Killing badgers: a necessary evil or the unwarranted killing of a scapegoat?

I live in Ireland, and one remarkable difference between this country and the UK is the different attitude to badger culling. In Ireland, it has been government policy to trap and kill badgers for many years, and there has been barely a ripple of public dissent at this policy. In contrast, badger culling in the UK is a major political issue.

It can be difficult for onlookers to get a clear understanding about the issues behind the scenes with badgers and TB – often people are just “pro-farmer” or “pro-badger” without even looking at the facts.

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. On the other hand, animal lovers see them as benign, harmless characters, going about their own business, and certainly not “guilty” enough to deserve death.

How can there be such a huge gulf between these opposing views? Is there a central “truth” that we can all agree about?

I’ve written an article for VetHelpDirect, trying to distill the facts, as I understand them, into a page of digestible information.

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