NFU South East regional director William White has reiterated his and the NFU’s support for the badger cull – despite his Twitter account having been hacked by anti-cull activists and a message put out that he is now against the cull.
The mischievous tweet read: “The badger cull doesn’t work & I’m not going to remain silent about it any more”.
It was quickly latched on to, with a number of anti-badger cull supporters welcoming the alleged comment.
Thank you. I told Gove in a meeting that farmers would eventually work this out & it'd be them kicking his door down, not us. I've long suspected the culls were a trigger issue deliberately used to shore up the 'rural tory' vote. Sorry to say this but you've been Royally conned.
— Peter Martin (@oldlongdog) October 23, 2019
Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust also circulated the tweet to a selection of industry and political leaders, including NFU president Minette Batters and Defra minister Zac Goldsmith, with the comment: “NFU South East Regional Director takes on NFU leadership by admitting badger culling does not work as shocking images of dead badgers released to media.”
But Mr White was quick to point out that the tweet which appeared on his account was a hoax and took steps to remove the false tweet.
“Some of you will have seen that my twitter account was hacked last night. I’ve deleted the offending tweet. Peer-reviewed scientific evidence was published 11.10.19 that proves the effectiveness of badger culling in reducing the outbreaks of TB in cattle,” he tweeted.
Mr White told Farmers Weekly that he had taken steps to add an extra layer of security to his Twitter account. “It would appear that a password is no longer enough.”
Despite this, screen shots of the original false tweet continue to be circulated by anti-cull supporters.
Mr Dyer’s comment about “images of dead badgers released to media” was a reference to images circulated by the Badger Trust of badgers wrapped in plastic bags, allegedly awaiting disposal at an incineration plant in the South West.
The images, together with comments from Mr Dyer about the “systematic cruel slaughter of a protected species”, were published in full in The Mirror newspaper.