The badger story was still running this morning on radio Ulster. Again, the quoted the findings of the research as…. The research shows that the cull is not effective in stopping the spread of bovine TB.

And yet again, this annoyed me.  Let me explain with my own gedanken experiment:

I washed my car.  The car was initially clean for a while but then as I monitored it over a period of a couple of more years after the initial cleaning.  After this period of time the car was dirty again and therefore my conclusion is that cleaning is not an effective method for keeping my car clean.  An additional interesting observation was that it cost me time and money to wash my car and therefore cleaning seems to be not as cost effective as doing nothing.

EDIT – I should really make it clear that my opinion on badger culling is undecided.  I do not think that they should be culled to extinction, but then I do realise there is a problem and they are a major vector for TB in cattle.  I do think the authorities need to do more and put more money into research.  Just think about the amount of science that we rely upon in our lives in terms of the comfortability of our daily lives.  Food, agriculture, communication, manufacturing and medicine.  Think about all of that and then remember that, in the UK, only 0.4% of the GDP is spent on scientific projects (all of them).

So why did I start ranting about badgers?  It’s because of spin.  I need to read the paper properly but my initial feeling based on the radio interview is that something is being spun to sound like something it’s not.

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