On Wednesday 25th May, there was a well attended badger cull meeting in Dorset, organised by Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare (DBBW). The organisers did a great job in getting those on both sides of the badger cull debate to attend. One of the attendees was Trevor Cligg, Chair of Dorset National Farmers Union.

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Mr Cligg provided some information which was news to everyone in attendance, and indeed to the general public.  He informed the meeting that this year, DEFRA is planning to test some of their culled badgers for bTB.

Zero culled badgers were tested for bTB in the 2015 culls, and only 4 were tested in previous years (and those tests were not due to government requests). Therefore Mr Cligg’s statement was a surprise to everyone, although there was annoyance about the fact he claimed that the testing will not be done by an independent body. Further information he was privy to, that the public were not.

But something isn’t adding up

NFA supporters will know that we have registered many Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests to the government to get answers about the badger cull. One of our many FOI Requests to them was to find out whether DEFRA would be testing culled badgers for bTB in 2016.

Here is what DEFRA’s response to us was, written on 31st May, 2016. Six days after Mr Cligg’s statements:

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Network for Animals contacted Mr Cligg’s office to politely ask how he had come about the information he shared at the meeting. He was unavailable for comment. NFA left our contact details, but have yet to receive a response.