Divided public on badger cull

Public opinion is divided over the controversial badger cull, with about a third opposing the policy and almost as many backing it, a new poll shows.

Farmers: TB brings 'physical and emotional' pressure

Thousands of farming families living with the constant threat of TB are in favour of the Government's controversial badger cull, despite the division of the general public.

My life to some extent is planned around TB tests.

I've ended up managing my business because of TB, managing it in a risk averse way because you know you've got TB or you're not far away from having TB.

– Gloucestershire dairy farmer Rob Harrison, 36

Read: Facts about the badger cull

It's partly financial, but also we've got quite fond of these cows and know how to handle them, and they know us, so there's an emotional pressure.

Also it's quite a physical pressure, we've got to bring cows in for testing that would rather be out at grass, we've got to chase them round the field and then they're stressed out, and the calves are all mixed in and it gets quite dangerous for them and us.

– Angela Sargent, a beef farmer from Derbyshire

Read: Badgers - to cull or not to cull?

NFU: Badger cull is not about 'wiping them out'

The vice president of the National Farmers' Union, Adam Quinney, said the badger cull is not about "wiping out badgers" but reducing TB in "areas where it is endemic".

A new poll has revealed the public opinion is divided on whether the badger cull should go ahead.

This will ensure this terrible disease doesn't spread to areas of the country that are currently clear of it.

Farmers are already playing their part in tackling TB.

Robust new on-farm rules were introduced in January 2013 as part of the Government's TB eradication plan, which aims to tackle all aspects of TB infection in the countryside.

These rules followed the introduction of additional cattle controls, more pre-movement testing and increased on-farm biosecurity measures last July.But if we are to successfully tackle TB, action has to be taken to deal with the reservoir of disease in our wildlife.

– Adam Quinney, National Farmers' Union vice president

Watch: Brian May calls badger cull go ahead 'very, very sad'

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Public opinion 'divided' over controversial badger cull

The public is divided over the controversial badger cull, a new poll has revealed, with around a third opposing the policy and almost as many backing it.

Of the 1,763 English and Welsh adults surveyed, 34% were against the culling of badgers as part of a range of measures to attempt to control tuberculosis in cattle in specific infected areas.

Read: Badger flash mob protests against badger cull plans

England and Wales are undivided over the badger cull Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

According to the poll, which comes ahead of two pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset, 29% supported the policy, while 22% did not know and 15% had no strong feelings about badger culling.

Culling of the protected animal, which can spread TB to cattle, is necessary as part of efforts to cut increasing disease rates in dairy and beef herds, the Government said.

Read: Owen Paterson says badger cull is an 'important step'