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Farmers left to decide on cull after council ruling

By citizennick  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

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FARMERS who rent land from Gloucestershire County Council must be left to decide if they wish to carry out a badger cull after councillors voted to maintain its existing

policy.

The debate on the issue sparked into life after a public petition

opposing the cull was presented to the council.

A decision to uphold a policy first introduced in 1999 was

made at a full council meeting at Shire Hall earlier today.

Councillor Ray Theodoulou, cabinet member for resources,

said: "It's right that, on issues of farming and animal welfare, farmers, not

councillors make the decisions. 

"The badger cull is a contentious issue and it's right the

council made it clear it neither supports nor opposes it. 

"The proper place for that debate is in Westminster, not

Gloucestershire."

The policy first came into force in July 13 1999. At the

time, councillors expressed concern the council could become liable if it issued

a directive to either allow or ban culls and the viability of the farm was put

at risk.

Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne said: "We would be discriminating  against farmers just because they are council tenants,

is that right?

"No. It's not right. I do not think that is a line that this council

should cross or one that we should dare to test in a court of law."

Liberal Democrat leader in Gloucester Jeremy Hilton said: "Making

a decision not to allow the culling of badgers on farms subject to future

tenancy agreement would send a message to the government that we are opposed to

this policy."

He added: "Imagine if a marksman was walking though the countryside

and hit a dog and we have done nothing about it."

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 22 2012, 10:52PM

    Councillor Ray Theodoulou, cabinet member for resources, said: "It's right that, on issues of farming and animal welfare, farmers, not councillors make the decisions. "The proper place for that debate is in Westminster, not Gloucestershire." Whilst it might seem right to you that the council listens to a few hundred anti-cull people you are not the majority of the Gloucester population. Not only that they are guided by legal procedure with regards to tenancy agreements. TB is a health issue and is a notifiable disease in animals.

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  • eyeopener  |  November 21 2012, 9:44PM

    @2ladybugs "The proper place for that debate is in Westminster, not Gloucestershire." Some of the land on which the cull might take place is GCC owned. Any landowner is entitled to consider what happens on their land and as GCC represents it's voters its entitled to an interest. To suggest that Westminster would be better equipped to discuss local issues such as would GCC be "held liable if accidents occured because of a badger cull" is ridiculous. "Hence the resolution that a risk assessment is produced by any tenant involved in a cull." Liberal Democrat leader in Gloucester Jeremy Hilton said: "Making a decision not to allow the culling of badgers on farms subject to future tenancy agreement would send a message to the government that we are opposed to this policy." He added: "Imagine if a marksman was walking though the countryside and hit a dog and we have done nothing about it." If anything distinguishes this government it is its determination to limit democracy as soon as any of its interests are threatened as seen by Camersons recent proposal to limit planning appeals. What is the use of voting for county councillors if they cannot represent the voters wishes and time and again it has been shown that the public don't want a cull.

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  • fischadler  |  November 21 2012, 8:54PM

    "The proper place for that debate is in Westminster, not Gloucestershire." Yes and the vote was 147 to 28 AGAINST the cull. End of.

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  • OutofTownie  |  November 21 2012, 7:33PM

    2ladybugs "@OutofTownie. You had better go to your nearest farmer....." I don't have to travel far, I've farmed cattle here in Glos for the last thirty years. The badger cull debacle hasn't done any farmers any favours and GCC only hesitated because of uncertainty about the legality of a ban under their current 'Rural Practices and Procedures', hence the resolution to review the policy. Equally there was concern that GCC would be held liable if accidents occured because of a badger cull, hence the resolution that a risk assessment is produced by any tenant involved in a cull. Support for the badger cull is a vote loser and anyone standing for election knows it.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 21 2012, 6:00PM

    The council would not be able to stop a cull on tenanted farms if an agreement had already been signed. The only way they could stop it would be to threaten the farmer that their lease may not be renewed in the future. However this would probably come unstuck in a Court of Law. The council therefore are not being cowards but they ARE being sensible. Pity some of you don't understand the law.

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  • PTPTPT  |  November 21 2012, 5:31PM

    Cowardice. The council's job is to represent the views of the people, and the people have made it plain that they do not wish the cull to go ahead. To stand aside at this time merely shows that the council are in the pockets of a few farmers. Shameful. The farmers intensive farming practises are what gave the badgers TB in the first place, and now they make the badger the scapegoat. Pathetic.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 21 2012, 5:26PM

    Oh dear, such a shame that red arrows and green arrows can't do anything to change the councillors votes.

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  • fischadler  |  November 21 2012, 5:01PM

    Complete cowardice on the part of the council. Fortunately there are others amongst us who are not afraid of or are in the pockets of the farmers.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 21 2012, 4:36PM

    @OutofTownie. You had better go to your nearest farmer.....as "clutching at straws" comes to mind. "It's right that, on issues of farming and animal welfare, farmers, not councillors make the decisions" "The badger cull is a contentious issue........"The proper place for that debate is in Westminster, not Gloucestershire."

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  • grannyonline1  |  November 21 2012, 4:30PM

    dont forget, its the people who voted the councillors in, who can vote them out again at the next election. If they ignore the petiton presented to them against the cull, thats exactly what WILL happen!!!!

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