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Audit Reports and Costs to the Taxpayer



 Added by  Sally
 21 Aug 2010, 8:02 PM


The Northern Ireland Audit Office 'The Control of Bovine Tuberculosis in Northern Ireland' dated 18th March 2009, makes interesting reading www.niauditoffice.gov.uk/pubs/bovine/Bovine_Final.pdf.
 
On page 74 under Conclusions and Recommendations
On the cost of compensation
5.28 The annual cost of compensation rose steadily from the mid-1990s and, while peaking at over £16 million in 2002-03, remains very substantial, at some three times the 1995 level.
 
In total, some £86 million compensation has been paid in the 10 years to March 2006. Despite concerns expressed within the Department that a change in compensation rate, from 75% to 100% of market value, would make having a reactor more desirable and increase the temptation to ‘invent’ or import reactors, the higher rate was introduced in 1998. It is notable that the move to 100% compensation coincided with a substantial increase in the number of reactors. We note the Department’s comments that there are many factors which could cause a rise in bTB incidence; the change in compensation levels at this time may or may not have been a contributing factor.

Sally
The cost of policing the controversial badger cull in just one of the 21 zones last autumn approached the £1m mark – the equivalent of more than £1,000 for every animal killed there.
 
Objectors to the cull described the bill for Cheshire as a horrendous waste of public money and called for the policy to be scrapped on economic as well as animal cruelty grounds.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/01/badger-cull-policing-cost-800000-in-one-county-cheshire
 
Sally
Former Deputy Chief Vet Alick Simmons has said:
 
Spent my career controlling livestock disease. Eradication of the bTB organism is impossible in the UK. The public health risk is under control - and has been since around c.1960. Why waste £millions and kill our native wildlife on a hopeless cause.
 
Sally
From an ex deputy chief vet at DEFRA.
 
Spent my career controlling livestock disease. Eradication of the bTB organism is impossible in the UK. The public health risk is under control - and has been since around c.1960. Why waste £millions and kill our native wildlife on a hopeless cause.
 
Sally
“After four years spending over £50 million in taxpayer’s money and the deaths of over 40,000 badgers, the government has never been able to demonstrate any conclusive evidence that the policy is working or that it ever will,” says Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust. “The latest statement from Farming Minister George Eustice [1] relies entirely on one piece of research [2] which clearly states that there is ‘no association between culling and TB incidence for Somerset, or for either of the buffer areas for the first 2 years since culling began. A weak association was observed in Gloucestershire’. The paper then goes on to state unequivocally that ‘it would be unwise to use these findings to develop generalizable inferences about the effectiveness of the policy at present.’”
 
“This piece of research is simply a statistical modelling exercise using carefully chosen assumptions to create an impression that the culls are working whilst directly admitting that the raw data says nothing of the sort,’ continues Dominic Dyer. “The rest of the government’s analysis and reporting [3] relies heavily on caveats and words such as ’should’ and ‘could’ instead of ‘will’ and ‘does’. The truth is that for the last five years the government and pro-cull lobby have presented us with a continuous stream of false justifications, cherry picked data and anecdote masquerading as scientific fact, all in the absence of any conclusive improvement in levels of bovine TB.”
 
“The vast majority of badgers killed have been free of the disease,” continues Dominic Dyer, “very few were ever tested and for those that were the government refused to release any figures showing how many had TB. The whole process is not just cruel and inhumane, it is completely indiscriminate. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that culling healthy badgers is never going to help farmers rid their herds of this disease. There has, in any case, never been any conclusive scientific proof of how or to what extent badgers can pass on TB to cattle in the first place.”
 
“The government and pro-cull lobby’s position has now become completely untenable,” says Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin. “It is clear from Westminster insiders that there is a growing tension between the pro-cull people and those that realise the public cannot be fooled by a lack of evidence for much longer. Animal welfare has become a massive public concern that is really threatening the short and long term survival of the government. People are seeing the culls for what they are, a mass slaughter of a much loved and protected British wildlife species for no apparent gain in TB eradication. The new Environment Minister Michael Gove has promised a full review of the policy and we expect him to be true to his word.”
 
