Stroud Farmers Market at odds with district council over badger ban
BANNING pro-badger cull traders from Stroud Farmers' Market won't work, claims its organiser.
But the Stroud District Council member who wants traders to sign up to a no-shoot policy says the trial cull of badgers set for June must be opposed.
The council already refuses to allow culling on land it owns or manages, and at its April 25 council meeting, Paul Denney will put enter a motion which if passed, would only allow traders at the farmers' market who pledge they won't take part in a badger cull.
Market organiser Clare Honeyfield said the motion that "will not allow any business to trade at any event organised by or on behalf of Stroud District Council unless they have first confirmed in writing that they will not allow the culling of badgers on their property or to purvey any goods which they know to be sourced from businesses taking part in the planned cull" isn't enforceable.
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"The market is not organised by the council or on its behalf," she said. "We have a licence agreement which is a contract to lease the market building and marketplace for one day a week. The council doesn't own the land – it leases it from a developer.
"Politically, we don't have a position on anything – the Labour-run council enforced that when it was last in power."
The trial cull, set for west Gloucestershire in June, has been called for by some farmers to try and halt the spread of bovine TB but opponents say work on vaccines would be more effective.
Councillor Denney (L, Cam West) said if approved, the motion would seek to change a future contract to run the market. The next renewal is due in March 2014.
"I have been told that the cull will cost millions to police," he said. "That money would be better spent on vaccine research – when the Conservatives came to power the first thing they did was get rid of six of seven vaccine trials.
"With that money, they could have been continued."