Two adverts run by an animal welfare group to campaign against badger culling in Wales have been found to be in breach of the Advertising Standards Authority’s rules.
Save The Badger, which is run by Secret World Wildlife Rescue, placed the ads in Welsh regional papers arguing against the use of culling in the fight against bovine tuberculosis.
The ads claimed there was “no scientific justification” for the culling, which it said would “exterminate a native species” and lead to “young cubs starving underground”.
The advertising watchdog ruled the claims could not be substantiated and were therefore misleading.
A fourth claim made by Save The Badger – “badger culling does not work” – was found not to be in breach because it expressed a subjective opinion.
The ASA launched its investigation following a complaint against the adverts by the Farmers Union of Wales and a member of the public. Save The Badger has been ordered not to run the adverts again.
Pauline Kidner of Save The Badger said the trust was disappointed by the ruling but would accept it rather than spend more campaign money on an appeal.
She stressed Save The Badger had had “an honest basis” for the content of the adverts.
FUW spokesman Brian Walters said the ruling showed Save The Badger was either “incapable of understanding basic scientific principles regarding badgers and bovine tuberculosis” or “prepared to mislead the general public in order to try and stop badger culling going ahead”.
Defra outlines plans for TB badger cull (15 September 2010)
Go-ahead for badger cull to combat TB (29 May 2010)