UK charity Badger Trust have called out Clarkson’s Farm star and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson for a ‘shocking misunderstanding of a serious cattle disease’ and ‘absolute derision for the plight of badgers’.
The trust wrote to Clarkson in an open letter published yesterday (Wednesday, November 17), in response to comments the celebrity made to media recently.
“We write in response to your interview with the Guardian, published on Tuesday, November 16, 2021,” the letter said.
Badger Trust’s acting executive director, Dawn Varley said many of the trust’s supporters alerted it to the “offensive diatribe”.
“We know that being outrageous and offensive is part of what Jeremy does, but to find amusement in the ongoing senseless slaughter of badgers is a new low,” Varley added.
“Badger Trust, as the voice for badgers in England and Wales, is pushing back at yet another attempt to make badgers the scapegoats for bovine TB, even though 94% of cattle infections are from cow to cow.
“No doubt he will be delighted to have annoyed the animal-loving public, but the continuing demonisation of this iconic mammal is unacceptable and needs calling out. Our open letter to him does just that.
“Grow up Jeremy – educate yourself and try to coexist with nature whilst we still have it.”
The open letter to Jeremy Clarkson
In the letter, the trust said Clarkson made some “outright offensive statements that need addressing”.
Namely, the letter said, that he stated ‘badgers constantly urinate’, that a quarter of the world badgers live in the UK and that they ‘cause chaos’.
“When was the last time you saw a badger ‘causing chaos’?” the letter asked Clarkson.
“You blame badgers for the spread of ‘TB’ (it’s bTB – bovine tuberculosis, a respiratory disease mainly affecting cattle),” it added.
“Where to begin?” the letter continued.
“Forget about a badger urinating in a field, what about a herd of cows doing that and more, consistently. And when that herd has to be culled due to an outbreak the new herd are (wait for it) – put back into the same field, complete with bTB loaded ground.
“Disease controls focused on cattle, and improved farm bio-security would go a lot further than continuing to kill badgers for a problem they are not responsible for. Your understanding and reasoning are, pardon the pun, ‘piss poor’ we think here.
“The continuing and relentless government cull means the UK will lose half of a ‘protected’ population of badgers at a time when our respect for nature and wish for ecological harmony is supposed to be at record levels. Unless you happen to be a badger.
“We would be happy to meet with you to educate you on badger ecology, on the role badgers play (it’s a very small part) in the bTB disease transmission equation, and on how we believe farmers can and should do much more to tackle the problem themselves.
“If the government put the taxpayers’ pounds into cattle measures versus the badger cull to address bTB then the fate of farmers who have to deal with this devastating disease would be on a much better trajectory than at present. As a farmer, surely you’d want that?” the letter concluded.