Home Page
The Bovine TB Open Forum  Latest
[  1, 2, 3 ]
[  1, 2, 3 ]
[  1, 2 ]
[  1, 2, 3 ]
[  1, 2 ]

Can We Trust Politicians?



 Added by  Martin (Guest)
 17 Jul 2010, 9:46 AM


We are being told by the media that Britain has sunk into a pit of debt which is five times deeper than previously feared, with the country now owing the equivalent of £200,000 per household!
 
Instead of the £1 trillion reading normally presented as the nation's debt,
the UK is in the red by closer to £5 trillion, figures from the Office for
National Statistics reveal.
 
The oft-quoted £903bn figure for public sector net debt is a borrowing sum
calculated by the ONS according to international standards. But a broader set of ONS figures taking in Government liabilities show unfunded
public service pension obligations could add another £1.2 trillion and
liabilities in unfunded state pension schemes a further £1.35 trillion.
 
In reality it does seem that bovine TB is not really the threat to human health some claim so why are we spending so much money on compensation, research, fighting legal cases, killing cattle ...

Sally
Despite the successful appeal last year by the Badger Trust which halted WAG's plans for a trial badger cull, the Minister for Rural Affairs (Elin Jones) created the 'Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011' order which again proposes a similar cull in North Pembrokeshire. On 23/3/11 a motion to annul this order was defeated - 8 votes for and 42 against, with no abstentions. I watched it live and was shocked at the arrogant and downright rude behaviour of some of the pro cull AMs. It was also interesting to see how little attention some seemed to pay to the speakers, particularly when those for the motion were speaking. I totally agree with the following extract from a PAC newsletter; 'One notable moment in the proceedings - for all the wrong reasons - was a boorish intervention from Rhodri Glyn Thomas. Irene James AM said that she had received more letters on this subject from more people in a short time than ever before - to which he shouted 'Not from Wales!' She put him straight - telling him they most definitely were from Wales, and from people living in the area. As people have since written to us - how arrogant and dismissive of the public some of these AMs are. Awards for most disingenuous statement goes to the several pro culling AMs who asserted that we must cull badgers in order to protect and safeguard our wildlife! And what of the Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies? He sat silent throughout - not an utterance. What are we to conclude from that? Our elected representative doesn't participate in a debate specific to his constituency on the most controversial topic and policy which will impact hugely on local people? Has he nothing to say on anyone's behalf?'
 
geoffrey
Caroline Spelman’s Speech at the Oxford Farming Conference held on the 4-6th Jan 2011
 
Caroline Spelman, speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2011 made a number of false claims regarding the status of bovine TB in GB.
She stated that:
 
“Although 40,000 cattle were culled last year [2010] because of bovine TB,”
 
and she referred to bTB as
 
“advancing relentlessly throughout various regions,”
 
Both of these statements are incorrect and will give a false picture of the situation.
 
 
DEFRA County Animal Statistics-GB Total, available on DEFRA’s website state:
 
Total number of animals slaughtered in under bovine TB control measures in
 
2008 = 39,973
 
2009 = 36322
 
2010 = The Jan-Sept Provisonal statistics (the only ones available at the moment) indicate that the final figure for 2010 is very likely to be somewhere around 33,000.
 
These figures show a strong improvement over the last two years and do not substanciate the minister’s statement.
 
 
Either she is ignorant of the facts or her advisors have mis-informed her.
Whichever is the case an apology should be made.
 
Sally
An interesting report 'Intractable Policy Failure: The Case of Bovine TB and Badgers'. Source: British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Volume 11, Number 4, November 2009 , pp. 557-573(17):http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/bjpi/2009/00000011/00000004/art00001
 
Abstract
The failure to eliminate bovine TB from the English and Welsh cattle herd represents a long-term intractable policy failure. Cattle-to-cattle transmission of the disease has been underemphasised in the debate compared with transmission from badgers despite a contested evidence base. Archival evidence shows that mythical constructions of the badger have shaped the policy debate. Relevant evidence was incomplete and contested; alternative framings of the policy problem were polarised and difficult to reconcile; and this rendered normal techniques of stakeholder management through co-option and mediation of little assistance.
 
