The new report by Imperial College London and Zoological Society of London has been produced "ahead of" the cull of badgers in the TB hotspot of west Wales. It claims the benefits "disappear" after four years.
February 10th 2010 ~ The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warned against a kneejerk reaction
A press release from the BVA quotes Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA:
"This paper clearly demonstrates that badger culling did have an impact on the incidence of bovine TB in cattle, which is a very positive outcome....The report, based on a single trial, concludes that badger culling is not cost-effective, but the cost of TB to farmers and the government is already incredibly high. Investment now could reduce the costs in the much longer term. The BVA warns against a kneejerk reaction to this paper that would rule out badger culling in the future." Read BVA press release.
February 10th 2010 ~ There may be those for whom this BBC headline suggests political pressure at work.
A BBC article, Badger culls 'not cost effective', quotes Prof Christl Donnolly of Imperial College and its first paragraph is: "Badger culls are unlikely to be a cost- effective way of controlling bovine tuberculosis in cattle, a report warns."
The report by Imperial College London and Zoological Society of London has been produced "ahead of" the cull of badgers in the TB hotspot of west Wales.
"...The report, which studied the aftermath of cull trials in England, claims the benefits "disappear" after four years..."But the "cull trials" referred to were presumably the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, also known by its acronym RBCT or "the Krebs trial" between 1998 and 2005. Prof Donnolly (one of that small group headed by Roy Anderson, John Krebs and David King in 2001) was very much involved as deputy Chair of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) but, as Private Eye's Muckspreader revealed in 2006 that project was
" ... made up of scientists whose main qualification is their complete lack of any expertise in TB. ... the Krebs trials were only a pseudo-scientific charade, never designed to work. Even Defra admits that the percentage of badgers culled was sometimes as low as 20 percent. .."(Read in full)Wales Chief Vet Christiane Glossop, not quoted until the end of the BBC article today, says that the culling trials in Wales are very different from the Krebs trials :
"The differences are so significant to prevent true comparison of the results... . We can't let this situation continue unchecked...What we are proposing is to combine a limited cull of badgers with strict cattle control measures within a defined area over a sustained period."
February 10 2010 ~"All that work, together with that of the veterinary investigation officers, has effectively been ignored by both Krebs and Bourne..."
Now, in 2010, and as Muckspreader put it four years ago, "the tragedy rolls on: for farmers, for cattle, for taxpayers, and for all those sick badgers, condemned to a lingering death.." John Cohen, BVetMed, MRCVS of Chard, Somerset, wrote in the Veterinary Times, June 12th 2006,
"Over the past 25 years or more, many veterinary officers have diligently collected masses of data on thousands of breakdowns, and have had their work scrutinised by a sceptical mini panel. All that work, together with that of the veterinary investigation officers, has effectively been ignored by both Krebs and Bourne. .."(More of John Cohen's Vet Times article can be seen at the Bovine TB Blogspot for June 25, 2007)