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Badger cull in Gloucestershire still costing police time and money

By Michael_Yong  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

By Michael Yong

  • Badger cull in Gloucestershire

  • Dr Gordon McGlone

  • PCC Martin Surl

Comments (28)

Police officers are still spending valuable time and money on the badger cull, months after it ended.

Gloucestershire Constabulary set up Operation Themis to police the badger cull in the county last year.

The six-week cull, which was extended for another four weeks before being cut short on November 30, cost the police £1.7million, it was revealed earlier this year.

That money will be reclaimed from the Government when the final figure is agreed upon.

But four months after the cull ended, officers are still working on complaints and legal issues.

Dr Gordon McGlone, who is the liaison for the scientific community to Operation Themis, believes it has spread the police too thin.

The scientist, who is the former chief executive of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “I’ve spoken to Mr Surl before, so we had a quick chat when I bumped into him.

“It is wasting the police time, and an enormous waste of resources.

“During the cull, many officers had to work long hours, and it was a very difficult time for them.

“But even not legal processes and the need to explain procedures to all sides is not helping.

“It hasn’t gone away at all. The cull might be over, but the police are still spending time on it, and it’s tough for them.

“I thought the police were well overextended during the cull. If you think about it, there were about 10 forces involved in policing the badger cull in Gloucestershire.

“That is absolutely bonkers. It was a gold command level operation, the highest in police operations.

“What if gold command was needed elsewhere? It cause a huge strain for everyone involved.

“And it was no-win situation for them. They were criticised on all sides.”

And he does not believe the cull was necessary, adding that the government should have spent time looking at other ways of halting bovine tuberculosis.

Mr Surl said: “The constabulary put a huge amount of effort into ensuring its policing of the badger cull was even-handed, impartial and operationally independent.

“I have always said the extension to the cull was unhelpful and I’m yet to be convinced anything significant was achieved during this period.

“It did put a strain on police resources at the time and although it’s over, there remains numerous issues to be dealt with.”

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28 comments

  • mmjames  |  April 04 2014, 10:24AM

    oldlongdog | April 03 2014, 4:59PM Equally, this observation lends some credence to the ISG's assertion following the RBCT that wildlife interventions "could have no meaningful impact on the reduction of bTB in cattle." ….................................... WRT to your mis-representation of the actual comments made by Prof Bourne: Geoffrey Cox, MP then asked Bourne to clarify the report's findings and its conclusions in the light of his statement describing a political steer in what should have been a scientific exercise. Professor Bourne replied thus: "We repeatedly say "culling, as conducted in the trial." It is important [that] we do say that. Those limitations were not imposed by ourselves. They were imposed by politicians." more here: http://tinyurl.com/ptz29kt

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  • Millie2  |  April 04 2014, 6:26AM

    oldlongdog, no point having an argument with mmjames hes negatively commented on every badger story on glos echo since it started hes obviously a culler and you always notice how dramatically the figures get manipulated when he comes on too theres no point even bothering responding to him he just does it to get attention

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  • mmjames  |  April 03 2014, 5:13PM

    PS you also misquote ISG/RBCT comments

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  • mmjames  |  April 03 2014, 5:12PM

    oldlongdog | April 03 2014, 4:59PM Do you really truly believe that farmers are not protecting their cattle as much as possible, which is akin to shooting themselves in the foot WRT possible reductions in cattle infections? This is NOT my graph https://twitter.com/bovinetb/status/450938858188730368/photo/1

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  • oldlongdog  |  April 03 2014, 4:59PM

    Oh, dear mmjames... If you can't contribute anything sensible to this thread then I suggest you go back to sucking your thumb and staring blankly at the walls of your playroom. And for our grown-up readers, here's an interesting observation from parliament today: in attempting to belittle the badger vaccination effort in Wales, Owen Paterson claimed that it had only taken place over 1.5% of the farmland there and could therefore be discounted as a method of controlling bTB in cattle. Being less than bright he didn't seem to realise that this meant improved testing and cattle controls must therefore be responsible for 98.5% of the huge 24% reduction in cattle infections seen there in the last two years (there having been no culling or any other form of action to combat bTB). Talk about being 'hoist by one's own petard'... Equally, this observation lends some credence to the ISG's assertion following the RBCT that wildlife interventions "could have no meaningful impact on the reduction of bTB in cattle." They were talking about culling badgers (much more risky and difficult than vaccinating) but this statistic shows that reducing bTB is necessarily going to have to be a farm based activity. So, mmjames, what lie have I told? You keep asserting that culling works and every single day new evidence emerges that it doesn't. Nothing you say or write will convince anyone with a modicum of intelligence that culling works. It's just an excuse for wanting to kill things, an activity one expects in slightly retarded children but not in adults.

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  • mmjames  |  April 03 2014, 11:34AM

    oldlongdog | April 03 2014, 10:55AM @mmjames - Do you really think that if you keep repeating a lie that it eventually becomes true? ..................... You and the may queen obviously do.

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  • oldlongdog  |  April 03 2014, 10:55AM

    @mmjames - Do you really think that if you keep repeating a lie that it eventually becomes true? This is the real problem the majority of normal people have with the tiny minority of pro-cull people. Your position is a matter of 'belief' rather than an open-minded assessment of the facts. Culling only 'works' in the sense that if you could kill all badgers known to be infected with bTB but even then it would barely scratch the surface of the problem. But that would be impossible to achieve so your solution its kill all badgers whether they have bTB or not. This is also impossible to achieve and would still barely scratch the surface of the problem. Even in Eire, where they have managed to kill 80% of their badgers their reduction in herd infections is the same as in NI where badgers are not culled (legally). Vaccinating badgers is far more effective as the dramatic reductions in herd breakdowns in Wales have proved. If you were honest with yourself you would admit that the totality of evidence over the last 90 years of bTB in this and other countries points unequivocally to the cattle testing and controls being the most significant and effective method of controlling the disease. We accept that you can't face this truth and we understand that you simply want to kill animals. We have to live with that but don't expect us to feel anything other than utter revulsion for people like you.

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  • mmjames  |  April 02 2014, 11:37AM

    Culling WORKS https://twitter.com/bovinetb/status/450938858188730368/photo/1

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  • oldlongdog  |  April 02 2014, 10:54AM

    Sorry mmjames, you'll have to do better than simply saying it's 'untrue' (and writing in CAPS doesn't make your point any less wrong - it's just 'shouting'). The figures are published by Defra: UK aggregate figures for the number of non-OFT herds (those considered to have BTB or to be at serious risk of BTB) 2012 to 2013 show a reduction of 3.4%. Broken down by country the figures for the same period show an increase in England of 1.7% and for Wales a massive drop of 23.6%. Those are the facts and you can check them with Defra, so can you name any other time or place where a similarly large reduction in bTB has occurred? No, I thought not. So what's your problem? I mean your 'real' problem? Do you have trouble accepting the truth? Are you just not very bright or are you working to a hidden agenda? I suspect the latter and that what's really worrying you is that you know Wales is following a policy of badger vaccination combined with strict cattle testing & controls. As a policy it is working much better than any other and that when the figures are finally released for the cull (I wonder why the government is still sitting on the IEP report… ?) they will show that it has not made any impact on the downward trend in herd infections. In fact, the cull was so badly implement it is highly likely to have made the situation worse.

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  • mmjames  |  April 01 2014, 11:16PM

    And now the vaccination of badgers in Wales has proved that when combined with farm based controls bTB reduces faster than at any other time ................................ Also UNTRUE!

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