Just a reminder of the ongoing badger controversy as we head into 2014. This article tells us:

An RSPCA advertisement claiming that the Government wanted to “shoot England’s badgers” has been banned for misleading people into thinking all badgers would be killed in culling areas.

The poster showed a picture of a badger, a bullet and a vaccination needle, asking: “Vaccinate or exterminate?”

People reading it were asked to sign a petition and send a £3 donation for the charity’s campaign against the cull.

Starting in August, the cull aimed to kill 5,000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, but was called off early after just 921 were killed.

The advertisement, which appeared before the cull began, stated: “The UK government wants to shoot England’s badgers. We want to vaccinate them – and save their lives. The government’s proposed badger cull could begin at any time, despite scientific evidence that slaughtering thousands of England’s badgers is unlikely to stop the spread of bovine TB in cattle.”

A total of 119 people, including Simon Hart, a Conservative MP, the Farmers’ Union of Wales, and Antoinette Sandbach, the Tory shadow minister for rural affairs in Wales, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Most of the complainants said the advertisement was “misleading” as the use of the term “exterminate” was “alarmist” because the cull was only taking place in two counties. The watchdog accepted that through campaigning and press coverage, consumers would know that “not all badgers would be culled”.

However, the general population would “not be aware of the proportion of the badger population that was expected to be culled”, it added. As this was the case, following up the question “Vaccinate or exterminate?” with “the UK government wants to shoot England’s badgers” implied “that all badgers would be eradicated in the cull areas”.

The ASA ruled out three further complaints, over claims and wording related to vaccination, and over the suggestion that scientific evidence showed a cull was “unlikely to stop the spread of bovine TB in cattle”.

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