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Police spending on badger cull labelled "outrageous"

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

  • fear of intimidation: Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire National Farmers Union.

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POLICE spending £64,703 on a badger cull that never happened has been labelled "outrageous" by a key figure in the county.

Gloucestershire Constabulary claimed the money from the Government for planning security around controversial culls, which were later postponed by MPs.

Forces can ask for extra Home Office cash to police events outside their normal duties.

Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire NFU, said the blame must be placed with the aggressive activists who threatened to derail a potential cull by aggressive means.

He said: "The only reason why the police have had to spend this outrageous amount (£64,703) of additional money is because of the threat to peace and safety that they genuinely perceived the animal rights protestors would have generated.

"All citizens of this country have the right to peaceful protest and debate.

"However, the type of animal rights protestors we are talking about here use intimidation and other violent methods to force their viewpoint against a lawful and needed policy which is designed to tackle head on a terrible disease in our countryside and it was not helped by the intervention of the Chief Executive of the RSPCA calling for farmers and contractors to be 'named and we will decide as citizens whether they will be shamed'.

"If it wasn't for these activists, the police would not have to take these additional measures to protect both the general public and the farmers who will be carrying out this necessary, lawful and licensed cull."

A police spokesman said: "The role of the police service is to remain independent, working with those undertaking the cull to enable them to carry out what is a lawful activity and those who wish to exercise their human rights to oppose it through peaceful and lawful protest."

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced in October the halt to the cull in the House of Commons. But campaigners said they would continue will their fight to stop the animals being killed as a means of controlling bovine TB.

He made the decision after the National Farmers Union (NFU) wrote to him requesting the postponement.

It said farmers were not confident they could carry out the cull given the lateness of the season and new figures revealing higher than anticipated badger numbers.

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  • stormkettle  |  December 17 2012, 8:42PM

    If it wasn't for the NFU ,the intended persecution of badgers, would not be planned.

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  • stormkettle  |  December 16 2012, 10:55PM

    Surely the NFU should not be trying to smear people who are prepared to try and legally prevent a mass slaughter of badgers. It's the NFU that has been promoting the shooting of badgers in the first place.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 16 2012, 2:09PM

    @eyeopener "Even if where you live were a model community that doesn't account for the rest of the UK especially the hotspots" Where I live IS right in the heart of the "hot spots". This is why it is so sad that two otherwise TB free farms have now joined the statistics.

  • OutofTownie  |  December 15 2012, 4:03PM

    Eyeopener - well said again. Hunt supporters always claim that the hunts in their area are well behaved but they never look back to see the tidal wave of disturbance that they've left behind simply by charging through areas where the stock are used to peace and quiet. Stress is a killer for cattle and sheep & every good stockman will do his best to avoid it. It was laughable when the hunts tried to market themselves as 'guardians of the land' when you couldn't find a group of people behaving more inappropriately around livestock if you tried! Those of us who farm will only convince the general public that we can be trusted when we distance ourselves from the factions who regard our wildlife as sporting accessories.

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  • eyeopener  |  December 15 2012, 3:04PM

    @2ladybugs ""Devon :))) I now have preparations and work to do towards Christmas so you can talk amongst yourselves." How did I know THAT was coming? Something suitably vague to prevent contradiction followed by running away from the topic. Regarding bio-security....if this were so meaningful in this particular disease then why aren't Scotland and the South, East and far North of England "hot-spot" areas because I am damn sure their farming methods are no different from the South West!!??" When it suits you farming methods are the same all over and then when an uncomfortable fact arises such as hunts riding tresassing on land they have been told not to enter or livestock auctions with 97% of those attending not following basic biosecurity, suddenly not everyone farms the same all over. Instead you just happen to live in a model community with hunts that respect farmers etc. Even if where you live were a model community that doesnt account for the rest of the UK especially the hotspots. Yes, I have learnt to have a "doubting Thomas" attitude." when so many pro-cull assertions have simply proved to be false.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 15 2012, 2:43PM

    Thanks EllJay1 They have enough to cope with at present, without the likes of eyeopener and their "doubting Thomas" attitude.

  • EllJay1  |  December 15 2012, 2:40PM

    "by eyeopener Saturday, December 15 2012, 1:15PM "And these farms are?"" - probably as anonymous as you are. Why is it necessary to give the names? Are you planning to go round to check?

  • 2ladybugs  |  December 15 2012, 2:38PM

    Devon :))) I now have preparations and work to do towards Christmas so you can talk amongst yourselves.

  • eyeopener  |  December 15 2012, 1:15PM

    And these farms are?

  • 2ladybugs  |  December 15 2012, 1:01PM

    Re your last sentence/paragraph. Two farms that I know of have always kept separate fields to dispose of their slurry, away from their cattle. Their farms are bounded on all sides by either roads or rivers or houses, they therefore have no contact with any other cattle to rub noses so to speak. They are also closed herds. The have also always religiously cleaned their water tanks out and refilled them with fresh water. Their feed troughs are raised. They have recently shown reactors in their cattle. PS The only people to have access to where their cattle are grazing is themselves. Their tractors used to fill the troughs are kept on site and are never used on the roads. Where therefore do you suppose the bTB has come from????