Badgers are at the centre of one of the biggest rural controversies of our time.
On the one hand, many farmers see them as disease-carrying pests that need to be controlled in the same way as urban dwellers control rats, with poison, traps or guns.
How can there be such a huge gulf between these opposing views? Is there a central “truth” that we can all agree about?
It is true that badgers can spread TB to cattle
There are some definitive facts. Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) is a complex disease which needs to be controlled to maintain the UK’s international animal health reputation. Control measures include improved on-farm hygiene, accurate identification of cattle, records of animal movement, regular testing of cattle by vets, and unfortunately for badgers, strict control of wildlife that can carry TB.
You see, there is no doubt that badgers can carry TB.