Even I blinked with disbelief when I saw this. Thousands of dogs, cats, and millions of people pass from the UK and Europe and back each year; with them travel lots of unwanted insect life. Now, intrepid researchers at Bristol university have found that surprise, surprise, five (yes five) examples of a European tick have been found on a sample of 3,500 British dogs. My first reaction as an ex-reporter is to ask who the hell sanctioned such a lunatic waste of money. Not so Victoria Gill of the BBC. Instead, it’s a major new front in the climate change alarmism. She accepts without question the hooey from these nutty, priofligate academics that this is proof that the said ticks are spreading because it’s getting hotter. Their models say so, she faithfully reports.

Dogs retrieve sticks; BBC reporters pursue AGW tick stories with the same puppy-dog faithfulness and alacrity.

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34 Responses to TICK THAT BOX

  1. Roland Deschain says:

    ‘The researchers think a changing climate and “increased global movement of people and companion animals” have assisted the spread of ticks.’

    Now why is one possibility in quotes and the other not?  And why does the article only go on to discuss one of them?

    Answers on a postcard, please.


    • Span Ows says:

      because one is the actual reason and a reliable quote while the other (not in quote marks) is a load of crap.


  2. david hanson says:

    The BBC knows all about parasites – the place is full of them.


    • Span Ows says:

      Indeed, like the funny title of this thread. The BBC is indeed full of parasitical bloodsuckers that NEED the host (taxpayer) and would wither without it in the big wild world.


  3. DJ says:

    Maybe the ticks are just biting the dogs that British ticks just won’t bite?


    • Asuka Langley Soryu says:

      Right. And their vibrant and colourful cultures are of benefit to us all. Truly, anyone complaining about the ticks is just a filthy racist.


  4. john says:

    ergo :
    All dogs and cats along with their owners who travel abroad should be put down so as to prevent global warming ?


  5. DCP says:

    She’s just paving the way for the BBC to blame increased immigration on global warming.


  6. Phil says:

    She could be right. I saw lions and monkeys in London when I was last there, in Regent’s Park.


  7. Roland Deschain says:

    Oh, just f*ck off.

    “Urban areas are set to become the battleground in the global effort to curb climate change, the UN has warned”

    I feel I’m the one reaching a tipping point.


  8. Dick the Prick says:

    Give her a Pulitzer, she’s been a very good girl, bless.


  9. My Site (click to edit) says:

    OT, but (if I may add a little tick humour to the thread too)… in a similar vein:


    I am sure even Aunty is too wise an old bird to get carried away on this one.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Look at it this way, Robin:  If it’s happening because of dogs brought in and out of the country, at least you know it’s not due to Muslim immigration.


  11. JX says:

    Perhaps Victoria Gill would care to explain just how much she thinks the UK climate has changed in the ‘past few decades’. Or is that just weather?

    Roland Deschain

    WUWT deals with that particular example of BBC churnalism <a href=”http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/29/here-let-me-fix-that-headline-for-you/”>here</a>.


    • Roland Deschain says:

      Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the link.  I really should check that site out more often, but it’s not good for my blood pressure.


  12. John Horne Tooke says:

    This has no bearing on the “research” then?

    “Quarantine for pets entering the UK from the European Union, certain other European countries and rabies-free islands is to be scrapped within two years.”
    “A change in the law has the backing of not just the RSPCA but celebrities including actress Liz Hurley, and the popstars Sting and Elton John. ”

    Seems the BBC deleted this page from 1999 – but the cache still suvives

    “Britain has recently relaxed quarantine rules. If you possess the EU passport with photo for your pet (including all the jabs, chips etc etc) you mentioned above your pet can now enter Britain without quarantine.”

    Absolutly nothing to do with the increase in “European ticks”!!


  13. RGH says:

    Tics (Ixodes) have always been in the UK (part of the normal range from the Caucusus to Iceland).

    The tic needs a rodent host for its first stages…humans and dogs/cats are incidental.

    Changing farming practices…more set-aside land with grass, low brush plus the international transport  (lorries) mean laybys are hot spots.

    Climate change has very little to do with the perceived higher incidence ..apart from mouse survival….as the tic in question is not favoured by warm dry weather at all. The parasite likes it mild and moist. Extreme cold (-15 and below) does not trouble it but hot dry conditions shut the creature down. British climate has always bee suitable but extensive land management since the 18th Century had reduced its habitat…they don’t live in neat gardens.