“In fact we think the government needs to radically rethink the whole policy from top to bottom,” continues Peter Martin, “as the current twenty-five year strategy is way too long for farmers to wait for a result and is highly unlikely to succeed in any case. A full independent review of the scientific, animal welfare, ecological impact, costs and public safety aspects of the badger cull policy must now be undertaken as a matter of urgency. This review should not only involve the farming and veterinary industry but the Badger Trust and other leading wildlife protection organisations.”
 
“The Welsh government have led the way in cattle TB reduction and Westminster now needs to follow suit,” concludes Peter Martin. “They have achieved this through tighter cattle controls, better biosecurity measures and improved TB testing systems, and all without culling badgers. This has to be the starting point for any future policy and it must also include a system of risk-based trading that does not bankrupt farmers if they do get a TB breakdown. But whatever happens we can never go back to the mass slaughter of our wildlife to satisfy political agendas or as a cover for landowners to reduce numbers of an animal they traditionally do not like. The culls must end now.”
 
[1] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-12-21/HCWS383...
 
[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3254/full
 
[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/670230/bovine-tb-cvo-2017-culls.pdf
 
Sally
Badger Trust challenges government’s lack of evidence after 19,000 more badgers culled in 2017 and calls for a full policy review
 
The Badger Trust has called on the government to provide conclusive evidence that their cull policy is reducing levels of TB in cattle following the announcement that a further 19,000 badgers were culled in 2017.
 
“After four years spending over £50 million in taxpayer’s money and the deaths of over 40,000 badgers, the government has never been able to demonstrate any conclusive evidence that the policy is working or that it ever will,” says Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust. “The latest statement from Farming Minister George Eustice [1] relies entirely on one piece of research [2] which clearly states that there is ‘no association between culling and TB incidence for Somerset, or for either of the buffer areas for the first 2 years since culling began. A weak association was observed in Gloucestershire’. The paper then goes on to state unequivocally that ‘it would be unwise to use these findings to develop generalizable inferences about the effectiveness of the policy at present.’”
 
“This piece of research is simply a statistical modelling exercise using carefully chosen assumptions to create an impression that the culls are working whilst directly admitting that the raw data says nothing of the sort,’ continues Dominic Dyer. “The rest of the government’s analysis and reporting [3] relies heavily on caveats and words such as ’should’ and ‘could’ instead of ‘will’ and ‘does’. The truth is that for the last five years the government and pro-cull lobby have presented us with a continuous stream of false justifications, cherry picked data and anecdote masquerading as scientific fact, all in the absence of any conclusive improvement in levels of bovine TB.”
 
“The vast majority of badgers killed have been free of the disease,” continues Dominic Dyer, “very few were ever tested and for those that were the government refused to release any figures showing how many had TB. The whole process is not just cruel and inhumane, it is completely indiscriminate. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that culling healthy badgers is never going to help farmers rid their herds of this disease. There has, in any case, never been any conclusive scientific proof of how or to what extent badgers can pass on TB to cattle in the first place.”
 
“The government and pro-cull lobby’s position has now become completely untenable,” says Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin. “It is clear from Westminster insiders that there is a growing tension between the pro-cull people and those that realise the public cannot be fooled by a lack of evidence for much longer. Animal welfare has become a massive public concern that is really threatening the short and long term survival of the government. People are seeing the culls for what they are, a mass slaughter of a much loved and protected British wildlife species for no apparent gain in TB eradication. The new Environment Minister Michael Gove has promised a full review of the policy and we expect him to be true to his word.”
 
“In fact we think the government needs to radically rethink the whole policy from top to bottom,” continues Peter Martin, “as the current twenty-five year strategy is way too long for farmers to wait for a result and is highly unlikely to succeed in any case. A full independent review of the scientific, animal welfare, ecological impact, costs and public safety aspects of the badger cull policy must now be undertaken as a matter of urgency. This review should not only involve the farming and veterinary industry but the Badger Trust and other leading wildlife protection organisations.”
 
“The Welsh government have led the way in cattle TB reduction and Westminster now needs to follow suit,” concludes Peter Martin. “They have achieved this through tighter cattle controls, better biosecurity measures and improved TB testing systems, and all without culling badgers. This has to be the starting point for any future policy and it must also include a system of risk-based trading that does not bankrupt farmers if they do get a TB breakdown. But whatever happens we can never go back to the mass slaughter of our wildlife to satisfy political agendas or as a cover for landowners to reduce numbers of an animal they traditionally do not like. The culls must end now.”
 
