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British Wildlife Management


Painting of VWH Demon by Michael Jeffery

Foxhound - The Ultimate Working Dog

Very little indeed of the scenery, even the wildest and least touched parts of our islands, can truthfully be described as natural. Ever since man began in earnest to clear the natural vegetation to make way for crops and animals of his own choice - our scenery has undergone a process of gradual evolution. Our motives today are largely economic and perhaps the age of the great landscape architects of the late 18th century was the only period when there was a conscious attempt to alter scenery for its own sake. At that time the great landowners had no inhibitions about preservation: they were determined to create scenery and, according to the fashion of their time, to create beauty.

In these days we are less sure of ourselves: consciously or unconsciously we fear the rising tide of change and so seek to crystallize and preserve for ever, or at least for the foreseeable future, a particular stage in natural evolution. But our land is clothed in a living mantle and tenanted by living creatures. All living things are born, mature decay and die, to be replaced in due course by others which are different. However much therefore we may enjoy a particular phase of scenic evolution it is not a conversation piece to be framed and hung upon the walls of a museum or art gallery. It is alive, and our task is so to direct its growth that we create beauty, not destroy it.

- L. Dudley Stamp - Man and the Land 1955

hodges

Lurcher – Mr Vixen - Single Coursing
The most ethical and humane way to provide clean marketable carcasses

BWM National Welfare Policy Statement - 26th April 2013

  1. British Wildlife Management aims to bring together all who care about the British countryside and its wildlife, together with the good management required in all departments, for the benefit of future generations. That requires in the first instance support for professional, part time and amateur wildlife managers(practitioners), who when allowed to function by the nanny State, can stop the current catastrophic declines to extinction of so many vulnerable species, and deliver a thriving and productive environment for all interests, including recreation, tourism, together with food to feed Britain and the World. Countryside and wildlife management master craftsmen must be allowed to lead by example, free from interference from the discredited protectionist beliefs of those who think they know better. The whole of Britain can become one spectacular National Park and be the envy of the World. This requires downsizing or removing many unproductive organisations,who create more problems than they solve at unnecessary cost. They need to be replaced by efficient scaled down and professionally and practically competent bodies. Traditionally the practitioners were paid for within the private sector by people who participated in country sports (participants). Britain is broke and has to dramatically reduce its costs and increase the potential productive capacity of all its people. Our aim is to revive private sector wildlife management and we will feature a long term programme of Work Groups for Wildlife for those seeking careers and skills in the countryside.
  2. In simple terms Wildlife Management is the three legged stool requiring all year round, Habitat, Food and Water, and Protection from predators, human disturbance and disease, for a wide range of species in the Uplands and Lowlands. Protection from predators, human disturbance and disease are the crucial third leg of the wildlife management stool, which collapses,if there are failures in any of these three departments.

    healthy heather
    Healthy heather, two years after reseeding, free from heatherbeetle, tick infestation and unpalatable grasses. Geoff Eyre’s Howden Moor Model of Upland Managementthrough spraying, managed burning, and reseedingof heather and palatable grasses, bracken removal,together with a range of keepering and predator control methods, all year round water supplies and engaging local people, has created a ten-fold commercially viable increase in cattle, sheep and wildlife species productivity,over a six thousand acre area of the Peak District.

