Category Archives: Values & Viewpoints

Contrasting Values & Viewpoints

In terms of badger culling for bTB eradication in Great Britain, there are many conflicting values and viewpoints that make this issue so controversial. These opinions are not necessarily right or wrong, but must be considered thoroughly and logically. The following posts aim to discuss how badger culling may stack up against different ethical theories, as well as how attitudes and opinions lie among these groups:

  • Public
  • Farmers
  • Animal rights activists

Animal Rights Activists

Animal welfare and rights groups are vehemently against badger culling, instead calling on a focus on vaccination programs to eradicate bTB instead. Primarily these groups are concerned with badger welfare and conservation issues that may result from culls. Activists have been deeply involved in protests, petitions, and running websites against culling efforts, often using graphic imagery, as shown below:


Farmer Attitudes

A Somerset farmer, Maurice Durbin, was interviewed by the BBC expressing his opinion that badgers were the cause of bTB infection in his cattle

Main attitudes from producers:

  • ~90% support badger culling
    • To protect cattle
    • To avoid costs from a potential bTB outbreak on farm
  •  National Farmers’ Union (NFU) supports badger cull to be effective in reducing bTB infection rates in cattle


Various petitions have been carried out in the past, indicating that there is indeed public support against culling. However, there appears to be no direct response from the government in changing policies or regulations to end culling despite these petitions:

  • (2015)
    • 3,391 signatures
  • Stop the Cull (2013)
    • 304,255 signatures
    • Resulted in mandatory Parliamentary debate and vote
    • MPs voted overwhelmingly to end cull, but no action by government to stop pilot culls
  • 38 Degrees (2012)
    • 97,057 signatures

Questionnaires about Badger Culling

Attitudes toward badger culling appear to differ in terms of location in the UK and when the questionnaires were conducted.

Public opinions in Glastonbury and York in 1999, through questionnaires (White and Whiting, 2000):

  • Preferred no culling
  • Widespread culling least favoured
  • Knowledge about culls affected opinions
    • More knowledge about culls -> greater cull preference due to human health concerns and economic costs to farmers
    • Less knowledge about culls -> primarily concerned with badger welfare and conservation

Public opinions in Wales in 2015, through questionnaires (Enticott, 2015):

  • 63% preferred vaccination over culling
  • Overall, slight majority agreed with culling to control bTB
  • Most felt that the current scientific reports about cull effectiveness were not adequate

Public Opinion

There appears to be variation in support for badger culling from the public, depending on the different regions of Great Britain. In general, the public opinion has been based on:

  • Impact of bTB in different regions
  • Amount of knowledge about the situation
  • Scientific reports available
  • Concern for badger welfare
  • Positive outlook on badgers from British literature