Selective reporting by Defra again …. this time on the true cost of 2013 badger cull

Leaked figures from Defra published on Friday last week have revealed the cost of the 2013 badger cull – but missed out £3.5 million spent on policing the operation.

Badger & mayweed

The front page of Friday’s Daily Telegraph reported that each badger killed during last year’s cull cost £3000, with 1,879 badgers being killed at the cost of £6.3 million. 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.

What is it about selective reporting by politicians …. anyone might be forgiven for remembering that there is a General Election in 171 days? What offers are there on the table from any political party with a credible record of open transparent conduct, are there any with principles who put people and the natural environment before profit?

Lest we forget that these trial culls are set to continue for a further two years, with no Independent Expert Panel to monitor the process …. did Cameron once assert to being the “Greenest Government ever”?  Then business and the establishment decided to get rid of “green …. ” and revert to “greenest never”.

Greenblobpride

 

 

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