    Land management is changing…naturalised landscapes…tics love it.

    End of lecture.


  14. My Site (click to edit) says:

    My first reaction as an ex-reporter is to ask who the hell sanctioned such a lunatic waste of money. Not so Victoria Gill of the BBC.’

    Actually, given the plethora of handles in the internal BBC eco arena beyond reporter – ‘analyst’, correspondent, editor – I am suprised they have not added the new ‘narrative enhancer’.

    Asking awkward questions not really required, especially when researchers exist to make sure few sneak through and the edit suite is there to make those that do go away.

    One presumes this ‘lunatic waste of money’ is one not covered in the cuts, though TBH I may have some sympathy with staying on top of new invasive species… if done properly.

    However, given the causal choices of ‘climate change’ or recent relaxed rules to let Sir Elt shuttle his Pomeranian to and fro, I’d tend to err on the latter.


  15. Natsman says:

    A load of fuss about nothing, as usual, based (or blamed) on a continuing natural process which some are determined should be ascribed to the excesses (and mere presence) of humanity.

    It’s become so wearisome, this continual unfounded lunacy, that I have decided to jump on the bandwagon, and hereby declare that my wife leaving me last year can be fairly and squarely blamed on global warming.


  16. Scoobywho says:

    Are we falling into a trap discussing an article just because is mentions climate change and global warming ?    
    The climate changes and there have been periods of global warming (and cooling). Theres no suggestion of cause.
    Effectively, the BBC have just published an article supporting an arguement for the restriction of movement of livestock between the UK and the continent, nothing more.    
    Ticks don’t fly or swim so how else did the Euro-Tick get here ?    
    It’s not as if the ticks watched the news, saw how warm the UK had become compared to the last ice age then decided to take a nice little holiday here and decided to stay for its rustic charm….is it ?


    • Span Ows says:

      “The climate changes and there have been periods of global warming (and cooling). Theres no suggestion of cause”

      We know this, nobody is saying the climate doesn’t change…don’t fall for the new “denier-bashing” technique. The BBC are very much behind AGW, the ‘it is man made and we can slow it down by recycling and not flying and building wind turbines and paying green tax and not nasty nuclear and it was Bush’s fault’. The science does not back them up

      “Effectively, the BBC have just published an article supporting an arguement for the restriction of movement of livestock between the UK and the continent, nothing more.”

      Au contraire. They say nothing about the control of animals but speak of new infections and they do repeat:

      “So it is possible that climate change will affect certain species of ticks.”


  17. Natsman says:

    I would imagine that there have been tic(k)s in the UK ever since there have been tic(k)s.  It’s just another case of unwarranted alarmism, and those who support this AGW dogma are merely “using” it as another string to their respective bows.


  18. My Site (click to edit) says:


    With luck, they will be selective on who they get in, as any responsible media will in sharing any results?


  19. Umbongo says:


    As you say, B-BBC could be falling into a sort of trap here.  However, the main thrust of the research (apparently – there is no link to the paper reported on: it’s the “trust us” imperative: “we’re the BBC” “we’re impartial by definition”) points to the relaxation in restrictions on movements of  livestock as the key reason for the increase..  Gill’s report acknowledges this but can’t forebear to include the climate change mantra eg “the researchers think a changing climate and “increased global movement of people and companion animals” have assisted the spread of ticks.”

    On related matters:

    On the page carrying the “tick” report, there is a link to a blatant propaganda article by Dr William Bleisch is science director of the China Exploration & Research Society in the BBC “Green Room” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8100988.stm .  Surprise, surprise, given his job and who pays him, Dr Bleisch writes that China rather than being an eco-villain is one of the world’s eco-heros.

    Much as I admire the Chinese for their decision to enter the real world, no stretch of a sane imagination can deny their contribution to counter-green production and consumption and their devotion to expansion at all (environmental) costs.  This is the very reason China could overtake the Western economies which are in thrall to the green suicide bombers in power and their enablers at, among other places, the BBC.  But you see, sin which is manifestly non-democratic and objectively anti-West (a la China) is absolved by and given endless favourable publicity by the BBC (cf the BBC’s love-in with Cuba, Venezuela, Hamas, TUC etc etc)


  20. Beeboidal says:

    There is a blatant piece of misrepresentaton in Bleisch’s piece.

