The latest installment in the badger cull story. This issue is not going away for a long time potentially creating lots of negative press for the wider farming community. The article below suggests something of a country file conspiracy (weird thought) although there is no getting away from the results of a vote encompassing over 100,000 viewers.

With the cull in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire only weeks away, the Corporation has found itself facing questions about its impartiality in a debate which has triggered strong feelings on both sides.

The photograph of the badger taken by Dave Foker, a viewer, made the shortlist of 12 in a competition to choose pictures for the 2013 calendar to represent a programme with a regular audience of more than five million viewers.

Viewers, who were asked to choose which of the shots should be used for the calendar cover.

While they chose the badger, the judges – including the presenter John Craven – preferred a picture of a rainbow.

One farmer, David Minish, turned to twitter to voice his distaste at the choice. “The cover of your new calendar is unfortunately themed. As cute as badgers may be to your viewers TB is destroying lives.”

Jan Rowe, a farmer running Gloscon, the company which will carry out the shooting in Gloucestershire questioned the wisdom of choosing the picture.

“Given the circumstances and the current situation, I would have thought it was marginally provocative,” he said.

“If it was a staggeringly beautiful picture, I would understand. But if there was an underlying motive behind the choice, I would have a grumble.”

Mike Henson was also unimpressed. “I think that Badger Is dead and stuffed. Badgers just don’t walk down country lanes in the sunshine!”

Adam Quinney, the vice president of the National Farmers Union, was also surprised. “It did raise an eyebrow that they had chosen it, though it is a good picture.

“Of course we are not anti badger, we are anti TB.”

However the choice was hailed by those opposing the cull which could eventually see as many as 100,000 animals killed as part of a drive to prevent bovine TB spreading to cattle herds.

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