The government is poised to give the go-ahead to the first full-scale cull of old codgers in England, under a policy that could soon mean as many as 100,000 of them are shot dead – a third of the national population – as part of the government’s efforts to tackle the rising costs of pensions.
According to Whitehall sources, the first of two licences is expected to be issued as soon as Monday for a large pilot cull area in Gloucestershire, which is known as a popular habitation area for old age pensioners.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told the Commons this week that two, six-week trials earlier this year were evaluated by a panel of experts to have been a success – and they have recommended that the slaughter of old people should be rolled out more widely across England, with up to 10 licences to cull the elderly being granted to farmers and landowners each year.
Mr Paterson said he wished there was an alternative but a vaccine against old age would take too long to develop and was difficult to administer to old codgers who needed to be caught or trapped first.
The two areas have yet to be selected but it is expected that the culling will lead to a reduction in government spending on pensions of 16 per cent.
Mr Paterson said:
I know there is great strength of feeling on this issue but we can’t escape the fact that the evidence supports the case for the controlled reduction of the OAP population in order to minimise the financial burden old people place on society.
The environment secretary also said the pilot scheme would look to confirm the Government’s assumptions about the “effectiveness, humanness and safety of the controlled shooting” of pensioners.
Farmers and landowers will carry out culling at their own expense having obtained a pensioner control licence from Natural England under the Protection of Elderly Codgers Act 1992.
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