[1] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-12-21/HCWS383...
 
[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3254/full
 
[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/670230/bovine-tb-cvo-2017-culls.pdf
 
Sally
As The Guardian reported, vaccination costs £82 per badger, compared to £6,800 per culled animal. But still, the government carries on regardless. And meanwhile, the cost to the public purse increases; so far, the badger cull has come with a £16.5m price tag.
 
www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/huge-increase-badger-culling-see-up-to-33500-animals-shot

 
Sally
Figures published by the government have revealed that in 2016 and this year the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) paid almost £500,000 to Airwave, the company that provides the police and other emergency services with communications equipment. Airwave equipment is considered by police to be the most effective network because mobile reception can be unreliable in the sort of remote areas where much of the culling takes place.
 
We believe the badger is the scapegoat. Why waste money on killing badgers when, with the necessary political will, cattle can be vaccinated. Almost 15,000 badgers have been killed since the first culling took place in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013. This year, protesters believe the cull will extend east to Wiltshire and north to Cheshire and a further 20,000 badgers killed.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/25/taxpayers-spend-hi-tech-radios-badger-cull-marksmen
 
becky
Extracted from Martin Hancox letter of 30/4/15. He was on government Badger TB Consultative Panel.
 
Although farmers and vets are still absolutely certain that "Badgers are the main cause of the spread of TB", so more culls are essential post May 7th; this is a spectacularly wrong misunderstanding of how TB is actually transmitted and spread within the cattle population, and there are two reasons why the actual badger contribution to cattle TB is probably Zero !
 
There are far too few super-excretor badgers which might be a risk to other badgers or cattle "out there". The 2 recent Pilot culls came to 2494 badgers, so translating from the RBCT/Krebs cull data , perhaps c. 400 with TB, but only 1.65 % superinfectious ones ie. just 7 TB badgers from c. 300 sq.km. A cost of c. £15 million , including some £ 3 million disgracefully wasted on extra policing to protect shooters from protestors or vice versa. And if a typical herd breakdown costs c. £30,000, that is a mere £210,000 possibly saved if they actually improbably did cause herd TB, hardly a rational cost-effective policy.
 
becky
So Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, gave out false information - the cost per badger was actually: £5,200 PER BADGER (COST 2013 PILOT CULLS)
 
BBC Points West: www.dailymotion.com/video/x2aahj8_bbc1-points-west-14nov14_animals
 
BBC Radio Sussex: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02bkt8h
 
Scroll to 1 hour 12 mins to listen back
 
Daily Mail: www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2834695/Cull-cost-5-200-badger.html
 
Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/14/badger-cull-cost-over-3000-for-each-animal-killed
 
BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30058872?post_id=100003038987658_653361671441793#_=_
 
Farmers Weekly
http://www.fwi.co.uk/livestock/badger-cull-cost-5000-per-badger.htm
 
becky
Leaked Badger Cull Costs Miss £3.5million Police Price Tag
 
Leaked figures from Defra published today have revealed the cost of the 2013 badger cull – but missed out £3.5 million spent on policing the operation.
 
The front page of Daily Telegraph today says that each badger killed during last year’s cull cost £3000, with 1,879 badgers being killed at the cost of £6.3 million.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/11229710/Badger-campaigners-lose-legal-battle-over-cull.html?WT.mc_id=e_3682265&WT....
However, a glaring omission from the figures is the £3.5m cost of policing the cull. When this is added on, the cost per badger is actually £5,200.
 
Dominic Dyer, CEO of Badger Trust and Policy Advisor Care for the Wild, said: “If every badger killed last year cost the taxpayer £3000, that would be a horrendous waste of money on a policy that leading scientists say won’t work. But the reality is that every badger killed actually cost £5,200 – and that is simply beyond belief.
 
