002. Evidence for the Acceptance of the Welfare Equation Solution to the on-going Hunting Act Disputes

When common sense and overwhelming public opinion believes something to be cruel, the onus should be not upon the defenders of animals to prove scientifically that this is the case. It should be upon the hunters or exploiters scientifically to prove otherwise - Dr Richard Ryder – RSPCA Spokesman and Council Member – The Times Wednesday 15th October 1997.

Professor Bateson had again assumed that the pain of the two animals is to be equated, and has not taken the obvious differences between them into account - This shows how dangerous it is to assume that because an argument is couched in the jargon of science it must be right. - The true position is that Professor Bateson made a fundamental error in his 'welfare equation' which is essential to his conclusions. Instead of being prepared to acknowledge this error he has now had to resort to the nonsensical justification to maintain his previous case for having deer hunting banned. If the welfare equation islegitimate it in fact works out strongly in favour of hunting as the best means of avoiding unnecessary suffering, the very opposite of what Professor Bateson claims. In short there are many experienced veterinary scientists and animal physiologists who are convinced that hunting causes less suffering to the deer herd than will result if hunting is banned - Charles Aldous QC - Submission on behalf of the Deer Hunts from information provided by British Wildlife Management (1998).

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 with hounds is the natural and most humane way of controlling the population of all four quarry species, fox, deer, hare and mink, in the countrysideDr Lewis Thomas - Supported by over 520 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons - Endorsed by 63% of rural vets in NOP Survey of 1000 RCVS members Sept. 2001 – Now the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management.

The welfare equation is the end product of both common sense and the animal welfare science over the past five years and credit should be given to all involved. Parliament must be informed on the facts on this priority matter in order that the current confrontation can be defused and the truth established – Edmund Marriage – Submission to Minister Alun Michael 12th July 2002.