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Abandoned badger culls cost Government £1.15 million

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

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The cost to the Government of the abandoned badger culls in the West was yesterday put at £1.15 million, as renewed demands to call off future culls were rejected in the House of Lords.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley confirmed that culling would be piloted initially in two areas next summer.

He added that there had been £750,000 on surveying costs, £300,000 on Natural England’s costs and £95,000 on “humaneness monitoring” in the period leading up to the postponement in October of trial culls in West Somerset and Gloucestershire

Labour’s Lord Hoyle said scientific evidence suggested the killing of badgers would make no difference to the problem, with some “eminent” scientists arguing it could make it worse.

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“In view of that will you now follow the policy of the Welsh Assembly and decide on a policy of vaccination, rather than elimination?” he demanded at question time.

Lord de Mauley said he disagreed on the science but that the Government was investing in extensive research, though there were “practical difficulties” with the injectable vaccine, including trapping, cost and annual repeat.

Independent crossbencher Lord Krebs, who carried out a scientific review of the bovine TB issue in the 1990s and has been critical of the Government’s move, asked how the success or failure of the two pilots would be judged.

“Is it not right that the Government should take the opportunity between now and next summer to review all the options for controlling TB in badgers – bearing in mind that not even the most optimistic proponent of culling would consider it is a credible strategy for eradication of this dreadful disease,” he said.

The minister told him that an independent panel of experts would oversee the two pilots to test assumptions about the humaneness and safety of the culling plan.

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  • eyeopener  |  December 13 2012, 8:53PM

    I'm glad it did. As for losing, have you not noticed that the pro-cull lobby are getting smaller? I used to think that the movement consisted of just you and one other, however for the moment even that number has shrunk. Do you ever count how many who contribute to these columns are anti-cull and compare that with the pro-cull contributors? The Northcliffe Media campaign to try and keep the cull in the public eye and persuade its readers to back it is badly backfiring because it keeps presenting the anti cull contributors yet another opportunity to press their case. With your talk of Official Secrets, working for the Security Services, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as "I am usually catching up on meetings that I may have missed in the House of Lords,Commons, Westminster Hall and Select Committees" Readers could be forgiven for thinking that your probably known as Mrs Walter Mitty. I hope I didn't breach the rule about disclosing personal details! If this goes down we will all know and your secret will be out!

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 6:30PM

    Oh dear eyeopener, you are a bad loser aren't you? All you can come back with is very childish comments. Well having emailed your comment to various parts of the country and the immediate return by telephone, their responses, my comment stands. They said it made their day. :)))

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  • eyeopener  |  December 13 2012, 6:20PM

    @ 2ladybugs I wish you luck during this Yuletide season with your attempts at humour on your post card inner leaves. Judging by your attempts here your going to need it :)) Your clearly stuck for an excuse on this occasion. Why not go 'green' and recycle the "wad of papers" excuse?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 4:45PM

    Oh and don't bother to come back to try and find out who or what I am because all you will get is MYOB :)))

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 4:43PM

    That is even funnier eyeopener.........hilarious in fact. I wish I hadn't already sent out my Christmas cards because that comment would have given quite a few people a fit of the giggles if I'd had it printed on the inner leaf. Ha!ha!ha!.

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  • eyeopener  |  December 13 2012, 4:27PM

    @2ladybugs "If you are unhappy with Ministers or whatever, put yourself forward as a candidate and see how you get on. I am not sure you can be elevated to a Lord/Lady or not but, starting off from the ground might be a good idea." Were you happy when the previous government did not support the cull? If not, which constituency did you stand for? I suspect that you did what we all do and simply made your views known, except in this case you have no ready comment hence your unrealistic answer. Happy Christmas :))

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 3:32PM

    Ha!ha!ha! you are funny eyeopener. I don't know why my comments are taken to heart so much. If you are unhappy with Ministers or whatever, put yourself forward as a candidate and see how you get on. I am not sure you can be elevated to a Lord/Lady or not but, starting off from the ground might be a good idea. Quote:- "No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it". Fernando Pessoa My take on it No intelligent idea (the cull) can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity(badger vaccination) is mixed in with it. Happy Christmas :))

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  • eyeopener  |  December 13 2012, 2:41PM

    @2ladybugs "since when did any minister of any persuasion give you an honest answer." You have effectively confirmed that I was right to say that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley evaded the question asked by Baroness Jan Royall of Blaisdon in the Forest of Dean, and Labour leader in the Lords who asked "what the cost would be of a more intensive cull and if ministers were confident of recruiting enough marksmen." Your answer also confirms my contention that the pledges given by David Heath and Lord de Mauley Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister that culling would be piloted initially in two areas next summer cannot be relied on.." Farmers may judge forthemselves how much real committment Farming Minister David Heath really has to them from the THIS IS SOMERSET REPORT in which Farming Minister David Heath has played down the prospect of fining supermarkets that fail to offer farmers a fair deal. The best he could offer after a chorus of MPs has called for the adjudicator of the groceries industry code of practice to be given the power to issue tough financial penalties from day one was to say the Government is 'listening'. The totally inadequate payments made to farmers by supermarkets and milk producers is at the heart of the problem. In the absence of fair prices for farmers, investment in better animal husbandry is going to be difficult which is why the cheaper alternative of slaughtering wildlife is the NFU preference. That deal is bad for the taxpayer and in the long run bad for the farmer. http://tinyurl.com/c3u8cee

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 10:06AM

    ....and I have to say that first sentence in the last paragraph of my comment is extremely bad English. 1/10 for effort is all I award myself.

  • 2ladybugs  |  December 13 2012, 10:03AM

    Well here I am again this morning and see that the only person who is offering the farmers any alternative is Steve, the rest are just loud mouthing as per usual. BTW Steve, love you photos of the cattle. I would pick out the longhorns as my favourite but they are all beautiful animals. to eyeopener.......since when did any minister of any persuasion give you an honest answer. You listen to any interview and they always skirt round the question, they never give a simple yes or no. to fischadler.....yes I noticed your veiled threats in TiDevon yesterday. It is exactly that type of attitude that is putting everyone's backs up and making them even more determined to go ahead with the cull. IF!!! a viable vaccine is found then the go ahead will almost certainly be given for it to go ahead. There is not one that has been proven or approved to be given to cattle or any other farmed animal. The badger vaccine does not stop TB it only lessens the probability of them getting the disease. Badgers who already have TB will still have TB and are therefore more likely to spread TB to any other mammal that happens to cross their path.

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