British public oppose badger cull
The majority of British people are opposed to the badger cull, a new YouGov poll of 1,763 people has revealed.
According to the poll, 34% of people asked said they were against the cull, while 29% supported it, 22% did not know, and only 2% said it was an important issue facing the country.
However, the survey also showed that 27% of those who opposed the cull would change their mind, if it meant TB would not spread to other areas of the country.
The survey has been welcomed by National Farmers’ Union vice-president Adam Quinney, who said: “The findings of this survey by YouGov show that the majority of people, 66%, either support the cull, have no strong feeling or simply don’t know.”
However, Badger Trust spokesman Jack Reedy told MeatInfo.co.uk: “It is also the case that 34% are against killing badgers with 29% for and 27% effectively “don’t knows”. Such a result is barely representative of anything”
Meanwhile, the sting of bovine TB (bTB) is taking its toll on farmers, with more than 38,000 cattle slaughtered in Great Britain as a result of the disease. “A cull is not about wiping out badgers,” Quinney explained. “It is about reducing TB in areas where it is endemic. This will ensure this terrible disease doesn’t spread to areas of the country that are currently clear of it.”
He added that, although the majority of the British public do not consider bTB a big issue, the thousands of farming families living with it do. He said the constant threat of bTB and “its devastating effects on their businesses and families” is the most important issue in their lives.
Quinney concluded: “But if we are to successfully tackle TB, action has to be taken to deal with the reservoir of disease in our wildlife. Evidence from countries such as Ireland and New Zealand shows that when all fronts of the disease are tackled at the same time, a significant reduction in TB can be achieved.”