“The government claim they have to do something as bovine TB costs the country a lot of money, and they say that ‘doing nothing is not an option’. But just over the border in Wales, they have looked at the problem, thoroughly tested their cattle so they really understand how many actually have the illness, and brought in more frequent testing and better movement controls. By doing that, they have brought down the number of cattle slaughtered for bTB by 48% in five years. Wales has a policy that is far from doing nothing, and is actually working. England has a policy that is inhumane, unscientific and is throwing money down the drain.”
 
The cost of policing was included in Defra’s cost/benefit analysis prior to the 2013 cull, so should clearly be included in the cost of the cull. Defra had to pay for the policing costs, charged to them from the Home Office, so the true cost of the cull is much higher than has been reported.
 
becky
There are about 8,000 cases of TB diagnosed in the UK per year, which costs the National Health Service about £40 million per year to treat.
 
Of those 8,000, only twenty or so are caused by Mycobacterium bovis, the rest are caused by the human pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis [1].
 
£40m divided by 8,000 = £5,000 per patient.
 
Therefore, £5,000 multiplied by 20 = £100,000 to treat people suffering from TB caused by M.bovis per year (and most of these cases are elderly people who consumed unpasteurised milk as children).
 
The latest estimates suggest that the first year of the badger cull cost £7.29million (excluding £60,000 for the IEP report, administration, AHVLA costs and other government figures which have yet to be disclosed)... [2]
 
That would treat those affected by Bovine TB for the next 72 years...
 
Farms are generally paid £34,000 on average for each breakdown, so year one of culling could also have compensated for over 214 breakdowns...
 
And investment for cattle vaccination research is approximately £4.9million per year... [3] Slightly over half of the cost of one year of a small-scale cull...
 
This is why every trial to date has been deemed unsustainable... For the possible, marginal benefits a cull may produce, the costs are completely out of proportion...
 
[1] http://www.polygeia.com/paul-torgerson-talks-to-polygeia/
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26369306
[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-bovine-tuberculosis/supporting-pages/vaccines-against-tb
 
Source: www.facebook.com/TbFreeEngland
 
becky
The number of cattle slaughtered in Great Britain as a result of bovine TB in the 12 months to March has fallen to its lowest level since 2007-08, according to the Western Daily Press so badger culling is surely a waste of money?
 
This represents a fall of almost 5,500 from the same period last year, but is broadly similar for the three years prior to that.
 
March figures are traditionally among the lowest of the year, with a large proportion of animals having been overwintered indoors, away from potential sources of TB in wildlife.
 
Even so, the lowest boundary of the bovine TB figures for the past 12 months - updated by Defra this month - show the proportion of tests on bTB-free herds after which bTB-free status was withdrawn to be at its lowest since 2007. At the highest boundary, they are still only a shade above last year’s, which were previously the lowest since 2007.
 
The number of new herd incidents during the period January to March 2014 was 1,404 compared to 1,386 for January to March 2013. The number of tests on officially TB free herds was 24,421 during January to March 2014, compared to 22,919 during January to March 2013.
 
 The number of cattle compulsorily slaughtered as reactors or direct contacts was 8,823 during January to March 2014, compared to 9,277 during January to March 2013.
 
 
Info from: /www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Bovine-TB-figures-continue-fall-England/story-21217856-detail/story.html#ixzz34M1OY3T7
 
becky
Employees of the company that ran last year's badger cull in Somerset directed the deployment of police officers against protesters, according to a police investigation.
 
Policing the culls cost millions of pounds and the report, seen by the Guardian, shows that half the personnel in the police's night-time control centre were either from HNV Associates Ltd or the National Farmer's Union (NFU).
 
The cost of policing badger culls in 2013 was at least £2.6m, more than double initial estimates, according to police sources. Ministers argue that badger culling is a vital part of the battle against bovine TB but many scientists and campaigners condemn the badger cull as a waste of time and money. They argue that stricter controls on cattle movements, better TB testing and vaccination are the only way to control the disease. In Wales, where badger culling was rejected in favour of alternatives, TB in cattle is falling.
 
becky
Gloucester officers were quizzed about the cull, which cost the constabulary some £2.3 million. Chief constable (CC) Suzette Davenport, together with Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Richard Berry, Superintendent (SI) Jim McCarthy, Inspector Mark Ravenscroft and Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Steve Bean were questioned about incidents and various complaints throughout the weeks of the cull.
 
