|Bodger and Badger - nothing weird happening here at all...|
As Minister of State, one of the things that David has had to deal with is the shocking rise in Bovine TB. That's not the fact that badgers have TB, it's the fact that they give it to cattle and the cattle end up being killed. Last year, around 30,000 cattle were bumped off because they had contracted TB. Not only was this a bad deal for the cows, it was also a bad deal for the farmers, whose livelihood was jeopardised. The plan that David and his department have put forward isn't just to wholesale murder badgers. He hasn't turned into some kind of guerilla minister waving a gun at anything that moves out of the back of a Land Rover. The plan that has been put forward is actually a lot more reasonable than that, so hear me out.
Rather than just killing badgers, the plan also involves vaccination schemes. This is what the whole argument has been about. Why not just vaccinate them? The answer is simple, because the vaccine for badgers isn't effective enough to stop the blight. The vaccine that we need is an oral vaccine, which is easier to administer to badgers and is far more effective at stopping the spread of the disease.
Did you know, that on the odd occasion that David hasn't been rootling through the countryside looking for black and white creatures, he's actually fast tracked the funding for that oral vaccine?
Labour, and Mary Creagh in particular, would like you to believe that David Heath has his head hidden in the sand. He hasn't. He's openly said that the current plan is a cocktail of things - yes, culling, but also vaccination and better bio-security - and he's openly said that he intends for vaccination to play a larger and larger role in tackling the problem.
However, please don't be fooled. We aren't there yet. The vaccination that will make the difference is still in development, and is still being funded. None of that is going to stop the rate of Bovine TB going up, none of that is going to stop tens of thousands of cattle being culled.
So, accept Labour's line on this if you like. But, please be aware, the truth is a lot greyer and more complex than simply cull or no cull. I for one, am proud that a Minister of ours is standing up for the health of badgers as well as the health of farmers' herds.
So, I'm not a blood thirsty killer, but on the balance of the argument, I support the plan, and still, I love Bodger and Badger as much as the next man.
|If you're going to be totes pro any animal, you'd be better off choosing hedgehogs|
- they're much nicer altogether.