Search Results for: national trust

National Lockdown | Hunting Season on hold

It’s official – at least, even the self-important so-called ‘Hunting Office’ (of leaked webinar infamy, and which says it is “the executive arm of the Governing bodies for Hunting with hounds” – which of course the Hunting Act 2004 says is illegal), has acknowledged that fox hunting is on hold while the laws governing the latest national lockdown are in place. Could this mean the end of fox hunting entirely? Hunts are under huge pressure (both financially and from constant monitoring), and the public is more and more aware of the widespread and organised criminality that is rife within fox hunting, but many fox hunters are used to breaking the law and feel impervious. While they certainly could usefully spend the time changing from fox hunting to drag hunting (which is entirely legal and does not involve killing animals) they will be back, but every ‘season’ sees hunts fold and this is probably the best chance in years to finally get this barabaric, cruel, and illegal activity shut down for good. We have an idea to help that happen…

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Shooter is new patron of British Trust for Ornithology

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) recently announced that Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, a well-known shooter, would become its Patron (taking over from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, a man who’s total kill or ‘bag’ was described in The Indpendent as long ago as 1996 as “stretching over continents” and running into “mind-boggling numbers”). It seems an odd match. On the one hand we have the BTO, a transparent “organisation founded in 1932 for the study of birds in the British Isles”.On the other we have the opaque shooting industry which badmouths birdwatchers as ‘animal extremists’ and exists to turn a profit from killing wildlife.

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More #trailhuntlies – this time it’s in the national media

Several activists (including ourselves) are engaged in a bit of an online ‘debate’ at the moment with the National Trust about their granting of licences to ‘trail hunt’ on their land. Why? Because ‘trail hunting’, as we repeatedly state, is a lie. Thanks to the work of the Manchester Hunt Sabs, the incontrovertible evidence of wildlife crime by the York and Ainsty South Hunt and the disgraceful behaviour by hunt whipper-in Mark Poskitt while ‘trail hunting’ is now saved for posterity in the pages of the Daily Mail Online – and whatever anyone might feel about the Mail’s politics it does have a huge readership, many of whom are avowed ‘animal lovers’…

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Badger Trust | Government betraying public trust on bovine TB policy

The Badger Trust has released an open letter to Defra Secretary George Eustice claiming that the Government is betraying public trust on its bovine TB policy. Despite claims to be phasing out badger culling in favour of badger and cattle vaccination. The Badger Trust believes the government is preparing to rapidly expand badger culling from Cornwall to Cumbria, which could result in a total of 200,000 badgers being killed by the end of 2020 (since cull policy started in 2013), pushing the species to the verge of local extinction in areas of England.

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Fur Trapping in a UK National Park

The Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) – a highly skilled, specialist team with years of experience fighting animal abuse – have just posted details of their latest investigation: an expose of huge numbers of foxes being trapped and killed for their fur in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park by the UK’s self-styled ‘last fur trapper’ David Sneade. It’s a horrible story, writes Charlie Moores, but one that HIT deserve huge credit for uncovering.

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Interview | Nick Weston, League Against Cruel Sports

“..to do anything other than get rid of the licences would be bad for animals…which is ultimately why we’re doing this, it’s for the animals…” Nick Weston is the Head of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports. Like everyone else at the League (and at other animal welfare/animal rights organisations) he is passionate about animals. It seems an obvious statement to make, but sometimes even seasoned campaigners get so involved in the latest struggle that we forget to make it clear why we fight, why we protest and campaign. Without wanting to put words in anyone else’s mouth, it’s because we love animals. As Chris Packham has so astutely said, we are fuelled by a sense of injustice. We detest the bullies who hurt them and loathe the organisations that work to find ways to marginalise or demonise them because we are compelled by a need to help and protect. In the following interview Charlie Moores talks with Nick about the National Trust’s position on so-called ‘trail hunting’ and the work being done by campaigners to ensure that by the next AGM (this autumn) as many members of the Trust as possible know that their charity facilitates hunting on its land and that through its licences the Trust is not just risking damage to protected landscapes but allowing animals to be harmed as well.

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Snaring in the news again

Literally every week more examples of poor snaring practice are highlighted in the media. Two such examples have been highlighted across social media this weekend by the Hunt Investigation Team and Moorland Monitors. In the first, a badger was found trapped in a snare which was “wrapped around its neck”. In the second, a dog was caught on in a snare set on Access Land on Kinder – National Trust land in the infamous wildlife crime hotspot of the Peak District ‘national park’. Incidents like this are understandably always upsetting for the owners of companion animals, but let’s also acknowledge that the snare was set to do exactly what it did: trap an animal. Dogs and foxes are closely related. they share the same capacity for sentience, for fear, for feeling pain. Unlike a pet that is (under most circumstances) fed and looked after by an owner, a wild animal has no choice but to hunt to feed itself and its family though. Countless thousands of foxes are being trapped and are suffering in snares like this every week, drawn to the overabundance of prey that shoots ‘provide’.

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Foxhunting | Shut the door on your way out…

It appears that foxhunting is nowhere near as resilient as its been trying to appear. As many campaigners have suspected (and we ourselves have pointed out recently), hunts have been hit hard by lockdown. Without the fees collected for hunts and point to point meetings, but with the hounds and infrastructure to maintain, many hunts are facing financial ruin according to the excellent new website Hunting Leaks (whose expose has now been covered by ITV News). While we would never use the term ‘sport’ to describe the actions of rural hooligans on horseback breaking the law, the phrases ‘in trouble’ and ‘running out of money’ will be music to many of us. The acknowledgement that hunts are also ‘running out of country (to hunt in)’ is also extremely good news and shows how important the pressure to suspend ‘trail hunting’ licences on organisations like the National Trust and Forestry England has been. It must continue.

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