Sunday, 23 May 2010

Attempts at justification

We have been forwarded a letter send to a CIN supporter by Nerys Evans, Plaid Cymru AM, about Plaid's and WAG's plans to kill Welsh wildlife. It had taken Nerys 20 days to respond to a letter sent on 1st May.

The twist was that the recipient had sent their letter as an email but Nerys insisted on not replying in the sender's obviously preferred medium, but instead wanted to reply by post (despite the cost and waste of paper). The recipient had to state twice more that they wanted a reply by email - their preferred format because of accessibility reasons and wanting to use a screen reader. So what did Nerys's office do when they eventually agreed to an email? Instead of text they send it in the one format that can't be read by a screenreader: embedded uncompressed scanned images in separate word documents totalling over 1.5 MB! Obviously they either don't care about accessibility issues, or are just unable to operate a word processor and email client properly. Further, the letter had basic punctuation errors such as missed apostrophes, which doesn't create faith in the cognitive abilities of the sender. How can AMs understand complex issues when thye can't even understand basic punctutation?

The letter included blatant lies such as "The Welsh Governments TB Eradication Programme is supported by all political parties in Wales" [NB missing apostrophe again]. Wrong.

The letter also said:

"Last year £24 million was spent by the Welsh Assembly Government in compensating farmers for the slaughter of cattle with TB. The current situation is unsustainable."

Yes, it is unsustainable. They should stop subsidising animal farmers immediately. Do car manufacturers get money for every defective car they scrap on the production line? No. Do fruit farmers get subsidised for every apple that is not good enough to sell on? No. So why does WAG and Plaid Cymru support animal farmers in that way? Stop subsidising them and instead subsidise local organic small-scale fruit and vegetable producers, thereby benefitting people's health and avoiding an economy based on exploitation and cruelty.

In a major and insulting form of spin Nerys claims that they are doing this because they care about animals. Mmm, so kill a load of badgers because you care about them? Kill them whether or not they carry TB? Support an industry based around exploiting animals by rewarding farmers with subsidies when it turns out their 'product' is poor quality? Allow transport of animals on long journeys for cattle markets, slaughter, and live exports? Kill cows with TB even though it is treatable? And kill those that don't have TB because they can make money from it? Another example of an AM making Wales look like a backwards and ignorant, uncivilised country. Please keep comments and letters coming in, we will make use of the best ones.

The whole issue of TB in Wales is an indictment of the current farming and trading systems. Badgers are just a scapegoat to save having to face the real issues of the whole animal exploitation industry. TB in most cases isn't fatal if there is proper care and treatment, and early vaccination prevents even that low risk. However the Welsh Assembly Government won't consider that because WAG and dairy farmers don't see cattle as beings but as profit, and it is more profitable for them just to kill the cattle than to cure them

"governments have come under pressure from some quarters, primarily dairy farmers, to mount an active campaign of eradication of badgers" Wikipedia

The answer: give up dairy products. It's easy!

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