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Challenges the RSPCA's John Rolls on Wounding -(10.12.05)

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Former Director of the League Against Cruel Sports -
Jim Barrington Challenges the RSPCA's John Rolls on Wounding

Western Morning News 6.12.05

FLAWS IN FOX SHOOTING RESEARCH

11:00 - 06 December 2005

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John Rolls, of the RSPCA, either misunderstands or ignores fundamental points regarding his organisation's position on hunting and shooting (WMN, November 17). The Middle Way Group study into wounding levels in shot foxes did not state the obvious, as he says. This research tested legal shooting regimes using many real-life shooters and found that wounding levels were much higher than anti-hunting bodies had previously argued.

. . . . . John Rolls talks about the second shot being able to reduce the period of suffering caused by wounding on the first shot, but what if the first shot misses and the second shot is the wounding one?

The method used by the RSPCA to assess wounding levels in shot foxes, which examined X-rays of foxes taken to wildlife hospitals, is hopelessly flawed and could not possibly be extrapolated to represent the situation in the whole country.

That is why the so-called scientific study undertaken by anti-hunting organisations to contradict the Middle Way Group research has not been peer-reviewed and published in a scientific journal - a crucial hurdle that has to be overcome for any work to be regarded as scientifically valid. The Middle Way Group research has passed this test.

. . . . . genuine animal welfare supporters will note that in hunting with dogs there is no wounding, whereas in shooting there will always be that possibility.

. . . . . With regard to this flawed Hunting Act being enforceable, Defra officials, after weeks of uncertainty in defining the offence, eventually said it all comes down to intention. The RSPCA does much good work in many different areas and the inspectorate is to be complimented on its varied skills, but I do not think mind-reading is one of them.

James Barrington

On behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group

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