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001. Assessment of Comparative Welfare

I read with interest the detailed submission to you on comparative welfare by Edmund Marriage, July 2002. He makes the case for hunting having a lesser welfare effect than stalking. In short, hunting is less cruel than stalking. I must not only concur, but have to raise additional points in favour of that assessment Professor Valerius GeistWorld authority on deer and a stalker, letter to Alun Michael 25th August 2002 (28).

The major conclusion reached at the Defra organised conference on 30th July 2008 titled Working in Partnership to Deliver an Effective Animal Welfare Strategy was that animal welfare issues should be resolved by evidence, and that a duty of care existed as a fundamental feature of the Animal Welfare Act, wherever unnecessary suffering could be prevented. This statement was clarified by Bill Swan (lead RSPCA advisor) in his presentation, when he stated that: the prevalence of poor welfare can be assessed by the observation of behaviour, and calculations of the duration and severity of that poor welfare, which is exactly what is produced by the British Wildlife Management Welfare Equation.

Hunting methods are on the basis of such calculations, at least ten times more humane than shooting on culling comparisons, before the figures are weighted for the duration of all suffering curtailed by hunting methods, principally the search and dispatch casualty services. But also the communal control of the species management activities.

British Wildlife Management

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