[On the previous thread on Shambo, commenter mettaculture made a brilliant point that I thought should be highlighted. It's worth thinking about.]
The point is that we have a system of rules that deals with all communicable diseases in animals by quarantining or killing them. This is hardly scientific.
Treating (which prevents infectiousness in most cases) and vaccinating animals according to the basic principles of epidemiology (the science of measuring disease in populations and interveneing to prevent transmission) is almost never used in Britian and this is because animals are seen as a part of agriculture rather than public health.
So we mass cull badgers, cattle, sheep, foxes etc [because] that’s what the British do. Our plans for dealing with a rabies outbreak are mass slaughter of almost every wild living thing (foxes, bats, owls, eagles) that could possibly transmit Rabies.
Other countries vaccinate and treat index cases to prevent transmission, its more scientific and you get better compliance with farmers (who are likely to underreport anything if their whole herd is going to be slaughtered). Sometimes slaughter is necessary as is quarantine but we donâ€™t even examine alternatives.
The only reason we changed our ridiculous pet quarantine laws (allowing for vaccination) that traumatised animals and fed handsome profits to a government enforced business momopoly, was because Chris Patten wished to bring his pooches back from Hong Kong.
We have an irrational slaughter driven animal disease control policy enacted by blockheads and scientific ignoramouses and an inflexible inhuman and inhumane bureaucracy.
Don’t assume that Government policies are rational or effective or up to date scientifically just because they are there and an official says ‘rules is rules’.
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Filed in: Environmentalism