Monday, 21 November 2011

Stop Badgering Caroline Spelman!

"Any option that includes farmers and landowners culling badgers with firearms has potential to place armed farm workers in the near vicinity of protesters and activists, typically during the night-time," Det Ch Supt Tudway warned.
"We regard this as a scenario with clear potential for harm to public safety. We see particular challenges where farm workers with little or no experience of trapping badgers in order to shoot them (while still caged) are attempting to do so under the gaze of activists."
Well, we could call the Yorkshire Police ARVs in to do the job, I suppose...

But I can't decide whether this is a demand for more resources to be thrown at the police, or a thinly-disguised attempt to meddle in farming policy by the back door, with the implicit threat that if the proposed cull goes ahead, the Minister is likely to have more than just badger blood on her hands.

Frankly, neither puts the police in a very good light...

15 comments:

Angry Exile said...

Can we start hedgehogging her instead?

SBC said...

Surely the police should be more concerned about the activists trespassing? If they,the protestors, weren't on the land in the first place then they'd be unlikely to be shot...by 'untrained farmworkers'-who have to have been trained before getting either a shotgun or rifle licene.

Anonymous said...

"Neither puts the police in a very good light?".Isn't that your default position Julia?
After almost complimenting them on shooting two armed robbers you are back to normal.
No badgers on my manor thankfully,I think they're a delicacy in Eastern Europe!
Jaded

JuliaM said...

There's no 'almost' about it Jaded, I was complimenting them!

If they'd shoot more armed bank robbers, drunk barristers waving shotguns in Belgravia, and lunatic steroid-abusing bouncers, the world'd be a safer place for all...

Mick Turatian said...

"Neither puts the police in a very good light?".Isn't that your default position Julia?

It strikes me that Mr Tudway makes the mistake of assuming that the farm worker/tenant/landowner and the protester have equivalent rights to be on the land at night. Can this be correct?

If it isn't correct and if it's legal to cull badgers, then the police have the choice between (a) saying nothing at all or (b) pointing out that to wander about on somebody else's land in the dark when there is a probability that firearms will legally be discharged is an act of folly and please not to call the police if it ends badly.

Jim said...

Apart from the inappropriateness of the Police trying influence democratically elected governments policies, the point is way off beam anyway.

There are hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland, and thousands of individual land owners, many of whom already allow people to hunt at night (lamping) perfectly legally. The idea that activists are going to be able to target where and when badgers are shot is ludicrous. Its not like fox hunts, who are rather obvious semi-public events,and take place in broad daylight. This would be a couple of blokes going out at night, without any great fanfare. No-one would even know it was going on.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Didn't read of that Yorkshire incident before following your link, but having just done so I feel compelled to comment on that horrific incident, albeit rather retrospectively.

The only police shooting I was present at in my many years as a firearms officer was when we had to destroy a rampaging bull, where the vet and the poor owner urged us to do so asap. Weapon of choice was a 7mm rifle, which was in our armoury for precisely this sort of incident. Poor rampaging bully was stopped, dropped and died immediately with one shot. I was horrified to read of the Yorkshire incident, but it reminded me of an awful incident on the A303 where a lorry crashed into a herd of cows that had strayed through a broken fence. The scene was almost unbearable with animals writhing in agony. The vet took 30 mins and even then his `humane` killer didn't work. I was desparate to dispatch the suffering animals but our 9mm ARV weapons would just not do it - unless you used multiple shots. Sorry Julia, its off topic, apart from the link, but that job still gets to me when I think of it.

SBC said...

Hog, what a sad and horrific story! Although it perhaps illustrates the point about general gun ownership. In almost any other european country the farmer himself would have had a high powered hunting rifle to hand and if for some strange reason of TreeHuggyness he didn't then a phone call to the neighbouring farms would have had enough firepower en scene within minutes to take down a herd of elephants on P2P.

SBC said...

*edit PCP not illegal file sharing networks!

Captain Haddock said...

"Stop Badgering Caroline Spelman !"

You mean someone's actually desperate, or brave enough to "growl her badger" ? .. ;)

Angry Exile said...

@ Captain Haddock.

Waiter! More mind bleach, please. There seems to be some sick in my mouth.

allcoppedout said...

I sense we should form a company to sell 'Badger blood' to the Chinese to pay off our national debt.

JuliaM said...

"Can we start hedgehogging her instead?"

Yes. But we'll steer clear of dogging her, OK? ;)

"Surely the police should be more concerned about the activists trespassing? "

Gosh, you'd think so, wouldn't you?

"It strikes me that Mr Tudway makes the mistake of assuming that the farm worker/tenant/landowner and the protester have equivalent rights to be on the land at night. "

This, sadly, is the calibre of senior police officers we have now...

" This would be a couple of blokes going out at night, without any great fanfare. No-one would even know it was going on."

In most cases, probably true, but badger sets are big, visible things, and these animal rights nutcases are persistent.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if they've already staked out likely 'hot spots'.

JuliaM said...

"...but our 9mm ARV weapons would just not do it - unless you used multiple shots."

Quite.

And it's not surprising it's still with you; Mark Wadsworth recently had some horrific footage from the Great White North (where you'd expect more knowledge of the capabilities of their service weapons).

Don't any of these guys hunt?

"In almost any other european country the farmer himself would have had a high powered hunting rifle to hand..."

It seems the farmer's experience and advice was discounted in favour of 'Yeah, let's see what these babies can do!'. They should have been prosecuted for cruelty.

"I sense we should form a company to sell 'Badger blood' to the Chinese to pay off our national debt."

Why go to China? We've got a fair few of those sorts of 'pharmacies' over here!

Uncle Badger said...

I don't like the way this is going...