asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated total number of badgers, and the number killed officially over the past five years per annum for the purpose of containing the spread of tuberculosis to cattle.
No official estimate has been made of the badger population for any part of Great Britain. It is believed however, that the national population can be measured in terms of some hundreds of thousands. Up to the present time no badgers have been killed officially for the purpose of containing the spread of tuberculosis to cattle. A total of 1,181 carcases have, however, been received at Ministry laboratories for diagnostic examination since 1971; 457 of these were carcases of badgers that had died from natural causes or as a result of road accidents. Of the remainder, the majority were submitted by farmers, but a small proportion were obtained by Ministry officials.