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Wildlife protection groups criticise decision to reopen trophy hunting of brown bears and wolves in Romania

Brendan Montague

12 September, 2017

The trophy hunting and culling of bears and wolves in Romania has been made legal again after a one year ban saved more than 1,600 animals facing crisis, reports BRENDAN MONTAGUE more...

Foxhounds and bovine TB edges (finally) into the news

Lesley Docksey

23rd June, 2017

The publication of research into foxhounds and bovine TB is being hidden behind a cover up, with an outbreak in one hunt's pack kept secret for three months before the news leaked out, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY more...

Ecologist Exclusive: Theresa May's views on fox hunting lack scientific validity

Iain McGill & Colleagues

5th June, 2017

Theresa May's suggestion that she was going to allow a free vote in Parliament on repealing the Hunting Act met with howls of outrage , not least from vets concerned about animal welfare. Dr Iain McGill (who spoke at the recent Keep the Ban protest) and his colleagues write here about her ignorance on hunting and, given the Kimblewick hounds issue, the danger posed by making hunting legal again. more...
Fox at Nether Edge, Sheffield. Photo: Edwyn Anderton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'Make Hunting History' march on Downing Street this Bank Holiday Monday

The Ecologist

26th May 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has made several serious mistakes in her election campaign, but her biggest 'unforced error' of all could be her public support for foxhunting, opposed by 17 in 20 voters. Now a huge march to her Downing Street residence is planned for next Monday to 'Make Hunting History!' more...
The Essex Foxhounds in 1994. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Tell Mrs May: Foxhunting must remain illegal!

Eduardo Gonçalves

18th May 2017

It's election time and the race is on for public support, writes Eduardo Goncalves. So why on Earth did Tory leader Theresa May come out in favour of foxhunting - an activity loathed or disliked by over 80% of voters - at this crucial time, offering MPs a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act? Now let's put pressure on our candidates to keep the law against this cruel, archaic pastime. more...
The Kimblewick hunt on its Boxing Day meet, 2016. Photo: Roger Marks via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Foxhunting hounds and bovine TB - why the official silence?

Lesley Docksey

15th May 2017

Teresa May's promise to bring back foxhunting has proved one of the most unpopular items in the Tories' election platform. So we should not be surprised at the official silence over the TB-infected hounds in the Kimblewick hunt, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor, given the political power of foxhunting landowners, should we be surprised that officials are shrugging off any idea that bad biosecurity in hunt kennels could possibly have anything to do with TB in cattle. more...
Badgered to death? Photo: Andrew Gray via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Badgered to Death? Now MPs have no excuse for ignorance

Dominic Dyer

20th March 2017

The badger cull is a clear failure on scientific, cost and humanity grounds, writes Dominic Dyer. Yet the government is planning a major extension of the cull in 2017. That's why he has just sent a copy of his acclaimed book to every British MP, before they debate the issue next week. Write to yours now demanding an end to the slaughter! more...
Robin caught in a mist net on the British military base in Cyprus. Photo: RSPB / Birdlife Cyprus.

Cyprus: time to crack down on Mediterranean's biggest songbird massacre

Jamie Wyver

16th March 2017

The illegal trapping of birds on Cyprus is taking place on an industrial scale, writes Jamie Wyver, and the biggest hotspot is on a British army base where over 800,000 birds were killed last year. It's time for the British and Cyprus governments to confront the criminals, clear the acacia bushes in which the birds are trapped, and close the illegal restaurants serving them as 'delicacies'. more...
Boxing Day Hunt and Hounds in Chiddingstone, Kent, England. Photo: Kentish Plumber via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Pity the poor hounds! Bovine TB, foxhounds and the biosecurity black hole

Lesley Docksey

15th March 2017

The 25 TB-infected hounds of the Kimblewick hunt, all put down, remind us that the lot of hunting dogs is not a happy one, writes Lesley Docksey. Unloved and at constant risk of slaughter, they are prone to a host of diseases, from bovine TB to brucellosis, neospora and botulism, which they can pass on to farm stock, humans and other dogs. They deserve better! more...
The Kimblewick hunt on its Boxing Day meet, 2016. Photo: Roger Marks via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Official cover-up - are hunting hounds the 'cryptic carrier' for bovine TB?

