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Bovine TB - A Way Forward
November 22nd 2010 ~ The important and humane film, "The Way Forward", can be watched freely online again
We gratefully acknowledge the skill and generosity of those who have made this possible. You can watch the film here.
November 7th 2010 ~ "The Way Forward" as a free streamed DVD has now been withdrawn from the Mole Valley website
As we wrote in July,
"a recent letter to the sponsors of "Bovine TB - A Way Forward" expressed a certain disappointment at the way the DVD seemed not to have come to the attention of people who could well have been moved and impressed by it. Chris Chapman added, "I have said it a thousand times and I will say it again:
The reason for making our film was to educate the public on the tragedy of this disease and to try to bridge the gap between the farming industry, wildlife groups and a largely ill-informed public....the simple fact is that Bryan Hill's strategy works and there are many out there who will give testimony to this... " (The 25 minute film can be purchased for £4.99, which
includes postage and packing. It is available through Chris Chapman's website
at www.chrischapmanphotography.co.uk. The squeamish need feel no reluctance to watch it. We found it to dwell - not on recrimination or sadness - but on positive steps that can be taken. And it is beautifully filmed and edited. We feel that the notion that it is "political" is laughable - but the insistence that it is, is most certainly politically motivated and a disgrace.)
October 25th 2010 ~ Chris Chapman's moving and informative short film, The Way Forward, can now be watched online.
(Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. See above. Now back online! See post for November 22nd 2010)
Bovine TB is an insidious disease that is spreading across the countryside at an alarming rate. Unlike Foot and Mouth, which was visible to millions of people through the horror of the burning pyres, this disease goes largely unnoticed, yet it is costing the tax payer millions of pounds each year and threatening the livelihoods of many.
The film tells the story of the effect that the disease has had on two farms in the South West of England, one within the Dartmoor National Park which raises pedigree cattle, the other a family dairy farm on the Mendip Hills, Somerset. By cataloguing the history of the disease and talking to expert witnesses, Chris Chapman has a made a film that successfully bridges the gap between those who view the problem of Bovine TB as contentious and insurmountable, and those who believe that there is a way forward.
Chris Chapman says: 'I knew this would be a very difficult film to make, and from the start I was determined to steer clear of the politics and produce a film with a firm educational base. People love wildlife and I wanted to show how the disease has got out of control and yet is not being addressed. I personally don't agree with a blanket cull as has been suggested by the Welsh Assembly. This film makes a strong point for healthy cattle and healthy badgers by a different, and to my mind, far more acceptable route'.
The 25 minute film will be released in January 2010 and will be available via the website and other retail outlets.
To express an interest and go on a mailing list,
please contact Chris Chapman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 3 2009 ~" I wanted to show how the disease has got out of control and yet is not being addressed."
Bovine TB - A Way Forward - the film by Christopher Chapman and a team of expert witnesses will soon be available.
As we read in the press release today:
"...The film tells the story of the effect that the disease has had on two farms in the South West of England, one within the Dartmoor National Park which raises pedigree cattle, the other a family dairy farm on the Mendip Hills, Somerset. By cataloguing the history of the disease and talking to expert witnesses, Chris Chapman has a made a film that successfully bridges the gap between those who view the problem of Bovine TB as contentious and insurmountable, and those who believe that there is a way forward... "
Chris Chapman himself says: 'I knew this would be a very difficult film to make, and from the start I was determined to steer clear of the politics and produce a film with a firm educational base. People love wildlife and I wanted to show how the disease has got out of control and yet is not being addressed. I personally don't agree with a blanket cull as has been suggested by the Welsh Assembly. This film makes a strong point for healthy cattle and healthy badgers by a different, and to my mind, far more acceptable route'.
More detail and contacts on today's press release
19 November 2009 ~ "nice to meet Chris Chapman yesterday. Lovely chap, and a very good photographer / film maker
Warmwell has received an email from someone who "went to the launch of Chris Chapman's film 'Bovine TB - A Way Forward' , today. It was pretty well attended, and by folk from as far away as Ross on Wye and Somerset, as well as south Cornwall." See more on this below.
November 3 2009 ~ " I'm confident that what we have is a non political, educational and informative film which will go a long way to help the public understand the disease and how we might move forward."
The film, Bovine TB - A Way forward, is near completion and, with an added sequence discussing DEFRA's vaccination of badgers policy, is currently running at just over 24 minutes. A workshop on bTB has been organised at Roadford Lake Reservoir Conference Centre in Devon for the morning of Wednesday, 18th November during which the film maker, Chris Chapman, will both speak and show the film. A private initiative to control bovine TB will then be discussed. The normal cost of the workshop is £20.00 but those who have contributed to the workshop and those who have helped sponsor the film may have free entry. More details of the workshop here.