  3. We will fully support Government in the preparation of legislation, which will discourage un-supervised disturbance or predatory attacks on wild or other species, by domestic or feral, dogs and cats. Such incident cause great suffering, adding up to millions of incidents each year, which have serious implications for many bird and mammal species, particularly song birds, deer and sheep. In practice many hundreds of thousands of miscreant and unwanted dogs and cats have to be killed each year and very significant numbers of domestic pets suffer from an unacceptable quality of life. Substantial increases in traffic on rural roads have led to a highly disturbing increase in the numbers of the larger mammals being injured by vehicles, and not being followed up and dispatched. Poaching and attendant high suffering levels has reached epidemic proportions. Current wildlife law enforcement through the Wildlife Liaison Officers is however virtually non-existent, and requires full rural assistance as opposed to Animal Rights assistance. In addition, human disturbance of wildlife in Britain has reached an all time high, with the attendant collapse in population numbers for most species in our pressured countryside, particularly within un-keepered habitat areas. These are the priority welfare issues for our Parliament.
  4. We will not support the Government in the preparation of legislation, which will place restrictions on the current supervised, well regulated, proper management of mammal species, using the most humane best traditional practices, using soft (baying) and hard temperament scent hounds, soft (baying) temperament terriers and soft or hard temperament sporting dogs. Such free traditional species management throughout Britain, where it is allowed to function efficiently, discourages the less humane methods of culling or control, reveals and curtails the suffering caused by the many other human and natural factors, including the enormous scale of mammal road traffic injury, wounding, sickness, starvation and many other specific management problems. Good science has now proved that modem venery is of crucial importance in the management of mammal species and plays a highly positive welfare role.
  5. We will not support current Government firearm policies, which have restricted or removed essential training disciplines for legal firearm ownership and removed sporting disciplines, which were administered within highly competent self-regulatory structures. Shooting straight, when culling or harvesting species is a primary welfare requirement, as is the ability to effect a rapid and humane dispatch of the many injured or sick species. Good wildlife management relies on shooting discipline and skill, and draws on the National and International 'reservoir' of legal gun ownership and sportsmen (participants) to fund the crucial keepered habitats. Whilst illegal gun ownership and use continues to undermine what little law and order now exists, our gun clubs have a vital potential role in rehabilitating the lawlessness and indiscipline created amongst our younger people by corrupt and dangerous political doctrines. Individual responsibility must be encouraged at all levels.
  6. Effective self-regulation already exists in key areas of countryside sports and many other related activities. As a potential Supervisory Body, we the grass roots wildlife managers can, with Government help, ensure that Britain leads the world by example, in creating harmonic relationships between all habitats and all species, thereby delivering a superb product to the Nation. This proposal also provides the best prospect of delivering, through the private sector, at realistic costs, international biodiversity commitments.

 jack russell gyp

Working Terrier Gyp – Jack Russell type - Soft temperament Baying not biting, for underground assistance. The only tried and tested method of locating old sick super-excreting badgers, the transmitters of Bovine TB to livestock, in order to dispatch with a close range head shot. Located by their strong scent after having been driven away from sets and territory by younger badgers towards food, water and refuge on farms. Simplest and most humane and selective method, which best meets welfare equation requirements.

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The Economic and Political Background for Agriculture and Wildlife Management

Strategy and Action on behalf of Rural Employment - April 2002.
The Economic and Political Background for Agriculture and Wildlife Management

British agriculture has been short changed by at least £40 billion over 10 years due to the failure of successive governments to provide the level playing field with competitors, in the trading conditions that a healthy core industry requires.

Having been hugely disadvantaged, agriculture and the many interdependent industries, including the wildlife management industry, all reliant on highly specialised skills, now face a bleak future in a deflationary and unfair trading environment, because they are unprofitable and in debt. Richard North in his book The Death of British Agriculture has not overstated the basic problem.

These problems have been compounded, and are impacting on the wider rural full time and part time labour force by the disruption of the foot and mouth restrictions. The failure thus far to obtain compensation from Government for at least £ 10 billion of losses incurred through no fault of those involved, particularly in the tourist industry, has added to the crisis. The circumstantial evidence for the cause and blame for this disaster lies, yet again, fair and square with government.

The principal overall cause of the economic disaster lies with successive governments who have failed to recover legitimate compensation for exchange rate losses relative to movements in other European currencies. This situation has been made worse by holding interest rates, and in consequence the pound, at excessively high levels, whilst world commodity prices were falling.

