Past highlights

In 1971, a dead badger with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) was discovered in Gloucestershire on a farm that had experienced a cattle herd breakdown due to bTB. This was the first confirmed case of bovine TB infection in a badger in the UK. Ever since, there has been regular  coverage of the ‘badgers and bovine TB issue’ in the British press (and further afield), particularly in connection with the pros and cons of different types of badger control programmes.

Indeed, there has been so much coverage of this issue on and off over the last four decades that if all the words used were put end to end they might even stretch to the moon and back. We’ve chosen some highlights from recent years that are especially informative and insightful – and sometimes uncannily farsighted. Others we’ve included because they’re just good fun. We’ll be adding to these over time.

In the meantime, we hope you find these selected media highlights thought-provoking and perhaps even at times entertaining, albeit in a slightly black way, tinged with surreal sense of déjà vu…

Badger cull – it will not happen

6 March 2013 | Mail Online | Michael Hanlon
Owen Patterson, the Environment Secretary, seems to be doing his damnedest to drive Tory poll ratings down still further. ... Read the full article »

Dad’s Army’s take on the badger cull

24 November 2012 | Farmer’s Weekly | Stephen Carr
The actor Clive Dunn may have passed away but the spirit of Dad’s Army lives on. And if it was set in Gloucestershire in 2012, it’d go a little something like this… ... Read the full article »

The truth about bovines, badgers and the spread of TB

11 November 2012 | The Observer | Alice Roberts
Mycobacteria and TB have been in the news a lot recently. In fact, one particular species has been hogging the limelight: Mycobacterium bovis. As its name suggests, it likes to infect cows, but as we’re recently all too aware, it’s quite happy in badgers too. ... Read the full article »

An open letter to Owen Paterson, the new environment secretary

8 September 2012 | Robin McKie | The Observer
David Cameron reshuffled his cabinet last week, putting Owen Paterson in charge of the green brief. Here the Observer’s science editor explains why he has grave misgivings – for the country and for the planet as a whole ... Read the full article »

Badger cull is a U-turn-in-waiting

31 May 2012 | The Guardian | Damian Carrington
Accurately counting nocturnal, underground animals is understandably hard. But uncertainty about badger numbers fatally undermines the attempt to control TB in cattle. ... Read the full article »

Bovine TB, badgers and a permaculture perspective

16 August 2011 | Permaculture | Tim Green
What is bovine TB? Why are we set to cull huge numbers of badgers to deal with it? Why can’t we use a bovine tb vaccine? Cattle farmer and permaculturist Tim Green answers some of these questions ... Read the full article »

Control landowners, not badgers – that’s the real answer to bovine TB

15 November 2010 | The Guardian | George Monbiot
Culling badgers risks spreading TB, government research concludes. But the NFU wants blood ... Read the full article »