Calls for sex pheromone traps at Scottish border and in ports to keep new variants out

Will I need a passport to enter and leave an independent Scotland? |  Scottish independence | The Guardian
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Our Science Correspondent, Jurgen MacGlashan, has written to the authorities to suggest that ‘sex pheromone traps’ be placed in the toilets of food serving areas in airports, ferry terminals and roadside services, in an effort to keep out the new variants of Covid which the PM has warned will soon be washing up on our shores.

This would be a replication of the currently successful traps keeping Halyomorpha halys, the Stink Bug, out of Scotland.

From The Scottish Farmer yesterday:

The stink bug can already be found on every continent in the Northern Hemisphere, including North America and mainland Europe, and has a wide host range including soft and tree fruit, field vegetables, and ornamentals. Scientists from the James Hutton Institute, Scotland’s Rural College and SASA have placed sex pheromone traps at strategic points around Scotland, including near transport hubs and in soft fruit growing areas, to attract the bug if it is present, and developed a DNA fingerprinting method to help distinguish it from similar, less damaging species.

https://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/19218647.stink-bugs-havent-reached-scotland—yet/

Jurgen tells us that his proposed trap would include an aerosol sensor placed under toilet seats and using an accelerated version of the PCI test, detect Covid infection. A positive result would trigger a connected infra-red device to lock toilet area doors and trigger a flashing alarm. Dedicated security staff in full protective gear would then drive the infected individuals back across the border and dump them on verge.

Jurgen’s first idea of summarily executing the infected has now been abandoned.

11 thoughts on “Calls for sex pheromone traps at Scottish border and in ports to keep new variants out

  1. “Jurgen’s first idea of summarily executing the infected has now been abandoned.”

    I should hope so, as contracting covid-19 is not necessarily fatal. There’s not yet sufficient justification to consider such cross-border violations of public health protocols, to be biological warfare. There would need to be clear evidence of a solid trend before we could assume that to be the case. 😉

    https://www.ethicsandinternationalaffairs.org/2020/borders-in-the-time-of-covid-19/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I should hope so, as contracting covid-19 is not necessarily fatal.”

      It will be if Jurgen has his way…

      Like

  2. Those bugs look nasty, we definitely don’t want them in Scotland, no no no.
    Thanks for the laugh re toilet seats!
    On a serious note we need to start growing more veg in polytunnels if necessary in Scotland. Anyone notice fruit and vegetables are, if available at the moment, not great quality now? Couldn’t get my red peppers other day and shop guy said that it could be another week because Spain has had a bad crop due to very bad weather. Scotland could grow far more…but need land reform first and that won’t happen while shackled to England…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree about need for land reform but not sure about covering the freed acres with plastic polytunnels. How does Iceland manage to be more or less self-sufficient in veg? Is that with polytunnels?
      Think we need to get back to accepting seasonality of fruit and veg rather than expect all-year-round green beans, strawberries etc. Let’s eat more neeps and blaeberries! And dandelion leaves are just coming into season – mix into your salad.
      Also issues about inadequate pay, poor living and working conditions for the mainly migrant fruit and veg workers in the south of Spain. Should we be exploiting them?

      Like

      1. Doesn’t have to be polyethylene, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing, provided the skins are replaced and recycled appropriately. I don’t think we’d automatically convert all grouse moors that way anyway; there will be much more appropriate options, especially near habitation. Lots of moorland is at the back o’ beyond and isn’t natural, so it would, in many cases, be an improvement; most notably in reducing food miles.

        We could go for glass, although initial costs will be high, but we certainly have a precedent. Much of the remaining Clyde Valley tomato houses are now given over to bedding plants, but the produce industry was still viable, to a degree, until cheap Spanish (particularly Canary Islands) tomatoes came with Spain’s accession to the EEC, as was. Before then, we just didn’t get toms or anything remotely salad like during the winter months, or even at this time of year.

