I predicted last year there would be many tears before bedtime before the controversial issue of badger culling was concluded. It has now stimulated direct action from badger supporters. These sort of stories perpetuate the myth of the countryside as a backwards and heartless place, where farmers put profit over compassion. We all know this is bunkum but neither, it seems to me in this case, is the evidence for culling as the solution completely unequivocal. This is a complex and horrible issue and I fear it will have an ongoing role in dividing opinions unhelpfully about who should really exercise stewardship over our rural land mass. The article tells us:

“A government plan to slaughter thousands of the country’s best-loved wild animals was always going to be controversial. But the long-awaited badger cull, aimed at stopping the spread of tuberculosis in cattle, now looks set to provoke a campaign of direct action by animal rights activists not seen since the heyday of the fox hunt saboteurs.

Yesterday it emerged that activists working for an organisation called the Coalition of Badger Action Groups (CBAG), have publicised the names, addresses and telephone numbers of farmers involved in organising a trial of the cull due to begin in the West Country this autumn. Followers of the group were urged to contact the farmers to “let them know” their views on the cull.

Although activists said their intention was not to “harass” the people targeted, farmers say they have been “intimidated and frightened” by the move. One of the addresses belonged to a Bed and Breakfast managed by the wife of a farmer involved. Her mobile phone number was also published.”

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