Broadcaster and food writer Clarissa Dixon Wright has outraged animal rights campaigners by suggesting that badgers killed in the imminent cull should be eaten.
The Two Fat Ladies presenter claimed that badger had once been “a staple food of the population”.
“It would solve the problem. There's going to be a cull, so rather than just throw them in the landfill site why not eat them?” she said.
“I would have no objection to eating badgers. I have no objection to eating anything very much, really,” she added. “There are too many badgers. It's very interesting - the reason at certain times of the year you see so many dead badgers on the road is that the badgers throw out their old and ill that aren't going to survive the winter.”
Ms Dixon-Wright, who is currently publicising her new book and has been a vocal supporter of country sports, claimed that in her youth West Country pubs served badger meat at the bar. She even offered cooking tips for preparing a badger-based meal.
“Either make a ham or treat it like pork - very lean pork because it's got no fat on it. Baste it properly and marinade it properly and cook it in a casserole or whatever,” she said.
Her comments attracted the ire of Queen guitarist Brian May, who has spearheaded the fight against the planned cull.
Today a petition to rally public opposition to the cull, which is aimed at reducing the spread of tuberculosis to cattle, surpassed its target of 100,000 signatures, meaning that the issue can now be considered for debate in the House of Commons.
“I think we should seriously consider eating senseless people like this Clarissa whoever-she-is,” May said. “She's obviously outlived her usefulness. I wonder if she would be best boiled or braised.”