Here are some key facts and figures surrounding the debate over controversial plans for a badger cull to tackle bovine tuberculosis (TB). Figures come from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
- 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.