HomePressMedia CorrespondenceDaily Telegraph 29.3.03 Hunting & Politics (added 8.4.05)

Daily Telegraph 29.3.03 Hunting & Politics (added 8.4.05)


Letters to the Editor
The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT
29th March 200

Dear Sir,

Hunting and Politics

Serena Soames is right to illustrate Alun Michael's failure to absorb any of the arguments presented during the committee stage of the disastrous Hunting Bill (letter July 28th). He has simply followed established political strategy of going through the motions of consultations, without providing Parliament and the public with the facts, thereby misleading them.

He has ignored the proof of least suffering in hunting, presented by British Wildlife Management. He has given diplomatic immunity to the shooting lobby, refusing to look at the facts on wounding. He has ignored the obvious responsibilities and duties towards the following up of the wounded and other casualties. A welfare function considered essential by the veterinary profession.

He claimed on BBC Newsnight on 3rd December 2002 that: I want to irradicate cruelty - This is what it is about. The transparent truth is that he has acted without principles or integrity of process. Too many strings were attached to Labour's manifesto commitment for a free vote on hunting, to allow a clear duty and obligation to identify the most humane methods of culling, and the most suitable methods of managing deer, foxes, hares and mink.

The Burns Inquiry was commissioned by Government, so that Parliament and the public could be properly informed on the facts of Hunting with Dogs. Those directly involved know that much of the important evidence did not reach the research contractors, or the Inquiry team, and that the whole process was rushed through, preventing the proper analysis of the facts.

Contract 7, dealing with Animal Welfare, required the comparative suffering issues to be properly addressed. The excuse for not doing so was based on the claim by Burns that there was insufficient information on wounding rates, and a recommendation that further research be undertaken to clarify this and other key issues.

So much concern was expressed on the misuse of the Burns Inquiry conclusions by the RSPCA, that clear statements were made in the Lords hunting debate by Lord Burns and Lord Soulsby qualifying the Burns Report conclusions. These recommendations and qualifications were ignored by Alun Michael.

Recent research on wounding for the Middle Way Group and by Urquhart & McKendrick, further support the data used in the comparative measurement of suffering, and proof of least suffering in hunting, presented by British Wildlife Management.

The use of the Parliament Act, to facilitate legislation harmful to wildlife and people, flouts our unwritten Constitutional Law, which has protected our nation from the abuses of Parliamentary power since the civil war.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

Go to top