Greens call for immediate end to 'scientifically illiterate' £30m badger cull as new licences issued
The Green Party of England and Wales's spokesperson on animal rights, Keith Taylor MEP, has called the badger cull the 'biggest programme of destruction of a protected species' as the government issues 11 new licences and reveals the cull cost taxpayers nearly £7m in 2017 alone.
The cull which has been expanded across Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire and Wiltshire aims to wipe out at least 70% of the badger population in these areas, despite badgers being a protected species.
The cost of operating and policing the cull in England in 2017 was a 'staggering' £6,618,561 and since 2013 has cost taxpayers £29,882,806. In February, Michael Gove had promised a 'review' of the badger cull - while simultaneously announcing its further expansion.
In response to the latest announcement, Mr Taylor labelled the cull 'scientifically illiterate and spectacularly expensive', adding:
"There are no two ways about it; the Tories have just signalled an escalation in their war on our wildlife. Badgers are a protected species but the government sees no issue pursuing an ineffective programme that seeks to wipe out at least 70% of the population."
"The cull is not only scientifically illiterate it is spectacularly expensive, last year the government wasted £7m on the slaughter—over the last five years, taxpayers have picked up a £30m bill for the Tories' mass cruelty. It's absurd."
“Despite the expense and extensive cruelty, not to mention the systematic destruction of a protected species, the Government still fails to provide any conclusive evidence that killing badgers is having a positive impact on reducing bovine TB infection rates in badger cull zones."
"The scientific evidence and economic analyses have long told us the cull is an irrational and failed project. I am calling for the government to make the compassionate, scientifically sound and economically literate choice by putting an end to the cull once and for all. Rather than condemning more badgers to long, painful and unnecessary deaths, Tories needs to refocus their efforts on humane and evidence-based controls.”