Cattle statistics have to be questioned
ONCE again, Weston Daily Press readers are treated to the convoluted logic and questionable statistics of Martin Hancox (letters, December
From where did Mr Hancox obtain the figure of 20 million local cattle movements per annum? What is the definition of local and who records it? Even people with an imperfect understanding of the way BCMS statistics are compiled don’t claim any more than 13 million, and
that with no information as to the distance travelled. Mr Hancox claims the skin test for TB is under 50 per cent accurate, yet he is confident this same test completely cleared TB from the Thornbury area, and that badger culling had nothing to do with the decade of freedom from TB that followed the cull. This requires an explanation.
Preceding these questionable claims Mr Hancox uses the word “allegedly” to imply there may be some doubt about the reported statement of a Government minister in response to a parliamentary question, as recorded in Hansard.
The position of Mr Hancox on the Government TB panel, long since disbanded, was as the nominee of the Badger Trusts, and he therefore cannot be regarded as an unbiased observer.