Author: Charlie Moores

We’re shuttering the War on Wildlife Project

As of today, we’ve taken the decision to shutter The War on Wildlife Project. The Project was set up to ‘help tackle the war on wildlife’ and was always intended to be a hub, a network of guest posts and campaigns with associated podcasts. Since the launch of Off the Leash Podcasts six months ago, though, the focus has switched to that platform and it feels a much ‘better fit’ with a bigger audience whilst still dealing with the same issues and concerns. Rather than keep the War on Wildlife Project half alive and rarely updated (nothing looks worse than a supposedly campaigning website that isn’t actually doing anything!) it makes more sense to shutter it, take everything we’ve learned from an exciting eighteen months, and to put all efforts into building Off the Leash (which is a return to the audio roots that originally underpinned the Project).

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Podcast: Whale and Dolphin Conservation | The Grind

Charlie Moores talks with Nicola Hodgins, Policy Manager at WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation). about the Grind – the killing of Pilot Whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands. Our conversation was triggered of course by the unprecedented mass killing of more than 1400 Atlantic White-sided Dolphins by Faroese hunters on September 12th, and the disturbing and heartbreaking images that have gone around the world. The Faroese themselves seemed shocked by the scale of the killing, and reaction here in the UK has been profound – disgust, outrage, and a determination to do something – anything – to stop these hunts in their tracks. Petitions have been launched, boycotts of Faeroe-caught fish suggested – yet just a few days later another Grind took place and another 53 Pilot Whales killed. 

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Interview: Dr Alex Lees | Provisioning: Killing with Kindness?

Charlie Moores in conversation with Dr Alex Lees, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Recently Alex and Dr Jack Shutt published a paper that was widely reported in the mainstream media titled “Killing with kindness: Does widespread generalised provisioning of wildlife help or hinder biodiversity conservation efforts?” In very simple terms, then, the paper is asking whether providing wildlife with extra resources like food and nesting sites could be having a negative impact on some declining species – which, if you feed your garden birds like I do, is – well, food for thought…

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OneKind | Fox hunting foot packs & wildlife crime on Scotland’s public land

A Freedom of Information request (FOI) submitted by Edinburgh-based wildlife charity OneKind has revealed that Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) has continued to allow fox hunting foot packs access on its land since a previous exposé in Spring 2020 (mirroring the situation in England where Forestry England had allowed so-called ‘trail hunting’ to take place despite information that hunts were breaking the law). The FOI also reveals that FLS have been unable to stop ongoing wildlife crime which has been taking place on Scotland’s public lands since 2016, and which FLS suspect to be committed by gamekeepers. External reports of ‘out of control’ hounds in the FOI also highlight just how weak Scotland’s fox hunting legislation is and why reform is urgently needed.

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Guest Post | Geronimo: All aboard the express towards scientific reason and compassion.

“The potential for false-positive results is accepted by all parties. Geronimo tested negative before import and no bTB outbreak has ever been observed at either the UK or the New Zealand farm. This use of the bTB tests and methodology have been identified to be inappropriate, scientifically flawed or leading to questionable results by a number of experts, including the test’s creator. A large group of veterinarians have also urged caution about trusting the allegedly positive results. All parties accept Geronimo poses no risk to humans or other animals, while one of the government’s own advisors previously suggested isolation and restricted movement as an alternative to slaughter.” Guest post by Mark Wlliams

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Britain’s National Parks – protecting Red Grouse for the guns

We have consistently described our national parks – supposedly the most important and most precious of our landscapes – as ‘so-called national parks’. We have said that because our ‘so-called national parks’ are – to a large extent – in fact managed not to conserve the magnificence of the Cairngorms, the Peak District, or the North York Moors, but to conserve grouse shooting (see, for example, Shooting in national parks from Dec 2019) And grouse shooting, as we’ve also consistently said – and as Luke Steele laid out in an interview we posted yesterday – is underpinned by wildlife crime (the extent of raptor persecution in our so-called national parks is shameful). is a pollutant, and is damaging land that could be key to the UK’s attempts to bring down its carbon emissions. What we’ve not had access to are figures that state exactly how much of our so-called national parks is given over to slaughtering wildlife, is covered in traps and snares, and run solely for the benefit of a tiny minority of shooters and their lobbyists. Now, though, Rewildling Britain (the charity set up to “expand the scale, quality and connectivity of our native habitats”) has produced research that does just that.

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