Regarding pro badger court challenges, the case for such a challenges depends on the expected overall benefit of what is being proposed. Take for example targeted gassing. Have you studied how herd incidence declined in the South West with how incidence declined in the rest of England and Wales? Gassing was confined to the South West only and the decline in the South West was no greater than in the rest of England and Wales.



    So when you say "Gassing/ removing infected sets from farms in the 60s/70s worked to get TB under control and it will work now...", what do you mean by that? There is strong evidence that it worked when applied over 104 sq km in Thornbury.




    However there is no way of knowing whether the fire-brigade operations worked when applied 7 sq km around each outbreak attributed to badgers.

    Regarding

    "You say that farmers need to take control, well look at the mess the current trial culls are in... most of the problems that have arisen from those culls were forseen by many farmers on the ground but the farming unions refused to listen to us so what will change that if we end up paying for TB control?? not much other than you will end up with a quango similar to Exblex where they are fast enough in taking our money but refuse to use that money for the very reasons it was meant for and all you will end up with is another layer of people pushing paper around but achieving nothing..."

    why not study what management structure New Zealand have put in place? Like the manager of their program said

    "We also manage and contract all wildlife control - we found that if farmers were responsible for possum control it was not efficient and tended to leave holes where some farmers didn't undertake good control. You cannot leave gaps in control when you have an objective to reduce infected herd numbers or to eradicate TB from possums within a defined area of land."
    Last edited by ssimples; 03-06-14 at 04:06 PM.

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