Feeling badgered?

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Paul McKeown
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Feeling badgered?

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:33 am


Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:10 pm

And there are no plans to test the deceased badgers to see if they're infected with TB...

John McKenna
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:35 pm

I tried to find what the alternative view on this and other subjects was but I am having trouble tracking down the English language version of the Pyonyang Morning Star. I cannot comment on the badger cull as it leaves me cold but Miley Cyrus is another kettle of fish. Her antics reminded me of this -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usa3A62VBpQ
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Ben Purton
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:05 pm

At least there will be more mash potatoe for the rest of us
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David Robertson
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by David Robertson » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:21 pm

The principal beneficiaries of a badger cull are other badgers. The cull depopulates an area, allowing nearby grateful badgers to move in. Dim-witted farmers - and a dimmer-witted Minister - with their faith-based certainties think otherwise: good badger = dead badger. It could do - but only if you slaughter the lot. Alas, since no one has conducted a badger census, even that dismal prospect is out of reach.

John McKenna
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:54 pm

Then could this be termed a Brocken spectre lebensraum policy?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Paul McKeown
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:59 pm

I was rather amused last week whilst in Ireland to read in a newspaper that Irish farmers, whose experience of badger culling forms the basis for our own government's current policy, are now calling for the culling of foxes to control TB, the cull of badgers having proved such a success.

Just carpet bomb the countryside and get the job over with!

John McKenna
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:04 pm

The Belfast Morning Star by any chance?!
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

David Robertson
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by David Robertson » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:02 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Just carpet bomb the countryside and get the job over with!
This may not be entirely fanciful. The minister pushing this cull is the semi-certifiable crackpot, Owen Paterson - formerly Sec of State for N Ireland; latterly, for Agriculture. Apart from being a climate change denier, he is also a soi-disant 'expert' and obsessive on TB in cattle. Prior to taking office, he'd tabled c. 400 parliamentary questions on TB in badgers. The Government's own scientific evidence records various threats to the health of the national herd: badgers come 8th on the list. Way out at the top of the list come farmers.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:12 pm

Actually many "in the know" claim this isn't really about farmers, but gamekeepers. Many of whom not only vote Tory but are active members and donors.....

Conspiracy? Moi?? :D
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PeterTurland
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by PeterTurland » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:10 pm

As with most things I'm ambivalent about this one, on the one hand, we have cruelty to animals and on the other hand, we have the bigger picture.

Nature culls ruthlessly, so if badgers are a vector for tuberculosis, then culling them is better for cattle and badgers.

The moral problems start, if we consider ourselves animals and realise that nature is not allowed to cull us and that in our culture, there are a lot of unfit human beings around.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:19 pm

PeterTurland wrote:if badgers are a vector for tuberculosis, then culling them is better for cattle and badgers
That is "debatable" at best. It is known that badgers are a potential vector, that is beyond dispute. However, what is disputed is the potential effect of the proposed cull. Eminent scholars of zoology and related subjects seem pretty universally to rubbish the whole idea, suggesting any impact will be minimal at best and that the process, in any case, will not collect any useful data with which to determine whether it has been successful or not.

What is, however, relevant is that it is possible to vaccinate domesticated cattle against tuberculosis. The European Union currently forbids the sale of meat in which tuberculosis antibodies are present, on the grounds that it could potentially threaten human health. Until recently, the EU's position has been sustainable on the basis of science, medicine and logic. However, the DIVA test, by which TB antibodies are detected, is now sensitive enough to distinguish between meat from vaccinated cattle and meat from infected cattle. In that case, you would have thought that the MAFF would have been arguing within the EU for a change in the rules.

Of course, MAFF has always been a dumping ground for MPs on their way down the career ladder or ones who might be dangerous out of government, but incapable of actually holding down a serious ministerial position in it.

John McKenna
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:57 am

Surely there's a good case for a mass cull of naff MPs at the next election because what we really need is fresh independent blood untainted by the usual party-political busybodies. Even a transfusion from inbred UKIP - to flush out the system - might do for one parliament.
And yes, I'm feeling badgered even though I'm playing possum.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:22 pm

"This may not be entirely fanciful. The minister pushing this cull is the semi-certifiable crackpot, Owen Paterson - formerly Sec of State for N Ireland; latterly, for Agriculture. Apart from being a climate change denier, he is also a soi-disant 'expert' and obsessive on TB in cattle. Prior to taking office, he'd tabled c. 400 parliamentary questions on TB in badgers. The Government's own scientific evidence records various threats to the health of the national herd: badgers come 8th on the list. Way out at the top of the list come farmers."

Depressing isn't it? Meanwhile the Health Secretary is Jeremy Hunt, the former Hulture Secretary, who has proposed such EDMs as:-

"That this House welcomes the positive contribution made to the health of the nation by the NHS homeopathic hospitals; notes that some six million people use complementary treatments each year; believes that complementary medicine has the potential to offer clinically-effective and cost-effective solutions to common health problems faced by NHS patients, including chronic difficult to treat conditions such as musculoskeletal and other chronic pain, eczema, depression, anxiety and insomnia, allergy, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome; expresses concern that NHS cuts are threatening the future of these hospitals; and calls on the Government actively to support these valuable national assets."

This is more depressing.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Feeling badgered?

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:45 pm

Ah, Germy C..., the Secretary of State for Health!

What I find even more idiotic than that is that Parliament supported the candidacy of David Tredinnick for membership of the Select Committee on Science and Technology. Tredinnick is the barmpot who, not only interminably raising motions in support homeopathy (it cures HIV infection, apparently), crystal healing, lunar medicine, and the like, was castigated for claiming parliamentary expenses for astrology.

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