New badger cull "will go ahead" in 2013
Fresh calls for the Government to abandon a badger cull were rejected by ministers today.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley confirmed the culling policy would be piloted initially in two areas next summer.
An independent panel of experts would evaluate the controlled shooting of badgers and report back to ministers for them to decide whether to order more extensive culling, he said.
Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves asked how much the aborted culls had cost and who was going to pay.
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Lord de Mauley said there had been £750,000 spent on surveying costs, £300,000 on Natural England's costs and £95,000 on "humaneness monitoring".
Baroness Jan Royall of Blaisdon in the Forest of Dean, and Labour leader in the Lords, said: "My party still believes there is no scientific, economic or moral basis for culling."
She asked what the cost would be of a more intensive cull and if ministers were confident of recruiting enough marksmen.
Lord de Mauley said the cost of "not bearing down on TB" by controlling the badger population was £90 million a year and rising.