Badger Campaign

Last updated: June 2018



Our crowdfunder campaign 


Ethical Consumer has joined team badger to help stop the cull of badgers in England. We introduce our cartoon crowdfunding competition to raise awareness about the badger cull. 

We need your support to expand our badger campaign! We are running a Crowdfunding page to fund a cartoon competition encouraging artists to link the National Farmers Union to the badger cull. These images will be distributed to other badger action groups and amongst our supporters.


Image: Badger


The total prize fund for this competition has been set at £2,000. The prize money will be divided amongst up to ten winners.

The 2018 badger cull is likely to be the bloodiest since they started in 2013. Following a Government review, not only have the number of cull zones been significantly increased (from 2 to 21), but under new guidelines farmers will be eligible for a £50 payment for every badger they kill.

Since 2013 over 40,000 badgers have been culled. But despite the staggering number of dead badgers, the problem of bTB in the UK continues to worsen. This supports one study’s findings that “only 5.7% of bTB outbreaks in cattle are caused by direct transmission from badgers”.

Ethical Consumer, like many other organisations, scientists and individuals, wants to put pressure on the Government and the National Farmers' Union (NFU) to ultimately bring about an end to the badger cull.


The National Farmers' Union


By running this competition, and campaigning with the images it produces, we hope to create public awareness of the NFU's pivotal role in the badger cull. The NFU lobbied the Government hard for a badger cull, and in our own research we identified the extent to which the NFU was/is central to the organisation and registration of cull companies.


Image: badger campaign


To do so, we will ask artists to link the Red Tractor certification logo to the badger cull. This is because the NFU also play a crucial role in the Red Tractor scheme, a logo that is widely recognised by consumers. We want to inform the public about this connection because we have long believed that a weak-point of the cull is that millions of ordinary consumers are opposed to it and might boycott products linked to it. Read our full report here.



Background to the cull


After a UK epidemic of bovine (cattle) TB in the 1930s, it was brought under control by cattle-based measures, until the last decades of the 20th century when it began to increase again.

According to the Badger Trust, “the increase followed a marked relaxation of cattle testing, slaughter and movement controls [and] coincided with the intensification of dairy farms.” On the other hand, farming organisations, notably the NFU, blamed badgers.

In the 1990s the Government commissioned a nearly 10-year, taxpayer-funded study including a Randomised Badger Culling Trial. The final report in 2007 concluded that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain,’ and recommended cattle-based measures alone.

The Coalition Government launched a four-year trial of badger culling in 2013 in an attempt to halt the spread of TB in cattle. Despite a report from the Government’s own Independent Panel of Experts concluding that the 2013 cull was both cruel and ineffective, it was repeated in 2014.


Anti-cull campaigning


Here is a list of anti-cull campaigns that are currently active.

38 Degrees
38 Degrees hosts a number of petitions including some which revolve around the badger cull. Petitions have kept the issue of the badger cull on the political agenda and maintained public pressure on the Government, search their website for the latest petitions.

Animal Aid
Animal Aid are an animal rights campaign group. They have several information pages about the badger cull and have called for a boycott of dairy products.

Badger Rescue and Vaccination Everywhere (B-R-A-V-E) is a community of campaigners organising action against the badger cull.

Badger Action Network
A resource hub for action against the badger cull. The BAN website hosts practical advice for activists to start campaigning, fundraising and event hosting.

Badger Army to Stop the Cull with Direct Action
A direct action group with an active Facebook page.

Badger Trust

The Badger Trust is the largest badger action group in the UK and has been at the forefront of badger protection since its founding in 1986. The group organise an annual Badger Week to raise awareness of the cull. The Badger Trust also maintain a directory of local badger campaign groups.

A website with comprehensive instructions on how to target Ministers, MPs, MEPs, Councillors, veterinary and policing bodies Defra, Natural England and more.

Care2 is an online community which revolves largely around campaigning and petitions. The group have hosted several stop the cull petitions, search their website for the latest petitions.

Green Party

The Green Party has always had a strong stance against the badger cull. They stated that the 'Badger cull is a spectacularly expensive, ineffective and inhumane policy justified by a poor understanding of the science' .

Hunt Saboteurs Association
Hunt Sabs oppose the cull, often with direct action and physical intervention within cull zones. As well as a national body, there are many local groups.

League Against Cruel Sports

The badger cull is one the LACS’s primary campaigns and the group are a founding member of Team Badger.

Naturewatch Foundation

The Naturewatch Foundation have a dedicated Wildlife Crime Adviser and a specific focus on Badger baiting

Network for Animals

NFA lobby MPs on behalf of supporters as well as coordinate letter writing campaigns and petitions to facilitate public engagement with the campaign.

Save me Trust
The Save me Trust was set up by ex-Queen guitarist Brian May and campaigns against the badger cull. The group have a strong emphasis on tackling the problem of Bovine TB.

Stop the Cull
A direct action group working to stop the cull in the south of England.


Viva! consider the issue of bovine TB to be caused by the dairy and beef industry as a whole. They are therefore running a UK wide dairy boycott as an attempt to save badgers. Viva! is a vegan organisation.

Team Badger

Team Badger is a coalition of badger action groups. Check out their Twitter account for the latest news on the badger cull.


Tweet your support for the campaign to stop the badger cull




Team Badger


Ethical Consumer is also part of Team Badger to help stop the cull of badgers in England.

We at Team Badger question:

  • the humaneness of shooting badgers
  • the monitoring of the cull and how this will ensure that the target of killing at least 70% of the badger population to reduce the disease is met but, at the same time, ensure that the culls are not detrimental to the survival of the populations of badgers
  • how long-term lessons can be gained from the pilots. The government seems intent on rolling out the policy in up to ten additional areas despite any effect on the disease taking some years to be established.



Dairy-free alternatives

There is a strong link between the badger cull and the dairy industry. In the past many campaign groups have called for consumers to boycott certain dairy products produced in cull zones. If you are interested take a look at our product guide to dairy-free alternatives to milk.


Our best buy Non-Diary milk brands are:

  • Plamil
  • The Bridge
  • Good Hemp
  • Ecomil
  • Oatly
  • Sunrise organic



Please share this image with your friends and followers to help raise awareness of the cull.



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Badger Campaign