Monday, 27 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus - Britain loses goats adds pigs

The missing English goat farm with Schmallenberg Virus, see previous post, finally seems to have disappeared from current Dutch government reporting, but the UK Agriculture Ministry, Defra, remain generally very reluctant to give any details of cases that could be challenged.

They have a dispensation from the EU not to disclose the names of farms infected or to give an accurate location.

Who the hell are the EU vets to decide what Britain hears on the BBC?

We now get a gang of foreign vets on our necks as well as our own disastrous state veterinary service.

We got a new mystery yesterday.

BBC News24 TV usually has a ticker tape of breaking news along the bottom of the screen.

Above this is a larger box, white with black text, it gives a single quote or caption, replaced every minute or so with another relevant caption.

We emphasise that this is not added by use of a "text" button but is on a normal screening.  It is a standrd feature not always present.

Yesterday from at least 1700 hours until certainly after 2300 hrs, the BBC ran a series of stories about Schmallenberg Virus, including one of an interview with Nigel Gibbens, the Chief Veterinarian.

On all coverage the following legend appeared at some stage:

"Virus affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs"

This is the first time that we have seen anyone suggest that pigs might be infected.

There was plenty of time for Defra to have got the caption removed but it stayed in use for at least six hours, probably longer, even the writer needs some sleep.

Judging by the BBC's pleas for farmers to give information, in confidence, they too are totally fed up with Defra's totalitarian censorship of the news and intend to widen their sources.