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The £7m Badger Cull – shock figures reveal each dead badger cost £4000+

Worse: Over four years, policy will cost 7.5 times MORE than it will save

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Culling badgers in England during 2013 cost £7.3million, according to official sources and FOI requests – which works out at £4121 per dead badger.

Wildlife charity Care for the Wild has pieced together the costs of the cull from various sources to come up with the ‘final reckoning’ of the cull, which dramatically failed to kill enough badgers to have any positive impact on bovine TB.

The figures show:

  • Police costs – £2.6m
  • Farmers’ costs – £1.49m
  • Government costs – £3.2m

Dominic Dyer, Care for the Wild’s Policy Advisor, said: “This Government has delivered one of the most disastrous and expensive wildlife culls in history. It has wasted millions of pounds on a badger cull which has no scientific, animal welfare or economic justification, and which was carried out in an outrageously sloppy manner which would be laughable if it hadn’t cost so many badgers’ lives.

“All of this has been done to the sound of scientists almost universally saying that culling simply won’t have any significant impact on the disease, and to the statistics that say there’s been a 10% reduction in the number of cattle slaughtered this year, prior to the culls, due to better cattle management alone.

“The way to solve the problem of bovine TB is by radically improving farming practices, ensuring that TB testing actually works, and ensuring that infected cattle aren’t moved from farm to farm. The focus on wildlife is a distraction – the farmers need to sort out the plank in their own eye before trying to deal with the speck of badgers. “

Any future justification for the cull is also devastatingly undermined by the figures. According to government predictions, if the culls were extended over four years, and were successful in attaining their target of reducing bTB in the cull zones by 16%, this would bring a financial benefit of £2.5m to the taxpayer.

However, the costs of culling over that period would be around £19m – more than seven times the cost.

Dominic Dyer said: “We keep hearing about bovine TB being a burden on the taxpayer, but the figures show that the real burden is the badger cull. Taxpayers will not benefit from badgers being killed, the badgers certainly won’t benefit – and neither will the farmers, because culling was always going to be a costly failure. It’s time the government realised that.”

Care for the Wild is a wildlife charity based in Horsham, Sussex. To find out more, see www.careforthewild.com/badger

 

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