Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Press Complaints Commission rules badger TB image is misleading

Being nocturnal, badgers would more normally be seen like this and not in broad daylight as in the image that caused the complaint

A photograph printed in a weekly farming publication of cows and badgers together in broad daylight alongside stories about bovine TB could have ‘misled’ the public into thinking this kind of interaction was normal, according to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

A complaint was made against Farmers Weekly for using the photograph – which has also been used in other publications – in such a way that the public could have been led to the conclusion that badgers were constantly in direct contact with cattle, and thus were to blame for bovine TB (bTB). After the PCC contacted the publication it agreed to offer a clarification that the photo was not taken on a farm.

Jude Walker, from Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS), said the photograph was taken 25 years ago in a wildlife sanctuary when the rescued badger was being re-acquainted with outdoor life. Normally badgers and cows would rarely meet in daylight. Even at night they would rarely have nose-to-nose contact as in the photograph. 

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