Rupert Murdoch lies on hedgehogs to advocate killing badgers


This 2014 video shows wild badgers filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland in England.

Ever since British Conservative daily The Times became part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, it is as full of lies as the rest of that empire.

From the Badger Trust in Britain:

7th December 2015

Dear All,

Badger Trust Slams Times Newspaper for “Cynical Political Attack” Over Hedgehog Claims

The Badger Trust has accused the Times newspaper of a cynical, politically motivated attack on badgers contained in a recent article about declining hedgehog numbers.

The Times launched its Christmas charity appeal for hedgehogs on Saturday 28 November, informing its readers it was to help fund the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in the battle to halt the decline one of the UK’s most endangered wildlife species.

However in the same issue it also printed an editorial entitled “Prickly Subject: More hedgehogs means fewer badgers”. In this article the Times claimed that increasing badger numbers were directly responsible for the collapse of the hedgehog population and that culling badgers in an attempt to lower bovine TB was also justified as a means of protecting hedgehogs.

Responding to the Times editorial Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust said,

“We welcome any campaign aimed at drawing public attention to the desperate plight of hedgehogs and the excellent work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. However we are appalled by the cynical way the Times is trying to exploit the public’s Christmas goodwill by falsely claiming hedgehog numbers can only recover if we kill more badgers. This suggestion is not only blatantly motivated by political bias but is also not supported by any scientific evidence. The Times is yet again supporting the government’s badger cull policy but this time is widening the ‘badger blame game’ to include hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin added,

“Between 40% and 80% of the badger’s diet is plant based depending on the time of year, the rest being made up of earthworms and beetles. Whilst badgers are capable of killing hedgehogs they very rarely do. Both species compete for the same food and removing one by culling naturally allows the other to thrive. Badgers and hedgehogs have coexisted in ecological balance for hundreds of thousands of years and it is only the destructive intervention of modern farming practices that has altered this balance so disastrously for hedgehogs.”

In a statement the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has said:

“An analysis of the original badger culling experiments, published in April 2014, shows that, at some sites, hedgehog numbers did increase following reduction in the number of badgers. This is not unexpected, considering what we know of the relationship between hedgehogs and badgers. BHPS and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) do not consider this sufficient evidence to advocate culling badgers as a means of increasing hedgehog numbers, and believe that culling any species in an effort to conserve another is undesirable given better environmental approaches. Indeed, scientific evidence suggests that culling badgers may make the TB situation worse, a further reason why PTES/BHPS would not advocate culling badgers to benefit hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman Peter Martin continues,

“The key factors for the collapse in hedgehog numbers are intensive farming, pesticide use, garden fencing and road kill, so it’s disingenuous in the extreme for the Times to attempt to demonise the badger in the minds of their readers. It’s a disgraceful example of playing politics with wildlife conservation and it could lead to an increasing level of illegal persecution of badgers which are a protected species.”

Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust concludes,

“The Times does not deserve any credit or recognition for helping British wildlife conservation over Christmas and we are therefore encouraging the public to make any donations direct to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society rather than via the Times’ Christmas Appeal.”

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