The badger cull killed more than 33,000 badgers in 2022, and more than 210,000 over its 10-year stretch

Natural England just published figures for the 2022 badger cull and they’re heartbreaking

Natural England has just released figures for the number of badgers murdered by its cull in 2022. And the numbers for the cull’s decade anniversary make for bleak reading.

On 5 April, Natural England published its review of figures for the intensive and supplementary phases of the badger cull during 2022.

Defra organises the cull because it says badgers are a primary factor in the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). As a result, the intensive phase is a four-year process intended to reduce the estimated badger population within a certain area by 70%. The supplementary phase starts after the intensive stage ends and lasts up to five years. It aims to maintain the badger population at 30%. Natural England’s 2022 figures show that, across both intensive and supplementary zones, so-called ‘contractors’ murdered 33,627 badgers.

The cull began in 2013 and 2022 marked its tenth year of operation. In that time, according to Defra, the cull has killed 210,555 badgers. The Badger Trust said this figure represents approximately half of Britain’s total population. Meanwhile, an expert analysis of government figures published in March 2022 “failed to identify a meaningful effect of badger culling on bTB”.

Badger cull laying waste to setts

The government said in 2021 that it planned to stop licensing new intensive cull areas at the end of 2022, meaning the last of these areas would operate until 2025. Jo Churchill, then Defra under-secretary, said in 2022 the department would then restrict supplementary licences to two years, taking it up to 2027.

As the Badger Trust’s table shows, the cull could murder a further 100,000 badgers in that time. Meanwhile, as Protect the Wild recently covered, environmental journalist Tracy Keeling uncovered evidence showing that already-existing areas can have their boundaries expanded.

Badger sett in Buckinghamshire

Badgers are a listed species in the UK, meaning they are supposedly protected. However, the cull is likely to wipe out close to three-quarters of the animals from this country. Peter Hambly, the Badger Trust’s executive director, said:

“Badger setts across England are lying empty for the first time in history. One of our most iconic native wild animals is being wiped from parts of our natural landscape because of the badger cull.”

All of will be done in pursuit of a strategy that doesn’t work. As numerous studies worldwide have shown, and as the UK government itself states, it’s the movement of cattle that spreads bTB.


The cull figures represent one of the foremost example of speciesism in the UK today. The government is permitting a cruel and futile cull in order to satisfy the delusions of the horrifying animal industry. Meanwhile, both badgers and cows continue suffering and dying.

If you want to take action against the cull, please contact your local hunt saboteur or ‘Against the Cull’ group.