Economics

Since 2014, £63 million has been contributed by the government to deal with bTB not including research aspects (Lodge and Matus, 2014). Over the next decade, costs of bTB control are predicted to exceed £1 billion.

To fully understand net cost or benefit of bTB control by badger culling, one needs to consider costs of:

  • bTB for livestock industries
    • Losses from culled cattle to farmers -> 26,000 cattle slaughtered in 2011
      • Average cost to bTB infected farm = £34,000
    • Harmed relationships with trading partners
  • Research
    • Scientific trials -> ~£50 million
    • Vaccine development
  • Badger culls
    • Free-shooting -> done by farmers, at no cost to government except policing
    • Trapping -> labour-intensive
    • Gassing -> requires special equipment

According to mathematical models by Smith et al. (2007), badger culling will have overall immediate net costs when culls occur at 70% rates (currently set as target by government), with a net benefit only occurring 1o years after culling.

Here are some quick stats:

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