The final amount was many times above the original cost anticipated by the force, although the money would be reimbursed by the Government by June, according to Mr Surl.
 
CC Davenport said the original amount was announced months before the actual cull, and the extension had cost the police more as well.
 
In total, officers worked 89 days on full-time operations with many having to give up rest days and working overtime.
 
During the planned eight-week extension, police officers were essentially on 24-hour patrols. Free shooting and cage trapping meant they had to prevent damage to traps while keeping the peace in the countryside, putting a huge strain on resources.
 
She added: “We have taken about 18 months to two years to plan for the six weeks cull, and there were various issues to take care of.
 
“We planned for six weeks and the when the cull was extended, the costs increased as well.”
 
Mr Surl, who had previously spoken out against the Government’s plan for an extension, said it interfered with the police’s daily work.
 
ACC Berry, the gold commander, told the chamber it had been “one of the largest deployment” of police officers ever.
 
It was also revealed there were 150 stop and searches during the cull period, something which Mr Surl said caused “quite a lot of dissatisfaction”, especially with people stopped more than twice on the same night.
 
Mr Surl said the extension and cull must have placed a huge strain on police officers. CC Davenport said although there was no increase in crime, it had become taxing for her officers.
 
“Ideally what some these people wanted was for us to intervene, but sometimes it was not a criminal situation,” she said.
 
“In terms of the impact on the people, there was certainly an impact, during the impact, on my staff.
 
“After the cull was extended, officers had to work rest days and over time, and they became tired. Not just from working those hours, but also from the angst and aggravation of these events.”
 
ACC Berry said they were “surprised” when they were told on October 23 the cull would be extended another eight weeks, longer than the original window.
 
It would have taken it well into winter. There were five briefings each day for officers taking part in the patrols, which lasted all day and night.
 
Free shooting and cage trapping weighed down the officers, according to SI McCarthy, because they had to keep protesters safe while ensuring operators’ traps were not sabotaged.
 
Mr Surl accused the NFU and Defra of giving people “false hope” that the cull was going as planned.
 
He added that there were lessons to be learned from this year’s cull as officers prepare for this year’s operation.
 
Read more: http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Gloucestershire-Police-refused-supply-Government/story-21087059-detail/story.html#ixzz31mZ4...
 
becky
Biocensus Opinion: Badger cull maths, stats and management - an extremely interesting and useful appraisal of the badger cull which is well worth reading and clearly reveals just what a waste of money badger culling is.
 
"... in summary, the current policy has meant that the government has spent £7,290,000 (£5,800,000 of which was public money) pursuing a policy that could quite possibly make things worse. And the farmers who were conned into joining in have quite likely lost £1,490,000 of their own money.
 
In its starkest form using Defra’s own figures and the best case scenario, it has cost £12,857/km² to save £714/km²."
 
The piece can be read in full at: http://www.biocensus.co.uk/2013-09-04-11-08-23/blog/entry/biocensus-opinion-badger-cull-maths-stats-and-management
 
becky
More taxpayers' money being spent by the Government (http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18287&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=badger%20&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description):
 
Developing a surveillance system to report TB in cattle herds exposed to badger control in England - SE3131
 
Description
 
The aim of this project is to monitor bovine tuberculosis (bTB) incidence in cattle herds located within and just outside areas where badger control licenses will be issued (intervention areas) and compare to that of herds located within matched ‘comparison areas’, plus regional/national trends. As far as is possible within the design of the badger control policy, the purpose is to: a) monitor the effect of the intervention on bovine tuberculosis and b) identify important changes that could affect the badger control policy as early as possible. Given the pre-determined design of the control policy, this project will act as a surveillance activity rather than being hypothesis-driven research.
 
In the first year, badger control licenses will be granted by Natural England (NE) to two pilot areas, with up to ten further areas licensed in each of the following three years. As each new area is selected, NE will share boundary location data, enabling us to identify herds located in each intervention area and its 2km ‘buffer’ region.
 
We will first establish historical (three-years preceding intervention) bTB frequency measures in herds located within intervention areas so that changes over time can be assessed. Several bTB frequency measures will be analysed: e.g. number of new herd breakdowns per 100 herds tested, proportion of herds under movement restrictions due to a bTB breakdown etc.
 
