Livestock

Yeo Valley 'will not cull badgers' on its farms

Saturday 09 March 2013 07:00
Badger

Yeo Valley says it will not be supporting the badger cull and insisted that no culling will take place on its organic farms.

Writing on its Twitter account, the Somerset dairy company confirmed: "Yeo Valley does not and will not cull badgers on our organic farms."

Based on the proposed cull zones from last year, no other farms that supply milk for Yeo Valley products will be culling badgers either, the company said.

However, when asked for its view of the badger cull, Yeo Valley adopted a neutral stance.

"We neither oppose or support a cull. It is for the government to decide the best solution to control the badger population based on the research, facts and advice from the experts," said a Yeo Valley spokesman.

Farmers Weekly asked Yeo Valley whether it would take milk from suppliers involved in the badger cull.

A company spokesman declined to answer the question and stressed its official neutral position.

Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and the Co-operative have confirmed that they are not sourcing milk from the pilot areas in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire. However, they have also adopted neutral positions on the policy.

Tesco and Sainsbury's have released statements in support of the government's policy and farmers involved in the cull areas.

Anti-badger cull campaigners have taken to Twitter to express support for Yeo Valley.

The Stop The Cull campaign said in a tweet: "I'm glad that they don't #badgercull but I won't promote the dairy industry. We highlight those that are involved."

Yeo Valley is an independent, family-owned farming and dairy business, based in Blagdon, north Somerset.

It is the UK's biggest organic brand with about 65% of the organic market and about 5% of the total yoghurt market.

The NFU is seeking assurances from retailers and processors that they will continue to source milk from farmers involved in the badger cull.

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