It is not an advantage to have the lowest inflation rate in Europe in a deflationary trading environment. The damaging effects of deflation can only be mitigated against by reducing interest rates and by spending saved capital.

The obsessive worries about retail price inflation and confidence in, or dependence on, the service industries, at this stage in the long wave cycle, have been misplaced to the detriment, or destruction, of the supply side of the economy. The inevitability and consequences of uncontrolled deflation has been ignored by the Bank of England and the Chancellor.

In addition, discretionary payments made to farmers in Europe have not been matched on anything like the same scale in Britain, leaving our industry languishing at the bottom of the profitability league table.

Blame has been wrongly placed on exchange rates and the common agricultural policy, yet it is now clear that successive governments did have adequate powers to ensure that the discretionary payment system was fully utilised so that agriculture was fairly compensated to maintain profitability and tax revenue.

This point was clarified and confirmed by Hans Fischler at the 2002 NFU AGM. Other European governments aware of the importance of their agricultural sector and a secure food supply have taken positive action in fully utilising discretionary payments.

Banking costs in Britain have been as much as 2.5 times that of our competitors in Europe. In addition there has been a total neglect of state funding and financial support for a whole range of services and complimentary facilities, which in the past has allowed our agricultural industry and linked activities to prosper in world markets.

The knock on effect of being hugely disadvantaged financially over at least ten years, and being exposed to the compulsory dumping of interior cheap food, now leaves our farmers with no resources to survive deflation and the extended agricultural depression which seems inevitable.

In addition there has been a deliberately orchestrated campaign of spin and misinformation from government and a range of corrupt protest movements, including animal rights activists. They have both undermined and exploited the credibility of the food production industry in Britain, and key wildlife management practices. For example some 500,000 bull calves are being shot at birth as forn1er markets for this resource have been destroyed. Two years ago this figure reached 700,000.

The vital export trade of young stock, store animals and breeding stock to Europe, today faces new problems. Professor Broom at Cambridge is wrongly applying physiological measurements instead of psychological assessments in setting prohibitive standards for live animal transport. He is using the same discredited methods applied by Professor Bateson to hunted deer welfare.

A significant part of this de-stabilising process has been driven by unregulated and unscrupulous foreign commercial interests, who have exploited and profited from the BSE, swine fever and foot and mouth problems. They have been allowed to build up key stakes in the food processing and distribution industries to the detriment of the food production industries.

Since 1973, overall productivity in agriculture has increased by 40%. Labour productivity has trebled. There is of course a wide range in the level of costs between large and well run specialist producers and the smaller farms who tend to avoid monoculture and maintain mixed rotations. It is totally unrealistic to write off so called inefficient food production on economic grounds alone without providing a realistic environmental valuation for the overall efforts of these producers, particularly those in less favoured or marginal farming areas.

Single minded economists with no knowledge of the real environmental issues have misled government into believing that the smaller family farn1s have no important roles to play within the industry. Maintaining multi-disciplinary countryside and wildlife management skills, and fully utilising those skills found in those smaller units, has to be the governments main rural priority.

In reality farmers cropping patterns have changed little over the past 50 years. Hedge removal has been replaced by hedges being planted, with much of the past loss of habitat being recovered in a number of more wildlife friendly and more economic ways. Such as increases in other forms of habitat, wildlife cover crops and better access to water.

80% of our countryside is in private ownership arid the real progress on efficient food production working alongside sound environmental management is being delivered on our best traditional sporting estates.

The biggest change for the benefit in the production of healthy food and the provision of wildlife is in the current use of highly selective pesticides and herbicides which are biodegradable. They allow more species to survive and have greatly reduced the risk of toxicity accumulating in the food chain.

This type of technological refinement and other new management techniques are improving our ability to run commercial farming and intensive wildlife management side by side. Active management is the key word. However these successes are being ignored by the more vocal and growing band of extremists.

