NFU lobbies MPs in badger cull debate

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is planning to join forces with eight separate UK livestock bodies to lobby the Government for a cull of badgers.

Badgers: escaped cull
Badgers: escaped cull

The NFU will step up its campaigning following environment secretary Hilary Benn's refusal to endorse a cull this Tuesday.

The union has accused the Government of 'a disgraceful abdication of responsibility' in the fight against bovine tuberculosis (TB).

This week saw a large-scale demonstration at Westminster by NFU members following Tuesday's announcement.

The union also mounted a last-minute lobbying initiative targeting MPs.

'All the farmers, around 200 of them, had meetings in the afternoon with their constituency MPs, with the Midlands and the South West being the TB hotspots,' said NFU press officer Sharon Hockley.

This week, union members are touring the countryside in a bid to 'instil hope' in under-threat farmers, according to Hockley.

The next step, she said, is to form an 'industry stakeholder group' with the various livestock bodies.

The NFU recently appointed the editor of the Farmers Guardian Liz Falkingham to its top comms role.

On the Government's side in the badger cull debate are a handful of wildlife interest groups including the RSPCA, The Badger Trust, the Wildlife Trusts and The National Trust.

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