Army spends more feeding dogs than soldiers

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by the_boy_syrup, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    From todays Mail:

    The Army spends more feeding its dogs than its soldiers, it has been claimed.

    Figures obtained by a Tory MP show that £1.51 a day goes on meals for troops, compared with £2.63 for military dogs.

    Even prisoners – who cost £1.87 a day to feed – fare better than servicemen. Schoolchildren get £1.55 for lunch alone.

    The MP, Mike Penning, is to raise the issue in the House of Commons today. The former Grenadier Guard said troops serving in war zones such as Iraq were being denied decent meals.

    And he claimed that U.S. troops are given high-quality meat while British soldiers make do with cheap sausages and chips.

    The armed forces keep 998 dogs for searching, guarding and arrest duties.

    Mr Penning said: ‘The troops are not getting enough good-quality meals and are missing out on their daily meat and two veg.

    ‘I have been repeatedly told that Army cooks are struggling to feed the troops properly on just £1.51 a day.

    ‘This is a derisory amount of money. In contrast, I have been very reliably informed that dogs are being fed on more than £2.63 a day.

    ‘I cannot believe that soldiers are risking their lives daily for the country, but are not being fed properly. I have spoken to a number of mums who are being forced to send out food to their hungry sons. When I was in the army, my mum sent me a cake but that was as a treat.’

    Another Tory MP, Patrick Mercer, a former army colonel, said: ‘It is absolutely crazy. Military dogs are important and an expensive commodity but they should not be fed better than our soldiers.

    ‘I have often heard that our soldiers are being given a dog’s life, but this takes the biscuit.’

    An MoD spokesman disputed Mr Penning’s figures last night.

    ‘It costs significantly less to feed a dog than a person on operations,’ she said. ‘The mess rate for across all service personnel is £1.51 a day.

    ‘It varies for dogs as it depends on the size of the dog and the nature of the work. But it works out at roughly 78p a day for an ammunition dog and £1.20 for a patrol dog.

    ‘Dogs make an important contribution to our forces, and it is right that we make sure they are well looked after.’

    Mr Penning stood by his figures and said the MoD repeatedly told him none were available.

    Soldiers on operations rely on 4,000-calorie ration packs which include items such as onion soup, hot chocolate, cooked rice, fruit dumplings in custard, boiled sweets and bacon and beans.

    Civilian men are generally advised to consume no more than 2,500 calories a day, with the soldiers given more because they are on active operations.

    American troops are given meals in self-heating bags that warm food in a few minutes. British soldiers have to boil their bagged meals or eat them cold.

    In barracks back in Britain, solders are served three meals a day and the MoD insists high emphasis is given to healthy eating.

    However one soldier said: ‘Most soldiers when possible would rather eat at McDonald’s than in the Mess. The food quality is substandard and the quantity is the minimum.’

    In recent months, senior military commanders have spoken out about poor medical care, ‘slum’ housing, inadequate funding, lack of training and equipment cuts.

    Earlier this year, the Army’s personnel chief, Adjutant General Sir Freddie Viggers, admitted that too many soldiers were living in ‘poor standard’ barrack blocks, blighted by damp and faulty fittings.

    Scores of warships, submarines, aircraft and armoured vehicles have been scrapped or mothballed in recent years to save money.

    The Army’s trained strength recently dipped below the 100,000 mark for the first time in 200 years, despite the demands of two simultaneous wars. Britain has around 7,700 troops in Afghanistan and 5,500 in southern Iraq, with numbers falling in Iraq but rising in Afghanistan.
  2. I saw the same thing on TV in the UK a few years ago , it was on a sub ,the cook said he bought the chocy bars out of his own pocket as a nice treat for the lads.
  3. How do you do that on a submarine then?
  4. another old chesnut. British scran (on ops) wins every time.

    USA food is very gimmicky (eg ben & jerry's, pepsi etc) and repetitive.

    the french and italian canteens i've experienced are worse than dire
  5. The crew were carrying the supplies onto the submarine and the cook said much the same as the original post.
  6. Oi shhhhh! Don't interrupt and blow the whistle on a well meaning Media Campaign to get more money given for troops welfare. Almost everyday now papers as diverse as the Guardian & the Mail are running 'our lads treated worse than sh!t' shame and shock stories, keep with the program, unless you think that extra budgets are allocated because civil servants and Politicos care more about you than getting monstered in the press.
  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Let us bring to light for the mejia that most offensive and degrading meal of all then! The horror bag!

    If the mejia want to run well-meaning campaign, they need to start slagging crab-air. Nobody on god's good green earth, let alone dogs and prisoners deserves such a slap in the face.
  8. [​IMG]

    Gumph, Kyakk, Fnarr Fnarr eh readers?
  9. But a_j if everyone complains about everything all of the time we lose the impact on those subjects that need real attention. We will begin to look like a bunch of whining prima donnas (sp).

    AFAIK food on ops is not an issue, unless referring to Telic 1 in which case it was truly dire and also in the past!

    Unfortunately there will be no figures for what it costs to feed a soldier under PAYD as it is personal choice. As to whether soldiers choose to feed at McD's or in the cookhouse again that is personal choice.
  10. 'The dogs fed better than Soldiers' headline is similar to the 'prisoners not allowed to stay in sub standard Soldiers barracks' and 'illegal immigrants put in 4 star hotels while homeless ex soldiers live under bridges'

    What it establishes in the public mind is a narrative of gross neglect thus strongly indicating to certain powerful individuals that a major one off initiative such as doubling all wages below the rank of Major (not expensive at all in real terms), would be a serious crowd pleaser with press and public and may deliver a previously untapped constituency of at least a couple of million voters.

    Its not about food its about the Public and the Media discovering the huge unexplored hinterland of neglect and abuse the Forces have endured and then doing something about it.

  11. Indeed!
  12. LOL.... I lost 16lbs in 3 months and there wasn't that much of me to start with!

  13. When were you last on operations? I'm not having a go, but my experience (albeit in the Balkans) the UK was the worst by far (I am 'current' only up until learly ast year, so you may well be more up to date than I am).

    The US canteen had over 15 choices of main course at every meal, 10 of which were not repeated for at least 2 weeks. They had a salad bar over 4 metres long and a collection of fruit juices, soft drinks and water. They did have an ice-cream and cookie bar, but overall the food was superb (all with markers for calorie, fat, carb content).

    The Italians also had excellent food in BiH and Kosovo. Not as good a selection as the septics, but very well cooked. Brucie bonus was the free wine (quite palatable) on offer along with free beer with every meal.

    The French in Kosovo ate like dogs: I was stunned. While they had little plates with pate de fois gras and very well presented deserts the whole thing was tastless and less than inspiring.

    I found the scandanavians ate very well. Almost British pub food: lots of meat and potatoes, but huge portions (as much as you wanted) and very good ingredients.

    Compare that to some jumped up slop-jockey or brussel sprout operative yelling out "Its a selection, not a collection!" everytime a tom wanted an extra sausage at breakfast etc.

  14. On a similar theme to what armchair_jihad was saying I remember being in Oakington Bks in Cambridgeshire, prior to it becoming an Immigration Detention Centre. It cost millions of pounds to bring it up to a standard suitable for illegal immigrants to burn down. Whilst I was there it was a complete sh!t heap (with apologies to sh!t heaps), with very few (if any) facilities.
  15. Well, considering that I'm joining up with the royal regt of scotland pretty soon, I bloody well hope the scoff is decent, because i'm a ****ing pie! :p