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HomeMoral Duty002. Basic moral principles to consider in drafting wildlife management legislation – Submission to Law Commission.

002. Basic moral principles to consider in drafting wildlife management legislation – Submission to Law Commission.

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A. Primary factors in establishing humaneness, minimising cruelty, eliminating unnecessary suffering, and removing sick, diseased and injured animals, namely deer, fox, hare, mink, squirrel, badger and rabbit.

  1. Ability to move or disperse, inspect and locate specific individuals or species.
  2. Careful selection of the individual within the target species before killing, or survival of the fittest on being tested by scent hounds.
  3. Selective as opposed to non selective or indiscriminate culling, is a moral principle reinforced under international law.
  4. Providing instantaneous death, or best prospect of an instantaneous death.
  5. Achieving no or low wounding rates.
  6. The provision of a clean carcass (deer and hare and sometimes fox).
  7. Ability to quickly follow up wounded or casualty animals, for humane dispatch.
  8. Rapid availability of an efficient professional casualty service for key species, dealing with Road Traffic accidents, and veterinary inspection.
  9. Management of species by rural communities to ensure the survival of well dispersed, healthy animals in balance with other species. The need for full health inspections are a growing requirement, together with protection from human disturbance when and where appropriate.
  10. Maximisation of the economic benefits of the species management activities.

The above ten factors are key features of hunting methods, nearly always absent in the stalking or shooting of the above species.  The current indiscriminate slaughter by undisciplined mass shooting and poaching is causing serious population collapses (e.g. red deer), and legislation is required to ensure that point nine above is competently addressed. This requires all shooting to be supervised by well informed local managers/harbourers.

B. Welfare Equation – Government manages to draw up guidelines in order to provide good advice on humane methods of killing or capturing wild animals in most forms of managing wildlife, with the exception of using dogs and guns. The animal welfare science through the use of the welfare equation can now be used to address this and many other wildlife management issues, not connected to hunting with dogs.  High standards of species management can be assessed and acted upon using simple arithmetic. Carrying out Species Counts and defining Predator/Prey Ratio’s to illustrate good and bad management to the public, will remove the need for conflict, and encourage the successful self funding of high standards of countryside management that we can all be proud of. This is best provided by a State backed Wildlife Management and Forest Service.

C. Management Best Practice or Protection Policies - The central objection against killing animals, continually quoted by the RSPCA is that they are sentient beings. The Oxford University Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey reinforces this statement by drawing on the biblical texts to support his case that we humans have no moral right to kill. Professor Linzey has two cats in his garden and is not concerned when they hunt and kill. The central guidance issue within all religions is that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. If animals are considered sentient beings, then all the more reason why we should execute our duty of care to manage individuals and species to the highest standards using the most humane and suitable methods. That means we should not allow a sick animal to suffer for any longer than necessary, or let some animals impact adversely on other wildlife species. Mankind’s dominion or duty over the natural world is set out clearly within the revised translation of the early chapters of Genesis reproduced on www.britishwildlifemanagement.net Currently protection policies of animal rights organisations lead to disruptive and unproductive conflicts between countryside managers and the so called environmentalists, resulting more often than not in massive losses to national productivity, ridiculous costs to taxpayers, and catastrophic impacts on farming and wildlife populations.

D. Human Rights – The Countryside Alliance were unsuccessful in their three legal cases, because they failed to address the central issue of the Human Right to use the most humane methods of management. The most humane methods of management are those highlighted by the Welfare Equation, which draws fully on the Animal Welfare Science of comparing suffering between different methods of control and management. The search and dispatch of casualties being the fundamental issue ignored in the debates and legal cases about the Hunting Act, and a major reason for the current need for improvements to legislation. The Countryside Alliance also failed, when given the opportunity, to address the illegal use of the Parliament Act, which was corruptly used to transfer powers for the exclusive use of the Commons, in defiance of our Constitution and Rule of Law. No doubt the essential repeal of the Parliament Acts, now being discussed, would invalidate the Hunting Act.

Edmund Marriage – 8 May 2012 - www.britishwildlifemanagement.net

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