Farmers are to blame for spreading bovine TB, with the case against badgers little more than “propaganda”, according to one Labour MP.

Speaking at the CLA Game Fair, Labour’s Chris Williamson said he did not accept evidence that badgers contributed to the spread of bovine tuberculosis, saying that this was little more than an excuse for poor farming.

“I am absolutely in favour of protecting badgers. I don’t accept the propaganda around badgers spreading TB. Very often this is an excuse for poor husbandry, I would suspect.”

His comments drew a hostile response from an audience at the Game Fair debate, ironically entitled: Can politicians deliver for the rural economy?

Mr Williamson, who was elected as Labour MP for Derby North in May 2010, is a former Derby City councillor and former chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports.

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Go to our Game Fair 2010 page for News, Tweets, photos, video and comment from the event