Tag: cull

NatureScot | Judicial Review over beaver killing licences

Trees for Life, the charity that campaigns to rewild the Scottish Highlands, has accused NatureScot (the government agency who (allegedly) “work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it”) of failing to protect beavers. NatureScot has been issuing hundreds of licences to farmers and landowners to kill beavers from newly-establishing populations in Tayside, where they were illegally or accidentally released in 2006 and have spread widely along waterways. Trees for Life say that beavers should be humanely trapped and relocated to other parts of the country rather than killed under licences issued by NatureScot to placate famers and landowners who in turn insist that “the right to lethally control species that damage crops, stock and farmland has to be defended”. What these lobby groups really mean is that they want to defend a system that essentially allowed landowners to eradicate species like Wild Cats, Pine Martens and White-tailed Eagles because in their ossified opinions there is no room in the lowlands or uplands for any wildlife that threatens profits or the heavily-subsidised industries they manage. This intransigence has already led to dozens of licences to kill beavers blamed by farmers in Tayside for damaging crops and prime agricultural land. By the end of 2019, it’s reported that 87 beavers had been shot under lethal-control licences issued by the agency.

Continue reading

Language Matters | Cull – its just killing

We recently launched a campaign looking at how our use of language fails our wildlife. When did we start to agree that foxes were ‘vermin’ or that Wood Pigeons were ‘pests’, for example? What on earth has chasing a small animal with a pack of hounds got anything to do with modern understandings of ‘sport’? There are numerous terms and phrases that belittles or demonises wildlife, and in this post we will be looking at a word that does exactly that but which like ‘conservation’, ‘control’, and ‘manage’ seems to be on a form of ‘mission creep’: cull. ‘Cull’ has been fully embraced by a range of industries to suggest that whatever mass killing takes place, it’s being done with reluctance, for us, to help us, and it has (honestly, guv) absolutely nothing to do with protecting the [insert as appropriate] industry that is doing the killing or for which the killing is being done. And because of our selfless care and consideration isn’t it fair that we [insert as appropriate] should be compensated? By the taxpayer of course…

Continue reading