        As for “seasonal veg”, I’ve had chefs on the phone (I used to work in produce) asking for parsnips in midsummer and taking the hump when I point out they’re strictly winter. I’ve even had to air freight sodding parsnips in to keep one, particularly highly strung and precious, individual from going into meltdown over his new (and recently printed) menu.

        Can’t comment on the harvesting, I know next to nothing of that side of things.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Drew
        The main problems pertaining to our fruit and veg production other than climate are
        1.The Supermarkets effectively have total
        Control now
        2.We have lost the sense of eating “In Season ” and become a instant gratification society
        3.Mainly due to the Supermarkets we no longer have suffice production capacity
        So in conclusion a complete remodelling
        Of growers,supply chains and point of sale/collection required
        All done in a well thought out coordinated manner
        But as free school meals impact along with The SHNS the state believe it or not
        Shall effectively become the largest consumer thereby going a very long way
        To cutting the dominance of the Supermarket and their complex , carbon spewing air mile procurement policies
        So a partnership of Government and producers could form a new National Agency to develop and implement a long term management plan
        A good start point would be something similar to the small holdings set up at the end of WW2,but completely tailored to todays world
        All along with in todays Internet connectivity a central data/ produce/delivery system could be easily
        Set up
        If Amazon.can build such a successful operation in many fields
        Then surely us doing so is not beyond the pale
        But the trick here is too Think Small at point of production
        To create a Big Core Mass at the operating cte
        Where their is a will there is a future
        How we source and distribute food is currently unsustainable and mainly on a environmental and global warming basis
        Food production believe or not is the largest single producer of carbon, along with the health impacts of the Rubbish currently upon the Supermarket shelves
        The whole dam system is ultimately doomed to cataclysmic failure which in reality is already almost at that point of failure NOW

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    2. Can’t say much about the current situation with Spanish peppers, but it will be short-term. Spain gets 3 or 4 pepper crops per annum depending on how far south they are.

      What I can tell you though is that peppers are always in short supply at and just after Easter because nobody, literally nobody, picks peppers in the Netherlands from Good Friday until Easter Monday. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but that 4 day break causes a huge spike in demand & wholesale prices can more than double. That puts pressure on the Spanish supply, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the best ones were scooped up and the poorer quality ones are all you can find.

      It’ll happen again next year and the year after, so get your capsicums a couple of days ahead of Easter weekend in future. There’s another annual supply bottleneck every Mayday too, not as pronounced, but still a company pain in the bahookie for anyone working in wholesale produce. Easter is a nightmare though, in normal times. No matter how often or how hard you prompt, you’ll get an earful because they underestimated their needs over a busy holiday period. That box of peppers that was £12 on Wednesday is £25 or £30 over the weekend and could go higher before sanity is restored. Other things are affected to a lesser degree: toms; cues and such. Most Dutch produce is grown under glass, so….

      You’re definitely on the money about growing more here though. 18% of all our land is given over to grouse moors; monocultures that do the cube root of nada for diversity; both ecological and economical. Remember that’s 18% of all land dedicated to grouse, not just the productive bits for inbred, chinless wonders to blast to death in the name of sport.

      Iceland had a revolution in produce production about a generation, or so, ago. Great benefits from a wider, more varied diet, not to mention vastly improved national food security. No reason why we can’t do the same, or similar. Iceland has an overabundance of geothermal energy, which doesn’t need much more effort than piping the hot water to their polytunnels. We’d need to produce electricity in appropriate loci, then convert it to heat; a little more complicated. It shouldn’t be a big ask though; we’re producing enough energy to power two Scotlands as is, with plenty of potential to produce more.

      Something else we can be looking at is there’s a deep fund of agricultural and horticultural knowledge in Scotland. We already are a global player in the sector and we certainly have the capability to develop new food crops suited to our climate, which incidentally is extremely benign relative to our latitude.

      Anyhoo, really gotta go, Gyles Brandreth is oan ma telly, wafflin’ aboot the Chookae Embra an’ ah Cannae remember when I last saw the remote! Mercy!

      Liked by 1 person

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