Maria Eagle – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Maria Eagle on 2014-06-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what meetings (a) the Prime Minister and (b) officials in his Office had with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) on the pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013; what advice he has given to the NFU on communications with the media during the commencement of the culls; and if he will make a statement.

George Eustice

Meetings were held with the National Farmers Union in the six months prior to the start of the pilot culls in 2013.

There was no media blackout during the pilots. Defra and the National Farmers Union continued to make spokespeople available to talk to the media throughout the period in which culling was taking place.

However, both the National Farmers Union and Defra were always clear that operational information that could compromise the effectiveness of the cull or the safety of those involved would not be disclosed during the operation.