March 21 2009 ~ bTB "I am truly THRILLED about this film..."
Tim Garratt, Auctioneer at Rendells in Devon has written to Chris Chapman about the film he is making: "Bovine TB - A Way Forward"
"Hi Chris! I am truly THRILLED about this film. You may have heard we were unable to hold the Chagford March Store Cattle Fair this year because all the regular users of the market are either restricted by TB, unwilling to have pre-movement tests in case the herd is found to be infected or, having just gone clear, had sold their (temporarily) clean stock at the first available weekly market before they got infected. This is the first time in more than 200 years (apart from in F&M outbreaks when ALL markets were closed) that the Chagford March Fair has not taken place. Tim Garratt, Auctioneer. Rendells, Chagford, Devon." On the film, a vet from north Devon, talking about the bTB figures for his particular branch of the practice,
"In 2006 the total number of reactors was 250. In 2008, despite the introduction of tighter measures and restrictions on cattle movements, the figure had risen to 505'. It might be that we will have some form of vaccine on stream in a couple of years time, but I can't honestly see the point of vaccinating sick badgers. If they already have bTB you will not stop it. To my mind a far better approach would be to vaccinate the healthy ones, such as badgers from this historic sett. Assessment of where the sick badgers are and the healthy badgers are is crucial"
© BTB - A Way Forward
March 19 2009 ~ Bovine TB: Campaign to trap and vaccinate badgers to begin next year.
The Times today reports that
a vaccination campaign will begin next year in six of the worst-affected areas,
"....expected to include the South West and the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire borders. Farmers are likely to be involved in vaccinating the badgers and will be trained this year." This will be considered good news by those who, like the filmmaker Chris Chapman, want to see healthy badgers vaccinated against the disease. His update upon the progress of the film about TB in Devon contains the heartening news that Anthony Gibson OBE, who was South West Regional Director of the NFU during FMD, has agreed to take part in the film.
March 2 2009 ~ Bovine TB: A Way Forward
Dartmoor Photographer and Filmmaker, Chris Chapman is currently working on an independent film about the bTB crisis in the Westcountry. (See below) From the press release:
"Bovine TB - A Way Forward will highlight the current anomaly whereby vets and farmers, under present legislation, are unable to take control of the crisis. The film will cover as many viewpoints, suggestions and arguments as is possible and will offer a positive way forward for both farmers and the public to understand the interaction between cattle and badgers and the need to identify and accommodate healthy 'green' badgers.. If you would like to contribute, and are interested in further details, please contact Chris Chapman direct on 01647 231508 or by email: email@example.com I know that Chris would be grateful to receive contributions - however small - from anyone with an interest in what he is doing.
.... I've never been a political animal with my camera, but I do believe in highlighting the issues from the grass roots, especially when the people on the ground offer sensible solutions to a problem.
Bovine TB - A Way Forward is a not for profit film and is being made with the help of sponsorship from business, the farming industry and private individuals. Its target for the complete production will exceed £12000 and to date over £3000 has been raised..."
February 27th 2009 ~ "The film will highlight the current anomaly whereby vets and farmers, under present legislation, are unable to take control of the crisis. .."
The Devon photographer, Chris Chapman, whose work in 2001 so successfully highlighted the tragedy of foot and mouth, is working on a proposal to make a film about the present bovine TB crisis. £3000 has been already raised towards a target of £12000 - and he hopes to begin filming very soon. He writes,
"We are in a TB hotspot here on the edge of Dartmoor and not far from my house is a huge old badger sett which we know has very sick animals...It seems utter madness to me that this can be allowed to continue - no decent farmer would let his animals suffer in this way and yet we have legislation in place that prolongs suffering in wildlife. ...What does the film hope to achieve and who is the film aimed at?
We have good vets on board willing to speak, and a retired bacteriologist who will speak about vaccination (without being gagged!).."
- The film will explain the current situation with bovine TB in order to inform the public on the true seriousness of the disease. It will dispel the myth that the farmer is solely to blame for the spread of the disease by the movement of cattle and will endeavour to promote a greater understanding of the crisis.
- The film will portray and encourage development of an inclusive disease control programme, not random activity that may be ineffective.
- The film will facilitate a new and open debate on the desperate need for local assessment, with the option of management of unhealthy badgers to encourage the establishment of healthy badgers in tandem with healthy cattle. The film will highlight the current anomaly whereby vets and farmers, under present legislation, are unable to take control of the crisis. The film will cover as many viewpoints, suggestions and arguments as is possible and will offer a positive way forward for farmers and the public to understand the interaction between cattle and badgers and the need to identify and accommodate 'green' badgers. The film will highlight the desperate need for a solution to be instigated by government, so that farmers can be encouraged, under supervision, to take control of their situation.