Countryfile causes more controversy over badger cull

Countryfile has caused further controversy over its coverage of the badger cull. Viewers took to social media to voice their outraged at the BBC show.

Viewer anger peaked as presenter Tom Heap was shown interviewing a cattle farmer. The farmer’s herd had regularly suffered from outbreaks of bTB. Causing the farmer to slaughter hundreds of cows. A problem which he believes he has now overcome by culling badgers.

Viewers took issue with the lack of scientific evidence presented by the show to support this claim. One commentator Tweeted saying “Countryfile supporting the Badger Cull now. Going right downhill. @BBCCountryfile You are becoming a propaganda machine for the meat industry. Sort it out.”

The Brunton report, a DEFRA commissioned report into the effectiveness of the cull was mentioned in the show. Its results were shown to support the badger cull, with DEFRA’s scientific adviser Professor James Wood explaining how culling zones were found to have lower rates of bTB than surrounding areas.

However, this report was refuted by Dominic Dyer, the CEO of the Badger Trust. Who said that it was much to early to be drawing these conclusion, because even by the governments own reckoning it will take at least four years before results become clear and reliable.

Despite this, reports such as the Brunton report have encouraged politicians to rapidly expand the number of cull zones in the UK from 2 in 2013 to 21 today.

The show did highlight the excessive cost of the badger cull which the government estimates has already cost over £23million!