Vaccination cages to be used this year in badger cull.
It’s becoming clear that this years badger cull that aims to kill 9,841 badgers isn’t going to be easy for the cull companies. For them to hit their targets they need to work unhindered and very quickly, with a huge amount of cages. Based on the number of cages put down to kill each badger being 15 set (which is the lowest figure they’ve managed so far) and assuming they try to kill 6000 with traps, then they would need to set 90,000 traps.
With the cull operating for six weeks then they’d need to have 2,142 traps down on the ground every day. To have that number down you need to have some being transported and some in reserve, easily bringing the number up to close to 3,000 traps actually needed.
So do they have 3,000 traps? well Defra revealed last year that even though the badger cull killing is supposed to be paid for by farmers, they had lent the cull companies an unknown amount saying:
“We did not keep a record of which of the recently purchased cage traps were loaned for use in the culls.”
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that this July, Defra requested that all cages given to groups vaccinating badgers were returned to them. No doubt those cages are now on the ground and set to kill.
Even with thousands of traps put out, the low ratio that is needed to kill badgers can easily be ramped up by activists. Every trap that is taken out this week not only lowers the overall number killed, but makes it harder for that particular sett to be targeted. In Somerset and Glos we have seen ratio’s as high as 49 traps needed to be set to kill one badger. If that was replicated it would require 294,000 traps to be set, a staggering 7,000 traps laid out across the zones each day.
Stopping the cullers from reaching their targets this year is feasible, it requires maximum numbers of people checking setts and runs for traps in the first couple of weeks.