18 August 2000
Badger culling an ‘acceptable move’
By FWi staff
CONSERVATIONISTS have rejected the findings of a study which claims the public is largely unconcerned by the idea of killing badgers to control tuberculosis in cattle.
The York University study found that the public considered the governments badger culling trial to be a largely acceptable solution to the problem of bovine TB.
Researchers Piran White and Susanne Whiting questioned 100 people in York and in Glastonbury.
Their findings, published in the Veterinary Record are in stark contrast to the claims of pressure groups which are opposed to killing badgers.
But the National Federation of Badger Groups said the study was flawed.
It claimed that respondents were given the impression that bovine TB could have implications for human health and killing badgers was the only solution.
But Dr Whiting said the study had aimed to give people full information about culling.
She said: Given very little facts and told that badgers are going to be killed people are always going to say that they object.
But given more facts including the farming perspective and people are much more amenable to the idea.
A ministry of agriculture spokeswoman accepted there was a need to better inform the public and said work was in progress to improve communications.
The ministry already tried to make information available on its website, in leaflets and through regions to talk to the public and media, she added.
- Government losing badger battle, FWi, 06 July 1999
- Badger cull is farce, say vets, FWi, 14 April 1999
- Badger groups cull stance under attack, FWi, 18 September 1998