Farmers urged to speak out on bovine TB

The NFU is urging farmers to make sure that they speak out in the debate around badger culling and has produced posters and template letters to help them do so.

Anti-cull campaigners are bombarding the media and websites like Twitter and Facebook with messages attacking the policy and the union wants to make sure that farmers’ voices are heard too.

It has produced four posters which seek to put across key facts about bovine TB to counteract some of the claims being made by opponents to a badger cull.

One points out that 34,000 cattle were slaughtered in 2011 because of TB, while another highlights that the disease has cost taxpayers £500m over the past 10 years.

TB poster

They all end with the line: “It’s not as black and white as you think.”

The union has also produced some letter-writing guidance so producers can write to their MP.

It says that MPs are almost certainly being lobbied by groups opposed to any cull, so it is vital that farmer demonstrate there is another side to the story.

It suggests that farmers write a letter which acknowledges culling is an emotive topic, but explains the main objective is healthy cattle and healthy badgers.

In terms of engaging with the wider public, the NFU is asking farmers who use twitter to use the #tbfree alongside any messages about the bovine TB issue.

It is also urging people to write to their local paper to share their experiences and views.

Farmers wanting to find more facts and figures to help them in their communications with the public can visit the TB Free England website which has been set up by the NFU.

More on this topic

See more on the proposed cull on our badger cull page

Farmers Weekly quizzes Brian May on bovine TB

Isabel Davies on G+