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

9th March 2017

Was the discovery of bovine TB in a pack of foxhounds in southern England covered up? Jordi Casamitjana asks if hunts bear much of the blame for the bTB epidemic, while Defra may have deliberately suppressed the evidence. The 25 bTB-infected hounds of the Kimblewick Hunt may just be the tip of an iceberg of diseased dogs spreading TB across the UK - while badgers take the blame. more...
Hounds observing slaughtered fallen cattle.

Bovine TB found in foxhounds - and nothing to do with badgers! Now what?

Lesley Docksey

9th March 2017

The news that the Kimblewick Hunt's hounds are infested with bovine TB has come as a shock to farmers and hunters, writes Lesley Docksey. But it's no surprise to campaigners against the badger cull, who have long complained about poor farm hygiene and the feeding by hunts of disease-ridden 'fallen cattle' carcasses to foxhounds - never mind that the cattle are likely bTB carriers! more...
A legal fox kill before the 1994 ban. But in truth, little has changed since. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

The Hunting Act 12 years on - time to crack down on the fox-killing criminals!

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

21st February 2017

Since February 18, 2005 roughly 200,000 illegal hunting events undertaken by registered hunts may have taken place in the UK, writes Jordi Casamitjana. By engaging in fictitious 'trail hunting', they can chase foxes as before, and when they are killed, well, it was all a shocking 'accident'. It's high time to strengthen the law to ensure the spirit in which it was passed is fulfilled. more...

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Could a legal, regulated trade in rhino horn help save these wonderful animals by paying for their conservation and taking the profit out of poaching? Photo: rhino on the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Colin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save our rhinos, we need a legal horn trade

Keith Somerville, University of Kent

22nd September 2016

The trade ban on rhino horn is not working, writes Keith Somerville. But non-lethally and sustainably harvested rhino horn can earn income to encourage breeders, pay rangers and anti-poaching teams, provide surveillance and supply wider benefits that will gain the support of people around parks, reserves and ranches. more...
Shooting grouse in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Photo: Richard Woffenden via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to close down Britain's devastating grouse-shooting industry

Eduardo Goncalves

18th August 2016

The disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier on a Scottish grouse moor and the loss of eight Golden eagles in five years provide the latest evidence for a ban on driven grouse-shooting, writes EDUARDO GONCALVES. But birds of prey are only the most high-profile victims of a cruel and ecologically destructive industry. more...
Bushmen have hunted at subsistence levels in the Kalahari for millennia. Photo: Survival International.

Botswana: shooting Bushmen from helicopters is wrong!

Lewis Evans

16th August 2016

Botswana's war on its indigenous population, the Bushmen of the Kalahari, has reached a new pitch, writes LEWIS EVANS. No longer content to arrest and intimidate them as they engage in subsistence hunting on their own land, the state has begun to shoot them from aircraft. These illegal, genocidal acts must stop! more...
Bill Oddie in his front garden with 'Cecil' - named after Cecil the Lion, shot by a licenced hunter from the US in Zimbabwe on 1st July 2015.

Whether it's Cecil the Lion or un-named fox cubs, killing for fun is wrong

Bill Oddie

29th June 2016

No animal should be killed for our enjoyment, writes Bill Oddie. And that applies alike to Cecil the Lion, shot by a Minnesota dentist almost two years ago; and to the nameless fox cubs that died more recently in England, thrown to hounds by a huntsman to teach them to hate and kill foxes. more...
Outside the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Fox cub persecution: hunting and violence are inseparable

Eduardo Gonçalves

23rd June 2016

An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that English hunts are training hounds to kill foxes in horrific secret slaughter sessions, writes Eduardo Gonçalves. It's just one example of the cruelty and violence that's intrinsic to fox-hunting, and another reason why the ban has to be maintained. more...
At the Cleggan Lodge Estate, 8th April 2016, a snare covered with hare fur. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Snares - a barbaric relic whose time is up

Bill Oddie OBE

10th May 2016

Snares are one of humankind's earliest inventions, writes Bill Oddie, once essential to our survival as hunters. But their modern use by gamekeepers seeking to protect game birds on shooting estates from predators is a cruel and barbaric practice, with most of the victims non-target species like hares, badgers and deer. more...
Photo of Fox hunt by TownePost Network via Flickr (CC BY).

