IMAT 2016 Q15 [Argument | Tuberculosis in Cattle]

While some animal rights activists have long accepted that there is a link between bovine tuberculosis (TB in cattle) and badgers, others have argued that it was not proven. They felt that the culling of badgers to stop the spread of TB in cattle was not justified if a link was unproven. But direct evidence of the transmission of TB between badgers and cattle has now been found. DNA sequencing of the TB bacteria in cattle and in badgers has shown that the disease crosses species barriers. This latest discovery completely undermines the case of those who have opposed badger culling. To protect farmers from severe loss of their cattle and hence their livelihoods – and to protect one of our primary sources of meat and milk – the badger population should be culled.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument in the passage above?

A. Animal rights activists are interested in the protection of badgers per se, whatever risk they pose.

B. There may be factors other than badgers, such as the movement of cattle, which contribute to the spread of TB in cattle.

C. It is too expensive and logistically difficult to vaccinate all cattle against TB.

D. Badger culling would be unpopular with a substantial number of people.

E. Not all farmers are convinced that the culling of badgers would stop the spread of TB.