    More importantly, it made emissions reduction a national policy in 2005, when the nation’s 11th Five-Year Plan (for 2006 to 2010) set a target of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20%
    The EU gave itself a similar target, but has until 2020 to achieve it; US plans are less ambitious still.

    These two are in no way equivalent. The EU target is for a reduction in CO2 output in absolute terms. The Chinese target is for a reduction in growth of CO2 ouput.


    • Umbongo says:

      “There is a blatant piece of misrepresentaton in Bleisch’s piece”

      He’s obviously a graduate of the BBC College of (what passes for) Journalism.


  21. Dez says:

    From the report: “Prevalence, distribution and risk associated with tick infestation of dogs in Great Britain“.  
    “Ticks are effective disease vectors, second only to mosquitoes in transmitting infectious disease (Le Bars, 2009). Approximately 10% of all known tick species act as vectors of various pathogens to humans and animals (Jongejan & Uilenberg, 2004). The potential impacts of climate changes and increased movement between countries of people and their companion animals on the distribution of ticks is therefore an area of increasing current concern.”  
    “Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, Q fever (rare; more commonly transmitted by infected excreta),[1] Colorado tick fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as bovine anaplasmosis.”  

    But never mind; Robin Horbury thinks such research is a, “lunatic waste of money” and, “hooey” from “nutty, priofligate academics”.


    • john says:

      Oh God, you don’t give up do you Dez ?
      What on earth would you do if you were surrounded by us fools and we had stupidly elected Robin Horbury to decide what measures to take whilst we were all scratching ourselves ?
      Probably tell us we dererve it I suppose.
      However an oration from the sermon on the mount “Dez style” may “connect” to the few that hadn’t been bored to death with your latest obscure “find”, and we all know how reliable Wikipedia is because as an eminent scientist such as yourself you wouldn’t possibly use anything else as a reference.
      But we lesser mortals can’t help being foolish Dez.

      Speaking of which, what was your point again ?


      • Dez says:

        Oh Dez this, Dez that… You’d rather remain ignorant? Don’t let me stop you ;-P


        • john says:

          All on your own you’ve achieved what we all thought hitherto impossible, ignorant and yet unstoppably Dez’ified.
          Now look Dez, I’m feeling generous, here’s an plan for your next post :
          Have an idea
          or :
          Have a good idea
          Or indeed :
          A Jolly good idea

          I am sure that there will be many stories about BBC cost-cutting fiasco’s which you would like to share with us.
          But don’t keep it to yourself – Enlighten us please !


          • Dez says:

            More Dez this, Dez that…

            “I am sure that there will be many stories about BBC cost-cutting fiasco’s which you would like to share with us.”

            Oh you’d like to change the subject? There’s a surprise!



  22. john says:

    So no idea’s yet Dez, now there is a surprise !


  23. Umbongo says:

    Although this thread is (probably) closed, I think it’s worthwhile noting that Gill’s report does not give a direct link to the paper.  Quite why is a mystery since Dez was able to use the BBC’s resources to find the link.

    Coming to the paper: the authors conclude that [my emboldening] “the key finding of the current study is that the prevalence of tick infestation in dogs in Great Britain was much higher than expected, in both urban and rural environments”.  However, the first sentence of the paper does, in fact, bring in climate change thus “Current concerns over the potential impacts of climate change and the increased movement between countries of people and companion animals on the distribution of ectoparasites, highlight the need for accurate understanding of existing prevalence patterns.”

    As far as I can see – that’s it!  Call me cynical but I suspect that since the magic words “climate change” have replaced the magic words “open sesame” to open the treasure chest from which grants are awarded to academics for all kinds of research, the inclusion of “climate change” was a box-ticking (!) exercise.  This research does not identify the definitive cause(s) of the increase in tick parasitism but the paper is evidently – as is frequently the case – a useful tool to obtain more funding for further research.  Nothing wrong with that except that I doubt this would have been picked up by Gill unless the words “climate change” (and a nod to a possible dangerous effect of climate change) had appeared in the paper.  I further suspect that had this paper averred that climate change could, in some way, ameliorate the effect or prevalence of tick parasitism, Gill wouldn’t have given it the time of day.