Also another interesting report dated September 2010, 'Economic Impact Assessment of Bovine Tuberculosis in the South West of England' by
Allan Butler, Matt Lobley and Michael Winter CRPR Research Paper No 30. One of concluding remarks includes 'Finally, in addition to economic losses, bTB is imposing considerable costs on the personal well-being of many farm households and also raises profound livestock welfare issues. (para 10, iv) thereby yet more proof that the policy is not working, bearing in mind that two of the three main aims of the policy are 'to protect public health' and 'to make sure that cattle do not suffer becuase of bTB'.
 
Sally
Interesting post from Celia Thomas at www.meattradenewsdaily.co.uk/news/081110/wales___response_to_iain_mccarthy_on_wales_badger_cull_.aspx
 
I would like to point out the economics of the Welsh Cull.
 
Within the IAA area £12.9 million has been paid out in compensation since 2004. Using the best figures given, Elin Jones hopes to achieve a reduction of 28% this includes culling (22%) and apparently a further reduction due to the cattle measures now in place. 28% of £12.9 is £3.64 million. The cost of the cull without policing is set at £9 million. Good house keeping Elin! For a cull we don't want and regulations that could blight the area for an unlimited time!
 
 
 
Sally
Email from GL received 5/8/10 refers to the project undertaken by Warwick University. He highlights the following from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/gld/results:
 
Revised Nov 2nd 2009
 
[c]
Throughout the final year of the project we will put our results and findings on to this page. Note that there is a sub-page that contains links to the presentations that we have made.
 
Policy Failure
 
Professor Wyn Grant completed a piece of research based on material within the National Archives. He was originally seeking to understand how endemic cattle diseases have been treated within government, but made two discoveries. First, that bovine tuberculosis is virtually the only endemic disease mentioned in any of the papers. Second, that the handling of bovine tuberculosis as a political issue has been characterised by policy failure. This second finding has been written into an article for the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (2009, 11, 557-573), and the abstract is reproduced here.
The failure to eliminate bovine TB from the English and Welsh cattle herd represents a long-term intractable policy failure. Cattle-to-cattle transmission of the disease has been underemphasised in the debate compared with transmission from badgers despite a contested evidence base. Archival evidence shows that mythical constructions of the badger have shaped the policy debate. Relevant evidence was incomplete and contested; alternative framings of the policy problem were polarised and difficult to reconcile; and this rendered normal techniques of stakeholder management through co-option and mediation of little assistance.
Warwick University 2009
 
Comment from Ruth - email dated 27 August 2010
I don't feel able to comment on analysis of the political reasons for failure of policy. There seems to me to have been an awful lot of badger behaviour work etc and badger input, but essentially little modern microbiology. The tools for studying microbiology of mycobacteria are changing fast and I am not sure that the most modern techniques have been applied and integrated into the badger and cattle studies on the situation in the field. When I heard Prof Wellington talk at the CLA several years ago after a presentation from a senior badger behaviourist from Woodchester at the same meeting it was striking that there seemed to be little understanding and interchange between the two, the implications of the microbiology findings she made unappreciated, shoulders shrigged in response. I think there are fundamental problems at the very heart of understanding the M bovis epidemic on all sides. I don't think there is enough information to make a reasonable decision for policy based on microbiology and there seems to be no will to get the microbiology that might now be got.
 
 
Sally
Email from GL received 5/8/10 refers to the project undertaken by Warwick University. He highlights the following from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/gld/results:
 
Revised Nov 2nd 2009
 
[c]
Throughout the final year of the project we will put our results and findings on to this page. Note that there is a sub-page that contains links to the presentations that we have made.
 
