Owen “goalposts” Paterson. (photo by US Department of State [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Here’s an interesting take on the latest Badger Killing machinations from The Ecologist (is it owned by Zac Goldsmith?). They suggest Owen “Goalposts” Paterson may be being lined up for his own personal cull by Number 10. Who would cry?
After the extraordinary shambles that was the 2013 “Pilot” (pilot in name only) Culls, Natural England, keen to get all the paperwork done in advance this time, is inviting other contestants to sign up to this surreal game of “Find the Goalposts”.
One of the tests that contestants must pass before they can get their blood-soaked tickets to play, is that each county within the Badger Kill Zone (BKZ – that’s Bee Kay Zee) must be currently certified by Defra as requiring a 12 month TB testing regime.
Defra calculate which Counties need to be within 12 month testing using statistics on herd bTB infection. It has now been discovered that these statistics have been “faulty” since October 2011 and that the numbers of herds with TB have been overstated for the last 27 months.
Natural England can quite reasonably ask Defra whether the map showing the counties subject to 12 month testing (which is predicated on data on herds that were infected with bTB) needs to be reviewed in light of this dodgy data.
No doubt our Environment Secretary will blame the usual suspects. Not content with moving the goalposts, Opatz will now claim the Badgers have been hacking into the AVHLA IT system and moving the data.