The reality of the current crisis, caused by nothing other than government neglect, has now resulted in the fact that few within the best 25% of our farmers are now able to make a profit. During the similar conditions of the 1930's, the farming survivors were those who stopped farming and held on to their working capital until prices had recovered.

Anger amongst farmers is being compounded by government measures to remove subsidies paid for food production and switch these payments to unworkable and inefficient conservation schemes. Termed modulation, this all enveloping hand of socialist planning, red tape and bureaucracy will assist in driving both farmers and wildlife out of business. Modulation in the EU may become compulsory. These pipe dreams will probably and fortunately remain unfunded or un-fundable.

Such concepts are being promoted, by the same people who ignore the food production facts, and believe that organic food provides benefits to health and conservation, and justifies a hefty premium. Whilst there are some limited benefits and advantages, particularly in marginal and upland areas, the concept is driven by corrupt protest movements and paid for by frghtened consumers. A select committee in Parliament held that the benefits of organic food were a myth. Yet in Brussels MEP's seek to convert the EU to 35% organic food production.

The overall impacts on rural communities and wildlife, particularly in the less favoured, and marginal farming areas of Britain is already catastrophic. The reality of this deplorable situation is not being faced up to or being acted upon. Too much irreparable structural damage is being inflicted. Uplands wrongly thought to be seriously suffering from over grazing now face the de-habilitation of under grazing on a grand scale, with the attendant loss of wildlife.

Very few tenant farmers, who farm 40% of Britain, will survive. Vital land and wildlife management skills are being permanently lost. 830,000 ha have returned to un-managed scrub in the past 12 months, at a time when the government has announced an expansion of the farm stewardship scheme by 500,000 ha over 7 years.

Both the government and the RSPB are misleading the British public on the merits of this unworkable and un-sustainable stewardship conservation project, which in reality currently only covers some 300,000 ha, some 2% of England. All commercial grouse moors are now threatened by closure in areas where the associated active management provides rich biologically diverse habitats.

In reality politicians and armchair conservationists are putting Britain and wildlife out of business.

A simplistic analysis of this disastrous situation might suggest that Labour politicians are obsessed with the concept that farming in Britain should not be subsidised. However all sensible countries through a fundamental duty of care, support core industries and business to ensure that, at the very least, tax revenue on profitability is maintained.

It is evident that over the past 20 years organisations, who are supposed to advise government on these serious matters have totally lost their way. They still hope things will get better. In failing to understand the issues, thereby being unable to communicate, and also being keen not to upset their political masters, they have made a bad situation worse. They have therefore betrayed their membership, or quango status, and failed to assist government in solving a whole range of key problems.

Under current circumstances with revenues falling and expenditure rising, this Government is being forced to place excessive demands through higher taxes upon the remaining taxpayers. There is no sign of the required good management, that the people must now put in place, to halt the current decline into debt, bankruptcy and chaos.

The age old fundamentals of government facilitating for the people, freedom, justice, leisure and instruction are no longer valid. For perhaps the first time in 10,000 years, fathers are no longer passing on their essential skills to their sons or daughters

Summary.

This document was initially prepared to brief the Union of Country Sports Workers and to layout in simple language the big picture issues which threaten their livelihoods, skills, jobs and homes.

There are some 160,000 direct and indirect job units within what is better termed the Wildlife Management Industry, and in reality, they are all under some kind of threat within the current political environment. Some 100,000 new job units could be provided, if the benefits of this sector were properly addressed and not written out of the script by Labour and Labour's fellow travellers.

The hunting issue is about wildlife management and welfare. The same is true of the major problems associated with the protection of badgers, seals, cormorants and certain raptors.

The current frustrations felt by rural workers has been made worse by the lack of confidence they have in the leadership of the Countryside Alliance. I have attempted to heal the split which opened up between those directly involved over past weeks. I have presented an alternative strategy to the one currently adopted by the Countryside Alliance, and have repeatedly asked for access to the Alliance board.

