Charity donation over badger cull in Gloucestershire knocked back by police
POLICE refused a charity donation from a farmer whose property could be involved in the trial badger cull.
Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed an offer of money to a police charity had been made to the force, but said the donation had declined.
That was sent to the chief constable by a farmer near Tewkesbury, in a letter that said he was grateful to the force after it attended a protest by anti-badger cull campaigners last autumn.
The letter has been released on the internet and police released a statement in response to that, although the farmer named in the letter did not return our calls yesterday.
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It comes as a pilot cull in west Gloucestershire is expected to start next week.
Tensions are running high, as around 5,000 badgers could be shot in the county and in Somerset.
Some farmers say the cull is necessary to tackle bovine TB, but opponents believe the cull is inhumane and ineffective. The cull has started in Somerset.
Anti-cull campaigners sought assurances from Gloucestershire Constabulary that no payment had been made to a police charity from the landowner, which it was able to provide.
The letter from the farmer, who The Citizen has chosen not to name, ended by saying: "In a time of acute police cutbacks, I much appreciate the priority that you have given to this affair and as an expression of my personal thanks, I would like to make a modest donation to an appropriate police charity."
In a statement, the force confirmed the offer was rejected.
"Following speculation about a donation that was offered to a police charity of Gloucestershire Constabulary's choice we can factually clarify that no donation was invited or accepted.
"We responded to the offer with the following: 'Thank you for the kind offer of a donation to a police charity; it is very kind of you to do so. However, I am afraid that we are unable to accept it'.
"This position is based upon the role of the police, which is to remain neutral and meet our legal obligations to both sides in the scenario."
An anti-cull protester, who declined to be named, said they were pleased at the police's response and some went online to say so as well.