HomePressMedia CorrespondenceShooting Times 14.1.04 Field Sports and Politics (added 8.4.05)

Shooting Times 14.1.04 Field Sports and Politics (added 8.4.05)


The Editor
Shooting Times
Room 2025 - IPC Media
King's Reach Tower
Stamford Hill
London SE1 9LS

4th January 2004.

Dear Sir,

Field Sports and Politics

S. Wilson (Shooting Times 13th January) regarded James Gray's statement that shooting is safe in Conservative hands (Shooting Times 6th January) as a joke and will not be voting for them.

It might be helpful to provide more detail to one of James Gray's brief quotes, which was in fact made in a letter to me by Douglas Batchelor of the League Against Cruel Sports, and also for me to try and explain why the removal of the Labour Government, is the critical first step to a return to evidence based political decisions, and in stopping the unconstitutional (or treasonable) abuse of a Commons majority.

I am sure you will agree that people who hunt and shoot mostly because they enjoy it. Our case is quite simply that they should not enjoy it. In much the are same way as while paedophiles may feel that they enjoy abusing children and therefore justified, a civilised society condemns their pleasures and regards them as socially unacceptable in what is now a more civilised society. No amount of argument that it is "well done" addresses the point that it should not be done at all. !

The Commons vote to remove most of the roles of the scent hound, terrier and other working dogs, has been met with great sadness and anger, that such a ridiculous situation could ever have arisen in the name animal welfare. Alun Michael following the commons debate said he wanted to end cruelty in hunting. It is well proven to be a false accusation of causing unnecessary suffering, when he claims such cruelty in hunting.

The early stages of his consultations contained helpful comments about being objective, evidence, principle, and wildlife management. Those at the sharp end of the debate expected an informed, common sense and scientific extension of the Bateson Report, and the completion of Burns Contract 7, both of which were required to look at the comparative welfare aspects of both hunting and shooting.

Sadly the Government had already made up its mind, giving diplomatic immunity to shooting, thereby ensuring that the issue of comparative suffering did not embarrass, or clog up the attack on hunting, or more specifically the removal of those who went hunting.

Experienced country people are well aware of the merits of working dogs, as well as guns, in the humane and efficient harvesting of game, and the control and management of predators and other important species, in our totally man made environment. The self-defeating separate promotion of hunting and shooting has placed all wildlife management practices at the mercy of the protectionists (or better described neglectionists).

Understanding this divide and rule strategy requires vision, which unfortunately was as absent to the country sports organisations, as it was to the victims of Stalin. Alun Michael and Elliot Morley now clearly take their advice on wildlife management from Chairman of the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals Douglas Batchelor.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

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