Fair game? Hunting lobby's attacks on the RSPCA are proof of its effectiveness

Lesley Docksey

3rd May 2016

Lacking an official body to investigate and prosecute illegal cruelty to wildlife a unique charity, the RSPCA, took on that role almost 200 years ago, writes Lesley Docksey. But now it has ruffled high-ranking feathers by pursuing cases of illegal fox-hunting, and has been forced to leave prosecutions of such cases to the Crown Prosecution Service. But will the CPS do its job? more...
Bovine TB begins and ends with cattle, with badgers playing at most a minor role. Photo: Will Fisher via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Dodgy data, bad science, rotten politics: why the badger cull is wrong and stupid

Tom Langton

28th April 2016

If we are ever to bring bovine TB under control in Britain's cattle herd, we must begin with the main disease reservoir, writes Tom Langton: the cattle themselves. The insistence on culling badgers has little to do with disease control, and everything to do with the short term economics of the beef and dairy industries, unwilling to sacrifice an iota of production in the interests of a real solution. more...
Dozens of people have been shot on sight in Kaziranga in recent years. The park guards are immune from prosecution. Photo: © Survival International.

India's 'shoot on sight' conservation terrorises indigenous communities

Lewis Evans

20th April 2016

The endangered Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino desperately need protection, writes Lewis Evans. But in India's Kaziranga National Park, 'fortress conservation' includes a brutal 'shoot on sight' policy that is terrorising local communities, many of them tribal. Indigenous peoples are the natural allies of conservation and need to be engaged in constructive solutions - not shot! more...
Scottish wildcat out hunting at night. Photo: Adrian Bennett / Wildcat Haven.

Scotland's secret cat slaughter revealed in FOI documents

Oliver Tickell

12th April 2016

Documents released to Wildcat Haven reveal the secret plans of the Scottish Wildcat Action Plan - funded by taxpayers and the National Lottery - to kill trapped feral cats by shooting them in the head with shotguns. Public documents mention only neutering, successfully carried out by Wildcat Haven to protect pure wildcat populations. more...
US soldiers perform a platoon mounted and dismounted live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany Oct. 6, 2010. Photo: Gertrud Zach / The U.S. Army via Fliclr (CC BY).

Thought for Earth Day: whether it's badgers or Trident missiles, shooting solves nothing

Linda Pentz Gunter

20th April 2016

Why do we humans resort to shooting, whenever a challenging problem confronts us? Whether it's culling badgers to protect hedgehogs, or renewing the Trident missile threat with expensive upgrades, our species seems determined to upset the balance of nature and harmony on Earth by shooting first - and never asking the questions at all. more...
Mother and daughter: bison in the Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Bill Lile via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Buffalo slaughter in Yellowstone and the death of a spirit animal

Louise Willcox

5th April 2016

North American buffalo are officially 'vulnerable to global extinction', writes Louise Willcox, yet the US National Parks Service and Montana are intent on their wholesale slaughter. In place of a complete ecosystem with wild-roaming buffalo and grizzly bears, wildlife managers are systematically favoring the over-abundant elk that drive the politically powerful hunting industry. more...
A young lion cub resting in Massai Mara National reserve, Kenya. Photo: Ralf Κλενγελ via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

Africa's lions and pastoralists share the benefits of community ecotourism

Grant Hopcraft & Sara Blackburn

5th April 2016

The conflict between lions and Africa's cattle herders goes back centuries, write Grant Hopcraft and Sara Blackburn - and lions have been the big losers in recent years. But where local people benefit from ecotourism, that ancient enmity can quickly be set aside. 'Community conservancies' around formal protected areas are helping both lions and indigenous communities to survive and thrive. more...

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