The facts behind the badger cull
With suggestions that the badger cull may start on Monday in Gloucestershire, here are some key facts and figures surrounding the debate over the controversial plans.
- 5.5 Million – total number of TB tests on cattle in England in 2011.
- 26,000 – approximate number of cattle slaughtered for TB control in England in 2011.
- 3,741 – number of new TB incidents in 2011. This is a 1.8% increase on 2010. (Herds where at least one animal tests positive for bovine TB, when the herd had previously been TB free.)
- £500 million – cost to the taxpayer to combat the disease in England in the last 10 years.
- £1 billion – estimated cost over the next decade without taking further action.
- £90 million – amount Defra spent on TB control in England during 2010/11, including £6.9 million on TB research and development.
- An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 badgers would be culled over four years in an area of 150sq km. Cage trapping and shooting would cost £2,500 per sq km per year.Controlled shooting would cost £300 per sq km per year. Beneficial effects as the result of controlled culling would start to be seen in around three years.
- £43.7 million – Defra investment in cattle and badger vaccination (including associated cattle diagnostics) since 1997.
- £15.5 million – the planned investment in further vaccine development over the next 4 years.
- The injectable badger vaccine (badger BCG) was licensed in March 2010. Vaccinating badgers costs an average of £2,250 per sq km per year.
(Figures come from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.)
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