HomeDocumentsKey DocumentsBWM Statement on the Comparative Suffering Evidence - (12.11.05)

BWM Statement on the Comparative Suffering Evidence - (12.11.05)

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The letters in this section of the website highlight the issue of comparative measurements of suffering, with statements from both sides of the debate.

John Rolls, senior spokesman of the RSPCA, continues to suggest that wounding and the following up wounded and casualty deer, foxes and hares is not an issue.

He appears to be well supported by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation.

However, BASC's own officially researched, and unofficially reported, wounding figures on foxes, suggest a national best case scenario of 10% walking wounded not being followed up with rifle use, and 20% walking wounded not being followed up with shotgun use. These parameters appear in the BWM Welfare Equation, and assists in establishing the fact, that hunting methods are more humane than shooting by a factor of at least 10.

BASC have not supported some 150 gun packs, which formally operated in upland areas, and which cannot operate humanely, if at all, under the current two hound limit, imposed by the Hunting Act.

In addition, BASC failed to support a Police prosecution against the League Against Cruel Sports earlier this year.

We await the resolution of the hunting and shooting debate, which can only be resolved to the benefit of all parties and our precious wildlife, by BASC formally reporting the true situation.

Only then will John Roll's and his fellow lobbyist's be exposed for reversing RSPCA policy on wounding, a wounding cover up and being a party to a dishonest wounding deal.

I still await a reply to my open letter to John Swift posted on this website dated 8th July 2005 (HERE - opens in a new window).

Edmund Marriage.

RSPCA Response to John Hobhouse Letters

Worcester Evening News 8.11.05
There is no need for foxes to suffer more
SIR - There is no need for foxes to be subjected to increased suffering because hunting has been banned (Attack on hunting won't help the fox, John Hobhouse, October 26).
Since the RSPCA's raison d'etre is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals, of course we support the law banning hunting.
Mr Hobhouse does not specify which research on wounding rates in shot foxes he is referring to. I assume he means a study carried out by the Middle Way Group. The RSPCA challenges the validity and premise of this research.
The study used a selection of unskilled and skilled shooters, with a range of weapons and ammunition, without any attempt to relate these variables to reality. It merely provided support for the prediction that unskilled shooters with inappropriate weapons are most likely to wound the target animal.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, like the RSPCA, criticised the original Middle Way Group research for failing to assess whether the researchers' experimental shooters and experimental set-ups echoed the situation in the field.
Nothing in the Middle Way Group's research offers any evidence that the wounding rates they inferred from their experiment would be reflected in real life - nor that wounding levels would increase as a consequence of the hunting ban.
Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA.

John Hobhouse Letter to local papers

AS a life member of the RSPCA for 50 years and a former national chairman (from 1969 to 1975), I have watched the attack on hunting with dismay.

Though hunting must cause some suffering to the animals concerned, this is not the point.

Improvements in animal welfare can only be guaranteed if hunting is compared with other legal methods of control.

Recent peer-reviewed research shows high levels of wounding in shot foxes. This is not a pleasant subject for any animal lover, but we now have a detailed, factual report on shooting that makes it clear that many foxes will suffer a slow and painful death.

Like it or not, hunting does not wound. The fox is either killed or it escapes.

Tighter regulation of hunting with dogs and a law giving all wild mammals basic protection from undue suffering would be a far better route to take, but this was not supported by the various anti hunting groups, including the RSPCA.

The Hunting Act is severely flawed and unworkable. It should be amended as a matter of urgency.

It is very sad that an Act of Parliament, supported by many people with the best of intentions, will cause far greater suffering to the animal it purports to help.




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