22 January 2001
Badger supporters face ‘intimidation’

By FWi staff

POLICE and Ministry of Agriculture are intimidating animal welfare activists monitoring badger culling trials, reports The Times.

This is the view of reporter Ann Treneman, who joined a couple checking for orphaned cubs in a Wiltshire cull zone.

The 34 million trials are being conducted in a bid to establish if badgers are transmitting bovine tuberculosis to cattle.

Ms Treneman says her party were tailed by MAFF staff and filmed by police officers claiming to be preventing beauty-spot thefts.

“The last time this happened to me, I was doing a story in Kurdistan in south-east Turkey in a military zone,” she says.

“But this is not Kurdistan, it is Wiltshire. No one is at war here. Or at least I hadnt thought so until now.”

Ms Treneman says MAFF should worry less about people checking trial sites, and more about the viability of “this ambitious experiment”.

She questions if it really is possible to kill every badger in designated zones.

She adds: “Clearly badgers are not the only ones being hunted in the beautiful hills of north Wiltshire.”