On Tue, 22 Jan 2008 08:10:21 +0000, Old Codger
Post by Old Codger
For years we have been warning the UK that millions of pounds in
donations and grants were being wasted by CONservation hooligans like
the RSPB, Woodland Trusts, English Nature, SNH etc slaughtering and
destroying habitats for scapegoat species like fox, rabbits, grey
squirrels, brown and black rats,ruddy ducks and even our endangered
hedgehogs were being slaughtered on the Uists all at huge cost to the
taxpayer and public at large.
Now the CONservation hooligans are screaming because the money is
drying up. The golden goose has died and we're left with a wasteland
in conservation where so much could have been done but wasn't!
This is what happens when you let Pro Hunt groups like the RSPB and
DEFRA handle conservation issues.
Over £1.6billion wasted in the last decade on slaughtering wildlife
and table top CONservation based on Nazi style ethics. So much time
and money has been spent persecuting various species that there is
nothing left for genuine conservation.
Remember that next time you see a CONservation hooligan holding it's
hand out, even if it does live in a mansion in Sandy Beds!
Natural England cuts spark alarm
Butterfly Conservation fears that budget cuts could undermine Natural
England, the agency overseeing and funding biodiversity and wildlife
Funding cuts put English conservation work under threat
See the species and habitats that would be affected by the cuts here
John Vidal guardian.co.uk, Wednesday November 7 2007
Programmes to conserve the habitats of some of Britain's most
endangered species, like the skylark, would be cancelled under
proposed cuts to Natural England.
Years of nature protection could be put on hold or reversed if
proposed cuts of 15-30% to the budget for conserving England's most
beautiful places and wildlife are pushed through in the next few
Proposals seen by the Guardian show that the Department of the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is proposing to slash the
budget of Natural England, its statutory independent nature advisers.
The organisation was set up one year ago by Defra to protect wildlife,
maintain nature reserves, and improve the state of Britain's most
important natural places.
It is understood that Natural England's £51m budget for new
conservation work would be reduced by 15% this year with deeper cuts
expected later. The organisation is also being forced by the Treasury
to repay the £16m spent setting it up and to meet 2% across the board
£4m from improving Britain's most important sites of sites of
special scientific interest (SSSIs). These are already in poor
condition and the government is certain to not fulfil its election
pledges if it cuts the budget;
£2m making access to the countryside easier for ethnic minorities
and others. This is considered vital to make the countryside
accessible to all;
£2m to improve and maintain areas designated as being of
"outstanding natural beauty";
£2m to enhance national nature reserves. These are in danger of
£700,000 on scientific research.
In addition, programmes to conserve the habitats of some Britain's
most endangered "flagship" species would be cancelled. These might
include the dormouse, the stone curlew, the otter, rare orchids and
other birds and mammals.
If the cuts go ahead it could set back conservation many years, say
"When money gets tight, it's always the environment and biodiversity
in particular that suffers. Natural England was set up by this
government and now it looks as if it is being strangled," said Mark
Avery, the director of conservation at the RSPB.
"It would seriously undermine protection of the most important and
cherished places and wildlife in England just at the time when the
value of the environment is being recognised for the benefits it
brings to health and the economy", said a government source.
Natural England has a nominal budget of more than £450m but this is
almost entirely ringfenced with payments to farmers and landowners.
Any cuts imposed by Defra would have to have to come from the £51m the
organisation has to spend on new work.
Defra itself has been given a below-inflation increase of 1.4% in its
£3.8bn budget over the next three years as part of the Treasury's
comprehensive spending review. But more than £200m of this increase
has been earmarked for improved flood defences after this year wet
weather, and much of the rest has been set aside to help councils
recycle more waste to meet EU targets.
The department has also had to pick up the unexpected costs of the
latest foot and mouth and blue tongue disease outbreaks and has not
fully recovered from the £200m cuts imposed by the Treasury last year
following late farm payments.
"No final decisions on the corporate spending review budget allocation
have yet been made. Protecting and enhancing the environment of course
remains an absolutely key priority for Defra," a spokeswoman for the
department said yesterday.
I thought the following letters from Douglas Batchelor of the League
Against Cruel Sport on snares and hunting were excellent.
"Every so often I hear the rationalisations that people try to use in
defence of cruelty and I despair. Whether it is the supposedly mangy
fox, or the unwanted deer nibbling new tree growth, or the otter in
pursuit of a so called king salmon, time and again the would be
guardians of the countryside seek to explain their cruelty to animals
in terms of their victims being pests and therefore in some ways
deserving their cruel fate.
