Put down the gun.

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Environmental
Tags: , , , ,

Two things caught my attention over the last couple of days.

First of all I get updates on my Facebook feed from lots of different sabs groups across the country, they’re usually filled with similar incidents of abuse, threats and violence but also the good news that some people are still prepared to get out there and take direct action against those that want to kill our wildlife for fun and that that action is generally effective. However a report from the Norfolk & Suffolk group was really quite upsetting and regards a large Hare shoot that took place on the Raveningham Hall Estate.

Now the Brown Hare is a nationally declining species. Modern farming methods aren’t generally that conducive to flourishing wildlife and the poor Hare is suffering more than most. It has, as a species precious little protection from the law and that’s something which has to change unless we want to see it disappear from our fields for good. It’s a gracefull and elegant animal adapted to wide open spaces and does no damage to anyone, my wife holds a special place in her heart for them and we have a lovely painting hanging above our stairs depicting a pair of them. So seeing a line of tweed clad men in wellies blasting away recklessly at driven Hares is not something that should be acceptable for modern society. The sight and sound of a squealing Hare, kicking in it’s death throws will stay with anyone with a ounce of compassion. The sabs tried hard but ultimately many died that day. Although the animals will be eaten it’s nothing to do with killing for food, it’s the enjoyment of the act of killing which is fundamentally wrong. There is always a huge outcry over images of trophy hunters with big game from Africa, and rightly so but this is no different and has to stop before our fields become completely sterile, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

This poor Hare died in the arms of this sab after he ran in front of the guns to try and save it.

Which brings me to my second point.

Prince William and his father, good old Charlie released a video message as global ambassadors for protected species regarding the illegal ivory and Rhino horn trade. Now that’s great but unfortunately the Prince was also recently in Spain on a shooting estate with gun in hand killing Wild Boar and Deer. Hardly the right impression created there sunshine, kind of makes you look like a massive hypocrite. If you really want to create some kind of realistic credibility you really need to put down your gun. Dominic Dyer, spokesperson for Care for the Wild sums it up nicely, he says:

“We are disappointed that he chose to go hunting on the Duke of Westminister’s estate. We think it sent out the wrong messages and does raise concern about his interest in hunting on one side and wildlife protection on the other.

It’s not illegal what he’s doing. But it can seem somewhat hypocritical. And he may come into contact with people on these hunting trips who are involved in killing elephants or rhino in terms of trophy hunting – a good example of that is Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who had to step down as patron of the WWF about 18 months ago after being pictured shooting an elephant in Botswana.

Who you associate with can sometimes undermine your role.

If he wants to be a global ambassador to protect endangered species across the world, the best thing he can do is hang up the hunting rifle and only do shooting with a camera.

If you want to be a global ambassador to protect wildlife it’s not good to be going hunting. There might be a real value in him drawing a line under it and saying ‘I want to be seen as a dedicated conservationist’.”

Wills should listen to that advice.

Finally great to see a good turnout at the Stop the Badger Cull march in Shrewsbury over the weekend. I’ll see you in Birmingham on the 22nd.

  1. animals matter says:

    No one needs a gun in civilian Britain. It is ludicrous that any member of the population can get a licence and blast away at living targets whenever the the mist comes over them. Of course it’s claimed they are hunting for their dinner or providing for their families, or the one that makes me sneer the most is the we are doing it for the animals. Liars and hypocrits, if they really gave a stuff about animal lives they would stop eating them wearing them and using them for sport.

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