Category: Guest posts

Guest Post: Hunt Investigation Team | #SnareAware

“In 2016, a majority of UK MPs voted to ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares outright. The government ignored this and instead introduced an unregulated voluntary Code of Practice. Since then, a damning catalogue of breaches has been documented by HIT, NASC and other groups. The Code of Practice is demonstrably failing on multiple levels and snare users have consistently proven themselves incapable of self-regulation. An outright ban on snaring in the UK is needed…The situation is brought into sharp relief when we consider the huge numbers of snares in use in England and Wales – hundreds for each shooting estate and many more on farmland. These high numbers of unregulated snares in use inevitably lead to an unacceptably high rate of suffering.” Guest post, Hunt Investigation Team

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Guest Post | Birders for Ethical Conservation

“In 2018 three longstanding members and supporters of the RSPB wrote to the charity asking them to stop killing foxes, corvids and mustelids. While the authors recognised that the RSPB does, of course, carry out a lot of good and positive work, we believed that the RSPB’s stance on lethal predator control, in the name of conservation and protecting selected species (such as curlews), was unacceptable and wrong. Urgent change was required to implement policies and practices that are ethical and humane, and promote the use of alternative measures to killing.” Guest post by Birders for Ethical Conservation

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Language Matters | Guest post: Bob Berzins

“One definition of vermin is people perceived as despicable and as causing problems for the rest of society and another definition is wild animals that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals or game or which carry disease. So vermin people and vermin animals really couldn’t be any worse. And no wonder our relationship with animals and birds follows much the same pattern I’ve described above, we split them into good and bad, with corvids in particular firmly in the “bad” camp. No matter what we do to corvids their numbers keep increasing, giving us permission to kill even more, because if we don’t they will cause us untold harm. In contrast, Ed Douglas’s Country Diaries in The Guardian are vivid experiences of wit and the joy of experiencing our natural world free from the prejudice of terms like vermin.” Guest post by Bob Berzins in support of our ‘Language Matters’ campaign.

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Language Matters | Guest post: Bo Beolens (Fatbirder)

“Shakespeare said ‘that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet’. Maybe so, but call it, ‘Manure flower’ and I bet half the people sniffing it would pull back in horror at the stench. We are, by nature, suggestible. Snake oil salesmen have been selling us crap at luxury prices for ever, because part of the way we believe is direct experience and part received wisdom. You can’t judge a book by its cover! But we do. Language is important, terms become reified, so tackling terms is an important step in removing connotations we don’t want. Every single thing we say or write carries sub-cultural capital.” Guest post by Bo Beolens in support of our ‘Language Matters’ campaign.

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Guest Post | Kevin Hand: Barbastelles, Jones Hill Woods, and HS2

“By chance I found myself recently at a Stop HS2 camp at Denham Country Park, in the beautiful Colne Valley, on the fringes of London not far from Heathrow. I had planned a day out to catch up with a friend and he suggested we visit. We were warmly welcomed and it was quickly apparent that as a trained and experienced ecologist here was something practical I could do to help our wildlife, and to help some very inspiring young people. I set up a training session on monitoring protected species, and we were all delighted when we found clear evidence of water voles grazing on the edges of the chalk streams…but tinged with regret that these same streams were to be deeply affected by developments associated with the vast HS2 project.” Guest post by Kevin Hand

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #5 – the United Pack in Shropshire

“In Shropshire, Forestry England has been licencing the United Pack. The United Pack are a hunt I’ve encountered on National Trust land when they had a ‘trail hunting’ licence for the site, but because myself and others documented the hunt’s terriermen on the site in December 2018, the licence was revoked. On top of their regular trespass across National Trust land, information requests have revealed that the United Pack regularly hunt across Forestry England’s land without permission too, often enough for the government department to threaten the use of solicitors and then write to the Master of Foxhounds Association [MFHA]…” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #4 – New Petition Against Licences Launched

“Very recently, my own petition calling for an end to ‘trail’ hunting licences being granted came to a close, with 11,949 signatures. I’m very glad to see that Robert Pownall from the anti-hunt campaign group Keep The Ban immediately took up the issue and launched another petition to end these licences. As I write this, the petition has been active for less than a week and has already gathered over 10,000 signatures, which means Defra will once again have to publish a written response to defend fox hunting on public land – very soon after having to do the same with my petition. I’m confident that Robert’s petition can gather over 100,000 signatures and I hope the fact that calls for Forestry England to stop giving out hunting licences aren’t slowing down shows the decision makers that this issue isn’t going away.” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Guest Post: Forestry England and Fox Hunting #3 | DEFRA’s Petition Response

“On 10th September, Defra responded to my petition calling for an end to fox & hare hunting on public land, doing so on behalf of Forestry England . The War on Wildlife Project has already posted about this and I have a few thoughts of my own to share as well. Firstly, in defending so-called ‘trail hunting’, Defra expects us to believe it actually exists when in reality it is a farce. The examples I referred to in the petition itself were of hunts tearing foxes apart, hounds rampaging through residential areas and more. Why does Defra think these incidents happen with such regularity if hunting organisations were genuinely trying to avoid harming wildlife? Secondly, the Kimblewick Hunt ban receives a mention. Defra holds this up as an example of Forestry England taking action, but it only shows the opposite to be true.” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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