Press Complaints Commission rules badger TB image in Farmers Weekly is misleading

News

Staff Member
Original article from wildlife extra dot com:

"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.

“I made the complaint because the use of this picture would clearly lead people to think that contact between badgers and cattle like this were commonplace, when they are not,” said Jude. “Those in favour of the cull constantly use the argument that badgers pass on bTB to cattle – and this photograph is practically saying, ‘and this shows it’. The truth is that the photo shows nothing of the kind.”

Dominic Dyer, of the Badger Trust and Care for the Wild, said: “An image can speak a thousand words, and this image was used to say ‘badgers are guilty’. In reality, the real problem for farmers is the failure of the bTB test, which misses around one in every five infected cows. That means sick cows are left in the herd, and can be infecting other cows all their lives without detection.

“That’s why this disease is staying alive, and that’s why apparently ‘closed’ herds are suddenly discovered with infection. The focus of this whole debate needs to move onto the testing regime, which Defra itself has said is ‘imperfect’. Combine more accurate TB testing with a national badger and cattle TB vaccination programme and we will win the battle against this disease, in a way which is good for both the future of our farmers and wildlife.”

The Clarification read:

Farmers Weekly would like to clarify that this photograph showing badgers in a field in daylight with cattle was taken in a captive environment, at the Secret World Wildlife Centre, Highbridge, Somerset in 1989 and not on a farm.

The picture was purchased from a south west picture agency several years ago and used in innocence to illustrate coverage about Bovine TB. It was never our intention to mislead readers. This clarification follows a complaint made to the Press Complaints Commission."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The link from the article leads to the FW site photo that now carries the clarification:
yourfile.jpg


"Farmers Weekly would like to clarify that this photograph showing badgers in a field in daylight with cattle was taken in a captive environment, at the Secret World Wildlife Centre, Highbridge, Somerset in 1989 and not on a farm.

The picture was purchased from a south west picture agency several years ago and used in innocence to illustrate coverage about Bovine TB

It was never our intention to mislead readers."

This clarification follows a complaint made to the Press Complaints Commission.

Link: http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/21/05/2014/144633/clarification.htm
 

JP1

Moderator
A good way of raising the blood pressure on a Friday night

So they still excrete in the same places then?

So there are parallel tests for TB infection amongst roadkill and live wildlife; badgers and deer?

So there are adequate controls for alpacas and other susceptible but unregulated species?
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Location
Devon
FW missed an opportunity here - as well as printing the apology, they could have gone on to highlight how much tb is excreted in an infected badgers urine - onto the same pasture as the cows are grazing.
 
Location
Devon
Same thing happens at night - we just don't see it.:scratchhead:

Cows are curious.
Badgers spit and spray urine as fight or flight if surrounded or disturbed.
Simples.

Sick badgers are seen stumbling around in the day.
Iv seen plenty of sick badgers stumbling around my cow's in daylight/ trying to get into the yard in daylight looking for food/shelter as they are too sick to survive in the wild the last few years... never thought to carry the camera with me at all times and take a pic or two... perhaps we all should start doing this now...
 

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
Countryfile calendar 2012 featured as it's cover photo a Badger trotting down a tree lined Lane in broad daylight as it front cover. Dual standards here clearly. The Badger apologists can't have it both ways, or was the Countryfile a mock up planted by the BBC?
 

tinsheet

Member
Location
west somerset
Iv seen plenty of sick badgers stumbling around my cow's in daylight/ trying to get into the yard in daylight looking for food/shelter as they are too sick to survive in the wild the last few years... never thought to carry the camera with me at all times and take a pic or two... perhaps we all should start doing this now...
Hope you escort them off your property pronto:whistle::dead::sneaky:
 
FW missed an opportunity here - as well as printing the apology, they could have gone on to highlight how much tb is excreted in an infected badgers urine - onto the same pasture as the cows are grazing.
For the pedants:
Up to 300,000 cfu (colony forming units of bacteria) can be in just 1ml of urine, if coming from a badger with kidney lesions. Badgers so infected wander and urinate indiscriminately in trails, voiding up to 30ml at each squirt.
And just 1 cfu is needed to provoke zTB in a calf. 70 cfu in an adult bovine who sniffs it.

http://bovinetb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/how-much-is-enough.html
 

Dry Rot

Member
I am all for badgers being taken off the protected list and culling being done by farmers, but I also think any campaign for that needs to be squeaky clean. The picture was published by mistake as it came from an agency without FW being aware that it was of captive badgers in an "artificial environment".

Yes, please! Do remember to carry your camera with you! The truth does not need to be embellished, just supported by hard evidence. Oh yes, I know they will try to discredit that too but it is the British public we need to convince, not the huggers.
 

