HomePressMedia CorrespondenceDaily Telegraph 14.3.03 The Welfare of Deer, Foxes and Hares (added 8.4.05)

Daily Telegraph 14.3.03 The Welfare of Deer, Foxes and Hares (added 8.4.05)


Letters to the Editor
The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT

14th March 2003

Dear Sir

The Welfare of Deer Foxes and Hares

Lord Donoughue's Private Members Bill is criticised by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (letter Mar 13). However it sets out sensible proposals, which will facilitate great improvements to be made for the welfare of the deer, fox and hare, contrary to the Governments confrontational Hunting Bill, which, for the time being, gives diplomatic immunity to the shooting lobby.

By seeking amendments to The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 making it unlawful for anyone to intentionally inflict undue or unnecessary suffering, and to treat all mammals equally, emphasis can placed on ensuring that crucial humane and efficient species management, is conducted under sensible and popular codes of conduct, without animal rights disruption.

The Labour Government's 1951 Scott Henderson Inquiry in Cruelty to Wild Animals within Clause 97 stated:

We think that persons who shoot at animals without exercising due care or making an attempt to follow those which are wounded, thereby causing unnecessary suffering, should be liable to prosecution.

In reality most shooting of deer, foxes and hares is conducted without an effective means of following up, and this long neglected issue is covered up by both sides of the debate, including the RSPCA, who now turn a blind eye to wounding and casualty rates for political reasons, reversing earlier policies.

The need for shooting to be fully integrated with the wide range of hunting methods, which ensure that wounded animals can be effectively followed up, is fundamental to the future of shooting sports. Provision within Codes of Good Shooting Practice for following up, and the compulsory and regular scent hound and terrier work to assist in the location and dispatch of the sick, the weak and injured, in order that natural suffering to be curtailed is also long overdue.

The time has come for shooting, hunting, and Government to work together under the wildlife welfare and management banner, to place the interests of our precious wildlife before selfish and ignorant political considerations.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

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