Something has gone badly wrong in a society when we allow people to
self determine that inconvenient animals are pests and beyond the
protection of the law. When the law allows them to be cruel to those
animals either for sport or in pursuit of some other objective, the
law allows and facilitates cruelty.
For far too long we, the general public have allowed some in our
society to proclaim a right to be cruel without legal constraint.
Thankfully the law has developed somewhat since early Victorian times,
and battered wives, children, farm and domestic animals are all now
protected by law from cruelty. But, and it is an increasingly big but,
wild animals are not similarly protected by law. Worse still
Governments of all political complexions and persuasions have so far
assiduously protected a freedom for some to be cruel.
It seems fundamentally wrong to me, that land owners and sporting
rights' owners can on the one hand take grants from Europe, and our
own Government at tax payers' expense and use these to fund cruelty to
animals for sport and related reasons. We should be treating our
wildlife as a national treasure, protected from cruelty and
exploitation for profit by law. Why should a self electing group be
allowed to determine which wild animals live or die for sport? Why
should they be allowed to use wild animals as live targets for guns?
Why should they be allowed to trap wild animals in cage traps and wire
nooses and leave them to suffer for hours and possibly days? No one
has come up with a really good reason why some people's cruelty to
wild animals should be allowed.
This week we launched our Campaign in Scotland, about the cruelty
caused by snaring and called for a complete ban. We have cross party
political support from MSPs; we have a significant greater than 75%
level of public support for a ban and we have a chance through the
Scottish Parliamentary process to get one. It is high time that the
public will on protection for all animals against cruelty was made
law. Scottish landowners do not have some God given right to determine
which wild animals, which the law makes clear are not their property,
should live or die at their whim.
Throughout the rest of the UK public opinion is way ahead of the
politicians .The public know that there is precious little difference
between a gun toting hoodie on a BMX and a hunter on horseback
threatening a monitor. There is precious little difference between a
hunter under the influence and a violent drunk in the city. Both are a
risk to themselves and to others, both are prone to violence and law
breaking and both are inclined to egg each other on in their besotted
criminality. In much the same way as people shouldn't sell alcohol to
minors nor should they teach or allow children or adults to chase,
kill and be cruel to animals for sport. A crime is a crime whether the
perpetrator is a hunter or a hoodie.
Hunters in a muddle
At Christmas the hunters thought that they were onto a good thing with
their "hunting is now more popular than ever before". Now they know
they are in serious trouble. On all sides they are being asked, what's
the problem then? No need to change the law if hunting is working
better than ever before! Of course the hunters can't say we are
breaking the law can they. So why do they want it repealed?
For us the campaigners, we have the reverse of the hunters' problem.
We have the law; we know it is working in court. We know that the
hunters reluctantly have to change their behaviour. So the politicians
say to us, what is our problem? Our problem is that a group of people
think that they are above the law. That they can criminally conspire
together to break the law and that they can get away with it. These
criminals think that they can block the roads, intimidate and
sometimes assault monitors, stick two fingers up to the police and get
away with it. Just like the hoodies on an inner city housing estate,
they think that dodging the law is just another part of their sport.
Yet despite all this, there are politicians who act as apologists and
in some cases even defenders of these criminal conspirators.
Hunting has become a public order issue. Organised gangs of law
breakers should not be tolerated in town or country. There are now
more law breaking hunters than there ever were law breaking hunt
saboteurs before the ban. Concerned citizens should be demanding that
the police deal with this direct and organised challenge to public
order and to the will of Parliament. If one group can and are
regularly seen to get away with it, others will think they can too and
then the whole fabric of civilised law abiding society starts to
unwind in town and country.
It has taken the police and the CPS far too long to recognise this
direct challenge to public order when a small group of extremists
refuse to accept the rule of law. Breaches of not just the Hunting
Act, but the Road Traffic Acts and a whole host of other legislation,
from theft of equipment from monitors and violence to monitors,
through to wildlife, criminal conspiracy to hunt illegally and other
crimes. It is time for concerned citizens to demand that law breakers
be dealt with, be they on horseback, quadbikes or a BMX.
I think it is time for the politicians of all parties to realise that
we, the relatively silent and civilised majority care about what
people do to animals. Not just farmed and domestic animals but wild
animals as well. We want legal protection from cruelty for all
animals. We want the thugs and bullies who abuse and are cruel to
animals brought to book. Not just because of what they do to animals
but also because they are a threat to us all in a civilised society.
Those of us who care, want zero tolerance for cruelty and abuse of
animals and people. Let's ask the police and the politicians to tell
the hunters to "fox off" or feel the full weight of the law. A crime
is a crime, no matter who the criminal, and that is the law!