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A new book on the need for wildlife management

A new book The Facts of Rural Life on the need for better wildlife management was launched on June 23 at Westminster to a select group of politicians, journalists and wild life experts. The book was warmly endorsed in a short address by Sir Nicholas Soames MP and Kate Hoey MP and the author Charlie Pye-Smith expressed his thanks to all the people countrywide who contributed their expertise to the book.

Download the flyer and order form for more information

There is scarcely an acre of Britain which is truly wild. Farming, forestry, hunting, water extraction and urbanisation have all had a profound effect on our flora and fauna. Top predators such as brown bear, lynx and wolf have been lost and as a result many of their prey species no longer have any natural enemies. At the same time, other species have been introduced, frequently with disastrous consequences for livestock, crops and our native wildlife. Think, for example, of grey squirrel, mink, muntjac deer, rabbits and rats.

This prompts a fundamental question: who is responsible for managing wildlife?  Some people maintain that everything should be left to nature. But if that were to happen, many species would become increasingly rare, or even extinct.  Others – and The Facts of Rural Life makes the case - believe human beings, having so profoundly altered the environment, must take full responsibility for managing wildlife.

Charlie Pye-Smith's new book makes the case for the need for better wildlife management. It draws on extensive research in the field and interviews with scientists, farmers, conservationists, vets, gamekeepers, huntsmen and others involved in the study and management of wildlife, and it addresses many of the crucial conservation controversies of our time. It also exposes the consequences of ill-thought through legislation.

The Facts of Rural Life provides a valuable resource for politicians, the media and anyone genuinely concerned about conservation, animal welfare and the future of Britain's countryside.

Understanding Life in the Wild

New review sheds light on the lives of wild animals

'Wild animals must be treated in ways that do not necessarily apply to domestic animals' according to a new review produced by the VAWM. 'Life in the Wild' highlights the fundamental differences in the way in which wild and domestic animals live and the differing approaches to their management and welfare.

In the wild there are pressures on wild animals, such as disease and population control that do not apply to domestic animals. In an environment that is called 'wild', yet is almost exclusively man-managed, there is a responsibility on man to ensure a proper balance is kept.  Life in the Wild describes the detrimental consequences of 'leaving things to nature' and explains why certain actions that are unnecessary and possibly devastating to a domestic animal are essential and natural for wild animals.

Download a copy of Life in the Wild in PDF format on this link

Hunting wildlife management and the moral issue

Latest joint publication with the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group:

Please use this link to download your copy of Hunting wildlife management and the moral issue - Updated and revised edition - December 2011

“We are pleased to collaborate again with the Middle Way Group to produce this latest document, the third in a series of joint publications, which we believe, together with our Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds published in 2002, represents an overwhelming welfare case for repeal of the Hunting Act (2004).”

The Natural Chase A review by Katie Colvile, MSc, MA, VetMB, MRCVS

This review by one of our members is a joint publication with the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group which was launched at the House of Lords in January 2008. The review examines:

  • How wolves hunting for prey for food has evolved into dogs hunting as an essential component of wildlife management;
  • How natural predators can shape their environment;
  • How such predation affects the behaviour of prey species and retains the fitness of a prey population;
  • Why hunting with hounds can be considered a natural phenomenon.

Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, also one of our members and a former committee member of the Burns Inquiry, has written the foreword to the report.

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The use misuse and abuse of science in support of the Hunting Act

This carefully compiled document published in 2007 in collaboration with the All Parliamentary Middle Way Group comprehensively puts the scientific record straight in respect of the hunting debate and demonstrates that there are not and never were any scientific grounds for banning hunting on the grounds of cruelty.

Please use this link to download your copy of The use misuse and abuse of science in support of the Hunting Act .

Please use this link to download details of the references contained in The use misuse and abuse of science in support of the Hunting Act .

A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds

A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds was written by Dr.L.H.Thomas and Professor W.R.Allen.

The Opinion sets out the welfare case for the various methods of culling the four quarry species.

"Hunting with hounds is the natural and most humane way of controlling the population of all four quarry species"
- Supported by over 540 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Use this link to read A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds on-line (PDF version)

You can use this link to download an order form for a printed booklet.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat reader, use this link to download your free copy.

Introduction

The following submission on the humane aspects of fox hunting, which also touches on hunting of the three other quarry species, deer, hares and mink, is an updated version of that originally submitted in February 2000 to the Committee of Inquiry chaired by Lord Burns and is supported by some 400 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Following the report of the Inquiry in June 2000 it has been expanded particularly in the sections on: i) the kill and cause of death, ii) other methods of culling and in the discussion on iii) wild compared with domestic animals, iv) wounding and pain and v) the physiological responses of hunted red deer.

The submission is based largely on careful observation and informed opinion since, except for the two studies on the physiology of hunted Red deer (Bateson 1997, Harris and others 1999), and the review submitted to the Inquiry by Bateson and Harris (2000), there is little scientific evidence on the subject of hunting, especially fox hunting. Nevertheless this opinion comes from widespread clinical experience both in general veterinary practice and in research, involving a range of wild and domestic animals under normal and adverse conditions and comes in many cases from first hand experience in the hunting field.

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A Veterinary Opinion

A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds was written by Dr.L.H.Thomas and Professor W.R.Allen.

The Opinion sets out the welfare case for the various methods of culling the four quarry species.

"Hunting with hounds is the natural and most humane way of controlling the population of all four quarry species"
- Supported by over 540 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Read more...