Secondly, as bTB incidence may change over time for reasons unrelated to intervention, areas without intervention will be selected as comparison areas. Comparison areas most similar to intervention areas in features such as historical bTB incidence, cattle demography and geographical location will be selected. This is to reduce the risk that differences in incidence between intervention and comparison areas are due to factors other than badger control. However, it will not be possible to completely remove this risk or that of random variation and therefore cautious interpretation of study results will be required. Once comparison areas have been selected, reports will be compiled for each intervention: comparison couplet describing their historical bTB incidence and other features (e.g. cattle herd demography) that may influence the interpretation of future results.
 
Six-monthly and annual monitoring reports will examine different measures of bTB in cattle herds through simple descriptive statistics and graphs and more in-depth analyses where the effects of some factors (other than badger control) that could cause a difference between intervention and comparison areas, are adjusted for using regression techniques.
 
Any observable change in incidence resulting from the badger cull is likely to occur slowly over time and effects may not be observed in the early years of the study. However the effect of culling is anticipated to increase over time therefore the surveillance methods developed herein should be used for longer term monitoring.
Objective
 
Workpackage A – Couplet identification and characterisation
1. Develop a project protocol document
2. Establish baseline disease frequency data for cattle located in intervention areas
3. Identify areas with no badger control measures to serve as comparison areas to those with the intervention.
 
Workpackage B – Monitoring bTB incidence in cattle herds
1. Monitor measures of bTB incidence in cattle herds located in intervention areas relative to those in comparison areas.
Time-Scale and Cost
 
From: 2013
 
To: 2018
 
Cost: £474,358
Contractor / Funded Organisations
 
A H V L A (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency - AHVLA)
 
becky
Police costs now conformed for the two trial areas and are DOUBLE the original estimates. What a waste of money - especially as funding is being cut from so many other areas ....
 
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner says it cost £1.7 million to police the cull in Glos over the seven week period, or £1,800 pounds per badger for the policing costs alone.
 
He says the cost will be recharged to central government.
 
In Somerset the policing costs were £739,000 .
 
becky
Extracted from a report by Dominic Dyer who is policy advisor with Care for the Wild International. (www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=639438119448011&id=194661603925667)
 
Then we come to the staggering costs of the badgers culls which Mr Paterson has done all he can to hide from MPs and the public.
 
If we take account of policing costs, Government trap teams and equipment, Whitehall staff costs in Defra, Natural England and Food and Environment Research Agency and badger sett monitoring and data collection, it is estimated that the total costs of both cull pilots is around £7.3 million.
 
If we divide this figure by the total number of badgers killed (1,771) we are looking at a cost per badger of £4,121.
 
If the culls are to be extended as Mr Paterson plans for a further 3 years we can add a further £12 million to the costs giving a total figure of £19.3 million for four years of badger culling in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire.
 
This figure is all the more worrying, when you consider based on DEFRA estimates that even if the cull pilots were 100% successful and reduced the increase in the spread of bovine TB by 16% over nine years, this would only deliver a knock on benefit of £2.5 million to the tax payer.
 
So based on current projections the costs of the badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire outweigh the benefits by over seven times.
 
becky
According to the Mail Online the recent two 'disastrous' trial badger culls in Glos and Somerset have costs a massive £7.3MILLION... with taxpayers picking up £5.8million of the bill ... £4,100 for each animal killed – almost double previous estimates.
 
It also reveals that continuing the cull for three years would eventually cost £19million
 
The figures were derived from answers to parliamentary questions, statistics from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Freedom of Information requests.
 
The cost to farmers who paid for the actual culling itself was calculated at £1.49 million.
 
The policing bill was put at £2.66 million, made up of costs for manpower, transport, equipment and accommodation.
 
A further £3.17 million was attributed to costs at environment quango Natural England, the Food and Environment Research Agency and Defra, and included trapping, monitoring and data collection.
 
