Badger Cull: Shropshire Star misleading its readers

On the day much of the media were reporting on the jailing of four badger baiters, the Shropshire Star found a “wildlife site owner” who was happy to denigrate badgers.

Frank Whittall, “who owns Riddings Anchor Wildlife Site near Anchor”, blamed badgers for the decline in skylark, lapwings and curlew numbers.

He concluded by stating, “It has happened ever since badgers became protected… I think there would be a chance of the birds coming back if badgers were culled.”

Quite rightly the Shropshire Wildlife Trust pointed out that loss of habitat was a far bigger factor in their decline.

What the Shropshire Star failed to tell its readers, even though it would have made the story far more understandable, is that Mr Whittall occupation is a cattle farmer. The very same profession that is pushing for the badger cull.

When Mr Whittall tried to sell his property in 2008 the Shropshire Star stated his “farm buildings comprise an implement store shed, sheep handling shed, three-bay storage shed, two-bay garage with a storage area, poultry house, cattle shed, stable, cow house, range and former cow house…”

As for the Ridding Wildlife Site, well it simply consists of “a variety of wildflowers in this steep dingle including plants of wetlands and orchids.” The type of land farmers get grants to maintain.

This is really shoddy journalism by the Shropshire Star. If they wish to support the badger slaughter fine, but don’t give just half the facts.