However, whilst it is crucial for all connected groups to work together in challenging a Labour government on countryside issues, the political lobbying at the Countryside Alliance, which is supposed to be its main strength, has proven to be deeply flawed.

I welcome contributions from all interested parties to find better ways to lobby more effectively on behalf of all rural employment.

It is intended that this document should be re-worked, improved and extended following consultations with all friendly parties and organisations, including DEFRA staff, so that it can be a definitive statement of the issues and the solutions to the problems.

Radical and wise measures are required to highlight and address this situation and the associated problems. In reality we require a Local Agenda 21 Countryside Plan to replace the pathetic documents, which have been prepared under Labour in various guises, and which have missed most of the key points on the rural economy and good countryside management.

It may be necessary as part of an action plan over the next 12 months to include specific, targeted and well prepared demonstrations aimed to bring public sympathy for the demonstrators, when they highlight the incompetence of the organisations, who are either not doing their job, or are misleading the public.

Above all else Parliament must be allowed and encouraged to judge the issues on the knowledge available. The establishment of a statutory wildlife service is best driven from within the House of Lords. Currently the Commons believes too much, knows too little and is looking forward to punishing the class they hate.

The current coordinated activities by the Countryside Alliance need to be more target specific and more widely supported if they are to succeed. There must be a common cause and a common leadership, which will be respected by all groups. That situation does not exist at the moment.

Edmund Marriage.

22nd April 2002.

Draft prepared prior to the first meeting of the Conservative Rural Action Group.

Please contact Edmund Marriage on 01935 816944 to discuss issues.

All contributions to this debate will be gratefully received.

Target Organisations.

Charity Commissioners.

RSPCA.

RSPB.

English Nature.

Wildlife Trusts.

Forestry Commission.

Countryside Agency.

Countryside Council of Wales.

Scottish National Heritage.

Compassion in World Farming.

Mammals Society.

IFAW.

LACS.

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme

From 1991 - 95 the scheme was administered by the Countryside Agency - The area for this period was reported as 90,897 ha

end 1996 - 105,457 ha
end 1997 - 118,272 ha
end 1998 - 139,868 ha
end 1999 - 191,987 ha
end 2000 - 263,197 ha = 2% England Land Area.
end 2001 - n/a

Government Curry Report target - an additional 500, 000 ha over 7 years.

Area under set-aside.

Arrived at from claims submitted under the Arable Area Payments Scheme.

1997 - 252,163 ha
1998 - 305,955 ha
1999 - 582,142 ha
2000 - 546,269 ha
2001 - 849,005 ha

National Nature Reserves - estimated at 280,.000 ha

The Wildlife Trusts Reserves - 76.270 ha

Total Land Areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

England 51,291.266 Square Miles = 13,258,845.128 ha
Scotland 30,977.590 Square Miles = 8,023,382.277 ha
Wales 8,335.106 Square Miles = 2,158,842.515 ha

People working togerther to solve problems - bovine TB

People working togerther to solve problems - bovine TB

The Malvern Gazette 8.7.05 reports:

Bovine TB talks hailed as success

A MEETING between Herefordshire farmers and badger groups has been hailed as `a step in the right direction' in the fight against bovine TB.

.... . Mrs Evans has had to send two herds for slaughter after they tested positive for TB and decided enough was enough.

"Something needs to be done because the disease is increasing and some farmers are growing increasingly desperate. The burden cannot be left on the farmers any longer," she said.

Full text HERE

 

The Killing Zone (added 9.4.05)

Killing Zone

It should not be supposed, by anyone who has no experience of stalking, that any animal fairly struck by a bullet drops dead on the spot. It would be gratifying if this were the case, but many factors combine to make this state of affairs the exception rather than the rule - K.G.C. Morrison 1979.

The Scandinavian Hunters' Elk Clock shows the extent to which the killing zone is exposed in relation to the shooter.

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