Walterp

Member
Location
Pembrokeshire
Yes, please! Do remember to carry your camera with you! The truth does not need to be embellished, just supported by hard evidence. Oh yes, I know they will try to discredit that too but it is the British public we need to convince, not the huggers.
There's no dispute that, if you go out late of a Summer evening, you'll see two, three or four badgers wandering among the grazing herd in any given field. If you're really unlucky, there'll be one or two about in the daylight.

So would it be a good use of farming union funds to hire a film crew to make a montage of such night-time location shots, for publication in the farming Press (and for future reference)? It'd only be a few thousand Pounds, which is relative peanuts.
 
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JP1

Moderator
There's no dispute that, if you go out late of a Summer evening, you'll see two, three or four badgers wandering among the grazing herd in any given field. If you're really unlucky, there'll be one or two about in the daylight.

So would it be a good use of farming union funds to hire a film crew to make a montage of such might-time location shots, for publication in the farming Press (and for future reference)? It'd only be a few thousand Pounds, which is relative peanuts.
@Guy Smith ?
 
Location
Devon
I am all for badgers being taken off the protected list and culling being done by farmers, but I also think any campaign for that needs to be squeaky clean. The picture was published by mistake as it came from an agency without FW being aware that it was of captive badgers in an "artificial environment".

Yes, please! Do remember to carry your camera with you! The truth does not need to be embellished, just supported by hard evidence. Oh yes, I know they will try to discredit that too but it is the British public we need to convince, not the huggers.
Slighty off subject but why are the FW buying agency pictures??:scratchhead: not the first time they have been caught out using images that are not doing the industry any favours.. ( ref the one a few months ago of someone loading fert into a spreader who were stood in the spinner under a 600 kilo bag with a child sat in the tractor seat at the same time!! )
 

Dry Rot

Member
Slighty off subject but why are the FW buying agency pictures??:scratchhead: not the first time they have been caught out using images that are not doing the industry any favours.. ( ref the one a few months ago of someone loading fert into a spreader who were stood in the spinner under a 600 kilo bag with a child sat in the tractor seat at the same time!! )
All publications do that because they don't have anything suitable on file. If their readers sent in GOOD QUALITY PUBLISHABLE RELEVANT pictures, they wouldn't have to. Same goes for video footage. Also, bear in mind, farmers will be out busy farming and not sat in the editorial office. The sub-editors are recruited from those who have qualifications/experience in publishing so, in the absence of guidance, they use pictures from an agency that in their opinion have public interest value. The object is to sell magazines, not pander to small minority.

I posted a similar rant when some clever person grumbled about the subject matter on the TV farming documentaries. If the producers don't know about the wonderful and interesting things you are doing on your farm, they can't come and do a documentary about it, can they? SO TELL THEM!

Duh! God give me strength!
 

Guy Smith

Member
Location
Essex
I think the solution is staring you in the face.

Get some good photos and forward them to farmers weekly.

Job done.

GUTH - thanks for the mention , its always nice to help you with your excess of forum bile. I'm still waiting for that PM ( still getting plenty of others) or that phone all. Happy to talk.
 
Location
Devon
I think the solution is staring you in the face.

Get some good photos and forward them to farmers weekly.

Job done.

GUTH - thanks for the mention , its always nice to help you with your excess of forum bile. I'm still waiting for that PM ( still getting plenty of others) or that phone all. Happy to talk.
Guy,

But why doesn't the NFU do what Walter has suggested instead?? what is the point of the NFU having all these millions stashed away and not using some of it for something like this which surely is the type of thing a pro-active union should be doing on behalf of its members..

Ref your last quote, im only going on your past form on here im afraid... doesn't put either yourself or the NFU in a good light ( sadly and I wish it wasn't the case ) by attacking a genuine grass roots farming member like myself..

Havent had chance to call as iv been fhinshing late most nights and as I will PM you this weekend as im very intrested to know the latest on a TFF NFU members area.
 
Location
Devon
All publications do that because they don't have anything suitable on file. If their readers sent in GOOD QUALITY PUBLISHABLE RELEVANT pictures, they wouldn't have to. Same goes for video footage. Also, bear in mind, farmers will be out busy farming and not sat in the editorial office. The sub-editors are recruited from those who have qualifications/experience in publishing so, in the absence of guidance, they use pictures from an agency that in their opinion have public interest value. The object is to sell magazines, not pander to small minority.

I posted a similar rant when some clever person grumbled about the subject matter on the TV farming documentaries. If the producers don't know about the wonderful and interesting things you are doing on your farm, they can't come and do a documentary about it, can they? SO TELL THEM!

Duh! God give me strength!
Yea but back in the day they used to have their own photographers out and about all over the country.. do they still do this or just print agency pics or free ones sent in by readers??
 

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