Pilot Culls & Badger Control

The pilot badger culls are the first step towards implementing the Government’s new policy on badger control as part of its programme on bovine TB eradication in England. These were originally to have taken place in the autumn of 2012 but were postponed until the summer of 2013 when it was found that there were far more badgers to be killed than anyone had realised or planned for.  Since then we’ve been told that further survey results show that there aren’t that many  after all… The results of the badger population surveys in the two proposed cull areas from autumn 2012 and Feburary 2013 differ widely.

Despite repeated requests for clarification from many different quarters, important concerns and criticisms about the Government’s badger control policy remain to be addressed adequately.  In this section of Badgergate, we will look at some of the key concerns and criticisms of the Government’s badger control policy including its stated justification and the proposed approach, as well as the specific objectives and design of the two proposed pilot culls. Amongst other things we will look at the scientific, economic and ethical dimensions of the badger cull policy and the actual pilot cull objectives and methods.

What price a badger?

Bertie Gregory What price a badger
So what’s a badger worth? Hard to say since badgers aren’t generally bought and sold in the market place – at least not legally. The ‘price’ set for every dead badger shot during last year’s pilot badger culls was just £30. This apparently was enough to cover the costs of […] ... Read the full article »

Badger cull maths, stats and management

Dr Tim Hounsome | 20 January 2014
Using Defra’s own figures and the best case scenario, Tim Hounsome has calculated that the pilot culls cost £12,857/km² to save £714/km². These figures alone, which make Tim want to smash his head into his desk, should cause any sensible decision-maker seriously reconsider a cull policy that is deeply flawed on many fronts. ... Read the full article »

Wildlife Trusts badger cull infographic

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So many questions, so little time

The pilot badger culls could begin any day now and over 5,000 badgers are destined to die despite many unanswered questions such as how many badgers will be killed outright on the first shot and how many may just be wounded, how much suffering is considered ‘acceptable’ and how these things will be measured in order to decide if free shooting is humane. Answers to these questions are vital, since the future fate of many tens of thousands of badgers depend on them. ... Read the full article »

Pilot culls – the basics

The Coalition Government is planning to cull badgers in two areas of England to test certain elements of the Government’s new policy on bovine TB eradication in England. The main method of culling will be to shoot free-running badgers at night using rifles and shotguns. The first year’s cull will involve the removal of up to nearly 3,000 badgers in West Gloucestershire and over 2,000 badgers in West Somerset. ... Read the full article »