How to paint over a rotten badger carcass (BBC News tabloid outrage edition)

Executive summary: some road painters paint lines on the road as contracted.

You expect this kind of Elf’n’Safety Gone Mad nonsense from the tabloids, but it’s sad to see it in BBC News.

Hampshire workmen paint white lines around dead badger

Workmen painting white lines on a road left a gap for a dead badger because they said it was not their responsibility to move it.

How appalling! What lazy, feckless workmen!

Oh, but wait. There’s more:

The animal had been killed about a week before on the A338 near Downton, on the Hampshire-Wiltshire border.


The badger has now been removed and the painting will be completed on Friday.


The county council said there would be no extra cost to taxpayers because the company was being paid a fixed rate for the job.

Here’s the actual story:

  • A team of road painters is employed to paint lines on a road.
  • Whilst painting the road, they come across a week-old badger carcass rotting in the path of the lines.
  • Paint doesn’t stick to fetid badger remains, so they leave a gap and continue to paint the road.
  • People with the right equipment come along and clean the rotten badger off the tarmac.
  • The road painters go back and fill in the gap at no further cost.

But yeah, be outraged if you want.


  1. Withheld for fear of Nationalist reprisals

    Wrote at 2010-07-17 11:03 UTC using Firefox 3.6.6 on Linux:

    I can show you a road sign (dual language Welsh/English) for just 6 feet of missing road markings, which has been in place since last Winter… ;-). Around here, it takes one team to put up the sign, another to do the work, another to remove the signs… probably others to plan and commission…
    Appreciated your work with iPlayer… wish you would take up challenge again… disgruntled left-wing licence and tax payer (systems programmer – retired) .
  2. Frayxius

    Wrote at 2010-07-18 23:08 UTC using Internet Explorer 8.0 on Windows Vista:

    Fortunately TB doesn’t live long in dead bodies but the workmen probably wouldn’t be aware of that.

    Could’ve been worse….

    ..I’dve painted round it!!