Today the Daily Mail lifts the lid on Defra’s attempts to interfere with scientific progress (here).
Defra were caught out by freedom of information (FOI) disclosures, leaning heavily on Veterinary Record journal staff, and using emotive language, over an accepted academic manuscript. This new scientific paper analysed the governments own bovine TB and badger culling data. It was published by independent researchers on 18th March (see here).
Defra lashed out in an extraordinary way at the authors, peer-reviewers and journal staff via a media blog and made half-baked attempts at manufacturing graphs using selective bits of (incorrectly calculated) data pushing what they wanted to see. They reached a new low level in efforts to keep badger culling going to prop up the failed policy. Their science and statistics is all over the place and they then refused to communicate over their embarrassment. Defra staff are now in bunker mentality with their advisers unable to help.
It should be all-over for badger culling – will the Defra, APHA and Natural England blinkers remain on, or will we see the change that the new science demands?
Read the FOI’s here.