Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East and the Green Party’s Animals Spokesperson, will visit Surrey to meet an anti-badger cull organisation as campaigners are set to hand in a 200,000-strong petition to Surrey Heath MP and Environment Secretary Michael Gove calling for an immediate end to the cull.
The petition hand-in comes as new stats reveal the badger cull has cost taxpayers’ between £7,000 and £76,000 per animal killed.
In March 2017, a new cull begun in Wales. Since then, more than £380,000 was spent killing just five badgers that tested positive at trapside. However, only one of the five tested positive in the lab and all five tested negative at post-mortem. The figures for England suggest each animal destroyed cost taxpayers £7,000.
The senior Green politician called the exercise “a shambles and a disgrace” and suggested it was further evidence the badger cull across the UK, which was recently extended by the Government, is a “barbaric, ineffective and costly distraction from dealing with the key causes” of the spread of bovine TB.
Mr Taylor is set to meet officials from the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in Godalming. LACS is an organisation which campaigns against hunting and the badger cull. The Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup will meet Will Morton, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Chris Luffingham, Director of Policy, Communications and Campaigns, and Martin Sims, Director of Investigations.
Before the meeting Mr Taylor said: “We need an urgent and genuine review of the bTB control policies in place across the UK. If only to reinforce what we already know: the badger cull is a spectacularly expensive, ineffective and downright inhumane policy – condemned by the UK Government’s own experts and the British Veterinary Association.”
“In the past four years, England has massacred more than 15,000 badgers, and Wales five, at a cost of between £7,000 and £76,000 a kill. It’s time to stop the cull.”