Farm chiefs have blasted animal rights activists who have started to publish the details of farmers they claim are due to take part in the Devon badger cull.
The Stop the Cull group threatened to publish ‘one farm a day’ in a move which the NFU and CLA condemned as ‘hugely irresponsible’.
An NFU spokesman said: "As far as we are aware, the list that has been leaked appears to have been compiled by a third party based on speculation and assumption. Circulating or threatening to publish a list like this is hugely irresponsible and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
“We would question the motives of anyone considering publishing this information, as doing so can only have one possible purpose - to encourage the harassment of farmers and their families, like we’ve seen previously.”
CLA director of policy Christopher Price said farmers affected by bTB were ‘living through a nightmare’ and said the industry stood united in supporting those farmers.
“Controlling the badger population is a vital part of the Government’s comprehensive 25-year strategy for controlling bovine TB, which aims for healthy wildlife alongside healthy cattle.
“Any illegal activity, attempting to intimidate farmers that have agreed to take part in the Government’s strategy to tackle bTB, must be pursued appropriately by the authorities and utterly condemned by us all.”