 
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2533820/Disastrous-badger-cull-cost-7-3M-taxpayers-picking-5-8m-bill.html#ixzz2pbzuubo6
 
becky
MORE COST TO THE TAXPAYER as EXTRA officers have been deployed as part of Operation Themis after reports of cages being stolen and tracking devices being attached to contractor vehicles in the cull zone:
 
www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/10825921.Reports_of_cages_stolen_and_tracking_devices_being_attached_to_ vehicles_in_badger_ cull_zone/?dm_i=1NFN,204MT,906LDO,77G7Y,1
 
becky
Watching the video at http://reelnews.co.uk/badger-cull-exposed-as-a-cruel-and-pointless-fiasco/ one wonders how the enormous and unprecedented police presence can be justified. It would seem that officers have been brought into the two trial cull areas from as many as five different police areas and it would seem they are patrolling in large numbers for the entire extent of the cull. The costs are bound to be very high and how can they be justified?
 
becky
'Extended cull will come at a cost' is the title of the article in the 'Western Daily Press' reporting the comments of the Glos police and crime commissioner, Martin Surl, on Monday. Whilst making it clear regarding impartiality he does say the following about extending the cull:
 
'Imagine if you were playing for England in that crucial World Cup qualifier and just after you scored the second goal the referee said "we'll play another hour and a half to give Poland more chance?" There would be outrage in the stadium and the players would be out on their feet.'
 
'Is the principle of extending the cull by eight weeks so very different? After all, it is longer than the original pilot. And if another eight weeks are necessary in Gloucestershire, why do they need so much less time in Somerset? This was a pilot which Natural England said would run over four years. Would it not have been wiser to go away, analyse what worked and what didn't and make the necessary adjustments next year in the second phase?'
 
'Now the cull in Gloucestershire will extend to the week before Christmas and although my Chief Constable tries to assure me it will not affect normal policing in the county, there will be implications on the budget.
The Home Office says it will reimburse any extra costs incurred by the cull but the money will still come from the taxpayer one way or another. Was it expecting too much for Natural England and Defra to have sought the views of either myself or the police before reaching their decision?'
 
becky
This is Glos (http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Patience-run-Gloucestershire-extended-badger-cull/story-19983852-detail/story.html?dm_i=1NFN,1XMD7,906LDO,6Y1MG,1#!) reports that patience may run out on both sides of the debate in the badger cull, and disorder may result from the cull’s extension in Gloucestershire.
 
That’s the concern of Martin Surl, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the man who sets the policy for Gloucestershire Police.
 
Natural England, which licensed the original six-week trial cull which ended this month, has allowed another eight weeks for shooters to try and kill up to 940 badgers in the west of the county, until December 18.
Mr Surl had previously expressed concerns that the cull would lead to an unacceptable burden on police in the county. Yesterday, he said: "My views on a cull extension have been widely reported and led to criticism from two local MPs. It doesn’t alter my primary concern that prolonging the exercise will test the patience and good will shown so far by all sides to the detriment of those communities where it is taking place.
 
“The cull is an issue which has divided the country. Managing it has been a delicate operation with the full cost still to be worked out, but thanks to the skill and professionalism of the police and the understanding and good sense shown on all sides, we have got this far without many people’s worst fears with regard to public safety being realised.“
 
The total police costs are not yet know but it is inevitable that with the current extension they will escalate further - the police costs are being paid for by the taxpayer.
 
becky
Police costs for the badger cull are said to be spiralling out of control. Police and crime commissioner Martin Surl has said the figure is about £1million, twice the original estimate.
 
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Badger-cull-campaigners-fear-countryside-free/story-19938059-detail/story.html#ixzz2i3pA1...
 
becky
Policing costs of the trial culls in Glos and Somerset are being paid for from public funds,
 
Policing costs alone are estimated to be £1,000 per badger although free-shooting was promoted as being the cheapest option – why aren’t the landowners required to pick up this bill rather than the taxpayer? Police resources have been drafted in from other areas – it is not known how that has affected those areas or at what cost.
 
Simultaneously with the news of the extended licence period for Somerset, a substantial number of additional cages were delivered to the area – if cage trapping is being used as a fail-safe method of executing badgers, why can’t they be vaccinated instead?
 
David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust said: “David Cameron and his Ministers ignore the best scientific evidence and pursue their own agenda. Defra should immediately admit failure of these trials on the grounds of cost and efficacy, the humaneness remains deeply buried in a cloak of secrecy.
 

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