300,000

The hugely important number which is never, ever, discussed!

Imagine, if you would; your lives, your very livelihood, the place and method by which you earn a living, the very place where your forefathers have lived for generations; is being despoiled, ruined and financially obliterated by a disease. A disease which makes your chosen way of life virtually impossible to continue. A disease which has been directly associated with a carrier animal; but its carriers are protected by Law.

I write, of course, of Bovine TB; of its existence in many wild mammals, but especially in badgers: and of the terrible blight which exists in the dairy farms of England. I also write of the troublesome fact that we are an urbanised society, where the people overwhelmingly live in the towns and cities, and less than 9 per cent live in villages and rural hamlets. From the people come the votes, and voting power; so the farmers get little or no ‘say’ in how they live and are governed, and even less when it comes to decisions which so massively effect their very way of life.

The 300,000? That is the number of cattle slaughtered from British dairy farms since 2005. All were perfectly healthy animals, in every way except one. They all reacted, in a specific manner and to certain specified measurements, to a TB test injection, which states that the animal harbours, in various areas, Bovine Tuberculosis. The disease is spread, primarily, by contact with TB-carrying mammals, and the greatest danger comes from badgers, which normally carry the virus, but do not suffer from the disease themselves.

Before the do-gooders, alongside the ‘cuddle-a-furry-animal-brigade’ got into the act, farmers and badgers lived harmoniously. When badgers grew to be a problem, the farmers got their rifles and shotguns out, and brought the population back to reasonable limits, and there was an understanding in the countryside that this way worked: badgers were a pest, but as long as they were controlled, the nuisance and the dangers were very, very low.

But then the Animal rights crowd put up a fuss, cries erupted of ‘You cannot kill Brock, our children love these large wild animals’ along with all the other ‘animal rights claptrap’: and before you knew it, badgers were protected under the Law. So the bloody badger population exploded, Bovine TB incidents and checks rocketed, and then you must begin to understand what has happened. The average compensation paid to a dairy farmer for a cow destroyed because of bTB averages at £1000.00. But when you also consider that most dairy farmers know every cow by name, they know and treat them as larger but quieter members of their family; and when that truck drives away to the slaughterhouse with ‘reactor cows’ on board, many feel as though they are condemning family members to death!  If a dairy farmer’s herd is declared ‘infected’, no milk from the herd can be sent or sold, it is poured down the drain. No animal can be sold or moved until two test-free inspections sixty days apart have been declared. No income, apart from the measly compensation, come into the farms accounts. No wonder the suicide rate for farmers is ten times that of any other comparable work!

The cull is working, but the timid and cautious way it is done is ludicrous, hampered as it is by the saboteurs and the ‘rights-brigade’. The cull is laden down with rules laid down by people who have never seen a wild animal, and have never seen the devastation wreaked upon a farmer when he is given the notice of infection.

So I say let the rifles and the shotguns speak out once more, and get these disease-ridden vermin away from our dairy herds, and if the ‘do-gooders’ speak out, let them come up against a farmer and his friends who wish to protect their way of life in the manner they wish to!

8 comments for “300,000

  1. Ed P
    March 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    There’s an effective vaccine for badgers, but for unknown reasons the MinAg will not administer it (in baited morsels left beside known badger tracks). A combination of shooting and vaccines would soon sort this out.

  2. Monty
    March 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Although I have no farmers in my family history, I tend to consider the farmer’s situation like this:

    There are many occupations in which you could lose or ruin a significant proportion of your own life’s work. You might design a bridge which turns out to be unsafe, and have to watch it’s demolition. Or you might build up a trading company only to see it wither under adverse market conditions. But in the case of the livestock farmer, there is an even worse risk- that of ruining all the good work of your parents and grandparents before you. The bloodlines they established, the herds and flocks they nurtured and built up throughout their working lives, that passed into your stewardship. One outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, or TB, could wipe out all of that inheritance at a stroke. I think the grief when such a calamity strikes is only too real, and devastating.
    I detest the greenshirts. Their professed love for the welfare of all living things, is a facade, to conceal their true motivation- a love of churning up the lives of other people.

    • Mudplugger
      March 8, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      There is a big nuance of difference between your mythical ‘trading’ company suffering some random disaster and a farmer getting Foot & Mouth or Bovine TB in his livestock. That difference is that there is a compensation formula in place by which HM Government pays the unfortunate Farmer Giles for his losses – no other business in the UK enjoys that level of free insurance. OK, F.Giles may not get his full perceived value, but he gets a helluva lot of it back.

      Don’t get me wrong, I sympathise greatly with any farmers innocently affected and believe they should be allowed to control pests as they always did, but don’t make the mistake of comparing apples and pears – the farmers have got it easy compared to all other businesses, who must pay to insure themselves or be even more careful to avoid their own disasters, because they don’t get bailed out by the tax-payers when it happens.

    • March 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      In the 2001/2 Foot and Mouth outbreak I saw friends and neighbours beggared by the incompetence of the Blair government. Families who had their life’s work eradicated because of ‘policy’ by the notorious Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and their implementation of EU directives. I still cannot forget the sight of kilometre long pyres of slaughtered livestock spreading their mourning banners of smoke across places in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devon.

      It felt like someone had declared war on the countryside. But that’s the thing isn’t it? It’s this envious thinking that farmers are all rich (Cobblers) when so many farms only get into the black one year out of three despite all the subsidies. Losing cattle to TB used to happen periodically, but at least whole areas weren’t laid waste like with the Foot and Mouth slaughter policy.

  3. March 9, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Bovine TB is actually caused by Mycobacterium bovis which, from the name, is not a virus.

    Best regards

  4. March 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Let the rifles and shotguns ring out in general, not just for the TB.

    • March 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Now James, let’s not get carried away by enthusiasm.

  5. March 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Don’t know if anyone else caught the hilarious calls from the Badger lobby for the BBC to stop showing BIAS towards the dairy farmers featured in the first episode of the documentary about Country Life. The concentration of the cameras upon the devastation wreaked upon just one dairy farm, the cattle, and the farmer, by this terrible virus which is carried forwards by badgers; really upset the animal-rights-luvvies’ and they state that it should never have been broadcast.

    I mean to say, the sheer venom exhibited by this group against the BBC, anyone would think they believed that they had been betrayed!

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