Alleged engagement with Badgers

“Dr Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (SNP)
He is highlighting some alleged facts in relation to the engagement that badgers have with cattle. I would like to suggest that there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate that view whatsoever.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)
I simply say to the hon. Gentleman, who is an intelligent chap, that every bit of logic points to the fact that there must be a link. If badgers have TB and cattle have TB—I do not think this island is alone; this takes place in the rest of the world —any scientific hypothesis would assume there is a link. It is not credible for him to suggest otherwise.” https://goo.gl/QNjbae

Assumption, the watchword of logicians.

From the Badger culling debate at UK parliament on 27 March.
Transcript at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-03-27/debates/7EE168FA-D5CD-41B5-9563-E801D4777EE3/BadgerCulling.
Video at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/94880530-c845-4ce1-99df-b464223f225e

Bagging Badgers

“Does he agree that those who oppose the cull look at the badger as a friendly, lovable animal, which in effect it is not? Factually, the badger is responsible for destroying bee hives, hedgehogs and ground-nesting birds such as skylarks, grey partridges ​and meadow pipits. [Interruption.] That is true. It is also responsible for the loss of wood warblers, nightingales and stone curlews. Those are facts. The badger is a danger, and like all wild animals that have no natural predator—just like deer and foxes—it should be culled, so that numbers are maintained.” Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con) https://goo.gl/N7Uwim

A compelling argument for culling humans.

From the Badger culling debate at UK parliament on 27 March.
Transcript at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-03-27/debates/7EE168FA-D5CD-41B5-9563-E801D4777EE3/BadgerCulling.
Video at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/94880530-c845-4ce1-99df-b464223f225e

Badgers of Mass Destruction

“The assumptions about badgers and bTB, like those fabled and non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction that led us to invade Iraq, have become an accepted ‘truth’ on which to build government policies.” (http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2987993/why_are_badgers_always_at_the_head_of_the_blame_queue.html)

So, instead of asking “how are badgers infecting cattle?”, if we ask “what is infecting cattle with bovine TB?” or “how might cattle be infecting badgers?” now that would be heresy.

Tubercullosis

“Scientists have found a clear correlation between more intensive farming systems and cattle falling ill with TB. … Farms with herds of 150 cattle or more are 50% more likely to suffer an outbreak of TB than herds with fewer than 50 animals. … The researchers also find a clear correlation between the use of maize for silage cattle feed and the incidence of TB.” (http://www.soilassociation.org/news/newsstory/articleid/8547/intensive-farming-link-with-bovine-tb)

This news will only exacerbate government’s cognitive dissonance regarding badgers. It will be filed under ‘more evidence that badgers, through herding cattle into small barns and feeding them maize, are infecting them with bTB.’