‘Costs of proposed badger cull to prevent TB in cattle will be greater than the financial benefits’

Posted on October 17, 2012

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Today (17th October), an item was posted on independent.co.uk titled ‘Costs of proposed badger cull to prevent TB in cattle will be greater than the financial benefits’.

‘… The economic costs of carrying out the proposed badger cull to prevent TB in cattle will be greater than the financial benefits, and the taxpayer will pick up the bill, experts have concluded in an economic assessment of culling.

For every 150-square-kilometre plot of land where badger culling takes place, the total costs will come to around £1.55m while the total savings in terms of TB prevention in cattle will amount to about £970,000, said John McInerney emeritus professor of agricultural policy at the University of Exeter.

While farmers will benefit financially from culling, the taxpayer will have to fork out nearly £600,000 for each 150 square kilometre plot of land that is subject to the cull in order to meet the cost of policing, licensing, shooting and monitoring, Professor McInerney said.

“You pay about £1.5m to get the disease avoidance worth about £900,000. It’s a good deal for farmers but a bad deal for taxpayers in sheer financial terms,” Professor McInerney said.

“You can’t argue with culling as a political decision, but you can argue against it on economic grounds, or scientific grounds, but [the Government] is clearly not driven by those considerations alone,” he said …

However, scientists who have studied the results of experimental culling trials where badgers were trapped in cages before being killed are not convinced that the controlled shooting of free-roaming badgers is the answer.

“I have concerns about it. I think there are risks inherent in having moved from something we studied quite well to something that is informed by it but that is importantly different,” said Professor Christl Donnelly of Imperial College London, who sat on the independent scientific group investigating cattle TB.

Results of previous badger culling trials also found that while cattle herds benefitted within the culling area, cattle immediately outside suffered as a result of the greater movement of badgers resulting from a breakdown of their social territories …’

Read the item in full and add your comment online at www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/costs-of-proposed-badger-cull-to-prevent-tb-in-cattle-will-be-greater-than-the-financial-benefits-8215397.html

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