Badgered to Death

The People and Politics of the Badger Cull

Dominic Dyer

Dominic Dyer exposes the cruelty and cynicism behind Britain's most controversial wildlife policy and exonerates badgers for rising levels of TB in cattle, in a fast-paced and accessible narrative. Introduction by the BBC TV presenter Chris Packham.
Date Published :
February 2019
Publisher :
Canbury Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9780993040757
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 7.8 X 5.1 inches
In stock


Dominic Dyer picks apart the science and electioneering behind Britain's most controversial wildlife policy: the badger cull.

He exposes the catastrophic handling of bovine TB by the British government, the political maneuvering that engineered the badger cull in 2010, and the ongoing close relationship in perpetuating the cull between the National Farmers Union and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

He shines an unflattering spotlight on Cabinet ministers, the veterinary profession, environmental NGOs Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF, and the BBC.


About The Author

Dominic Dyer Is A Wildlife Protection Campaigner, Writer And Broadcaster.He Left School At 16 And Joined The Ministry Of Agriculture Fisheries And Food As A Civil Servant. Over The Next 13 Years In Whitehall And Brussels He Worked On Issues Ranging From Marine Environment Protection To Organic Agriculture.In 2000 He Left The Public Sector For The Food And Drink Federation, Where He Became An Expert On The Environment And Healthy Eating Trends.In 2008 He Was Appointed Chief Executive Of The Crop Protection Association, The Trade Body For The Uk Plant Science Industry.In 2012 He Abandoned His Career As An Industry Lobbyist And Became A Full-Time Wildlife Protection Campaigner With Care For The Wild.Today He Is Policy Advisor For The Born Free Foundation And Chief Executive Of The Badger Trust.


Preface: Chris Packham

1. A Black and White Night
Page 13


2. Woven into the Landscape


3. A Disease of Cattle


4. New Labour


5. Gordon Brown Vetoes a Cull


6. Cameron’s Cull


7. Wildlife over Business


8. Awkward Facts


9. The Badger Army

10. Green Movement Fails the Badger

11. Defended by Amateurs 105

12. BBC Bias 119

13. Illegal Culls 129

14. TB Burgers 141

15. Owen Paterson 149

16. Vets’ Dilemma 157

17. Cost of the Cull 167

18. Farming Future 177

19. Fate of the Badger 187

Badger Voices

Index 228

The Author 240


Badgered to Death is a real page turner...

...the book contains illuminating chapters on the BBC’s pro-badger cull bias, illegal badger persecution by some farmers and the compromised, incoherent support for the cull by the British Veterinary Association, driven he claims, by the British Cattle Veterinary Association. As Dyer points out, the BVA’s support for the cull gives the policy critical credibility. It appears that dogma and livestock vets’ prioritisation of farmers’ interests trump any commitment to animal welfare and science.

Dyer also describes how economic pressures on the dairy industry mean that dairy farmers, especially smaller ones, are being forced into practices which increase the spread of bTB such as moving and selling cows. At the same time, the industry’s prioritisation of exports is also driving intensification and blocking moves to develop a bTB cattle vaccine. As a result, Dyer explains, the industry is caught in a vicious circle which is facilitating the badger cull while exacerbating the real drivers of bTB.

- Dr Dan Lyons, How badgers came to be persecuted — but why

I enjoyed reading this book and I strongly recommend it to you.

This is a powerful and stimulating read and it's bang up to date with the important issue it discusses. It is written by a passionate insider with years of experience. The narrative is pacey and exciting. This book arrived with me on Thursday afternoon and I had read it completely by early yesterday [Saturday] morning.

- Mark Avery, Sunday book review – Badgered to Death by Dominic Dyer

It should be read by all those battling against government policies that put money ahead of science and the environment.

The book's conclusion is that the culls will be stopped, not by science or validity, but by cost. Yet Dyer remains optimistic: 'Despite all the incompetence, negligence and deceit, it's the caring compassionate British public who have made a stand for wildlife that gives me the most hope for the future.'

His book pays tribute to the 'Badger Army', those many individuals from all walks of life who turned out to protest and importantly, once culling started, to protect the badgers out in the field.

Those people will be patrolling the countryside, day and night, in every area where badger killing is taking place this autumn. While determined to protect their badgers, many also want to see the government help and support farmers to beat the TB in their cattle - but with proper cattle-based measures, not by senselessly killing wildlife.

- Lesley Docksey, Why are our badgers 'Badgered to Death'? - The Ecologist

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