Policy Failure
 
Professor Wyn Grant completed a piece of research based on material within the National Archives. He was originally seeking to understand how endemic cattle diseases have been treated within government, but made two discoveries. First, that bovine tuberculosis is virtually the only endemic disease mentioned in any of the papers. Second, that the handling of bovine tuberculosis as a political issue has been characterised by policy failure. This second finding has been written into an article for the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (2009, 11, 557-573), and the abstract is reproduced here.
The failure to eliminate bovine TB from the English and Welsh cattle herd represents a long-term intractable policy failure. Cattle-to-cattle transmission of the disease has been underemphasised in the debate compared with transmission from badgers despite a contested evidence base. Archival evidence shows that mythical constructions of the badger have shaped the policy debate. Relevant evidence was incomplete and contested; alternative framings of the policy problem were polarised and difficult to reconcile; and this rendered normal techniques of stakeholder management through co-option and mediation of little assistance.
Warwick University 2009
 
Sally
G Laurens sent this letter to Carwyn James as he is concerned he is giving out misleading information.
 
 
 
First Minister,
National Assembly of Wales.
 
Dear Mr C.Jones,
 
You have been reported in the Irish Times Wed, July 14th 2010 as stating:
 
Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones said bovine TB rates are rising: “We will consider the implications of the judgement, but what’s absolutely clear is that we cannot allow a situation to persist where TB increases year on year in Wales.”
 
This statement, which I also saw on BBC Wales is misleading and likely to inflame an already bad situation.
 
For your information.
 
There were 1610 less animals slaughtered in 2009 as a result of the bovine TB programme in Wales than there were in 2008. This is in spite of 404,174 more cattle tested in 2009 than in 2008. These are all DEFRA's own statistics. In the light of this and many other aspects/statistics that show a decline in prevelance of TB in Wales it is wrong to say that TB rates are rising and increasing year on year.
 
This is becoming a mantra to alarm farmers and the general public in order to justify killing badgers.
 
The figures for this year look very encouraging for GB as a whole. http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/stats/documents/10/march10gb.pdf
 
If you visit the link and look at the last two columns of the data that compare the first three months of last year with the first three months of this year you will see significant improvements are being made.
Elimination of TB from cattle will only be effected through rigorous cattle measures as recommended by the ISG and the examples of Australia and Scotland
 
I have included a quote from Professor Bourne below, fully referenced. Could it be that Elin Jones was the senior politician he was referring to?
 
Professor John Bourne states in the Veterinary Record May 3, 2008: 1.
 
‘I think the most interesting observation was made to me by a senior politician who said, “fine John we accept your science, but we have to offer the farmers a carrot. And the only carrot we can possibly give them is culling badgers”.’
 
"Professor Bourne went on to argue that if culling was done in the way the EFRA committee specified there would be only a few areas in which it could be done and its impact would be trivial."
 
1. AVTRW looks at the science of TB
Vet Rec. 2008 162: 571-572.
 

 
Sally
An interesting extract from the introduction to DEFRA's Structural Reform Plan (http://engage.defra.gov.uk/reform-plan) implies that power is being out into the hands of people and communities. However, the existing bovine TB policy does not fit in with many of the actions proposed, so maybe we can now encourage change.
 
' Structural Reform Plans are the key tool of the Coalition Government for making departments accountable for the implementation of the reforms set out in the Coalition Agreement. They replace the old, top-down systems of targets and central micromanagement. The reforms set out in each department’s SRP are designed to turn government on its head, taking power away from Whitehall and putting it into the hands of people and communities. Once these reforms are in place, people themselves will have the power to improve our country and our public services, through the mechanisms of local democratic accountability, competition, choice, and social action.
 
The reform plans set out in this document are consistent with and form part of the Department’s contribution to the Spending Review. All departmental spending is subject to the Spending Review.
 
We have adopted a cautious view of the timescales for delivering all legislative measures due to the unpredictability of pressures on Parliamentary time.'
 

 First Previous 1 2 3 4 [ 5 of 5 ]  


-->
Free Forum by ViArt Ltd