It's been revealed that last year's badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire cost taxpayers £6.3 million - an average of £3,350 for every animal killed.
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has justified the figures.
England has the highest incidence of bovine TB in Europe. The cost of the badger culls need to be seen in the context of the devastating scale of the threat bovine TB poses to our farming industry and food security - £500 million over the last decade. Doing nothing is not an option.
We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy, including tighter cattle movement controls, badger vaccination and culling.
Many of the costs associated with the pilot culls last year were one-offs and have not been repeated this year.
It adds that the costs were largely due to ensuring the pilot culls were rigorously monitored for safety and humaneness to provide robust data for the Independent Expert Panel to assess.
It's been revealed that last year's badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire cost taxpayers an average of £3,350 for every animal killed.
1,879 animals were killed in the pilot culls - 955 badgers in Somerset and 924 in Gloucestershire. The cullings are aimed at stopping the spread of TB in cattle and cost a total of almost £6.3 million according the Government figures.
DEFRA says the costs were high because of the need to monitor the operation for safety and humaneness.
Campaigners have lost the latest round of their legal battle over the culling of badgers.
They accused the Government at the Court of Appeal of acting unlawfully by allowing the latest badger culls to go ahead without an independent expert panel (IEP) to monitor whether the animals are being killed in a humane way.
The Badger Trust asked three judges at a recent hearing in London to rule that there was a "legitimate expectation" that an IEP would be put in place.
But, in a decision announced today, Lord Justice Davis, Lord Justice Christopher Clarke and Lord Justice Bean dismissed their case.
The challenge arose from a decision to sanction a second year of "controlled shooting" of free-roaming badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset as part of efforts to tackle tuberculosis in cattle
The Government and farmers insist culling is necessary to tackle TB in livestock.
Opponents of the badger culls will find out today if their latest legal challenge has been successful.
The Badger Trust is appealing against an earlier ruling that culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire could go ahead without independent monitors.
The trust argues this breaches a government promise.
The six week badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset officially ends today. It's the second year that badgers have been shot to try to stop them spreading TB to cattle. Last year the cull was extended because not enough animals had been killed. Protesters say it's been a failure again this year, but the National Farmer's Union disagree.
I think generally we are pretty pleased with how it has gone. In large parts of the area we are seeing very few badgers left on the ground now. Unfortunately there are one or two areas where we haven't been able to be as effective as we'd like to because of the actions of protesters but largely we are very happy with it.
Results from a poll on the recently trialled badger cull suggests that 9 out of 10 people in the UK are against the practice.
The trial cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset officially ended today. Of the 2000 polled, only 3 in 4 were aware of the cull. They were then given information about the UK trial, and the Welsh government’s success in cutting bovine TB through vaccination rather than culling.
The final poll then showed that 89% said that they wanted the government to stop culling badgers, and instead to follow the Welsh example.
The poll was carried out by ComRes, and was commissioned by Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust.
As the trial badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset come to an end, anti cull campaigners say it was a failure last year, and when the figures are released, they will show that this year has been a failure too.
The six week badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset officially end tomorrow. It's the second year that the cull has been piloted in both areas. No figures are available yet for the number of badgers killed.
The National Farmer's Union says that it feels the cull has gone better this year than last.
The Badger Trust will make a legal challenge at the Court of Appeal today to try to stop the culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The Trust claim Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss unlawfully failed to put in place an independent panel to monitor and analyse the results of the culls. They say the culling cannot continue without such a panel.
The controversial badger culls, which have now resumed in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, are being discussed at the Labour party conference today.
The fringe event has been organised by three animal welfare groups. The speakers include a member of the independent monitoring panel which assessed last year's cull. The Badger Trust claims a leaked report shows that records of the number of badgers killed, were falsified.