HomePressPress Releases & NewsPublic and Parliament Misled (added 14.3.06)

Public and Parliament Misled (added 14.3.06)

British Wildlife Management

Wildlife Welfare


Public and Parliament Misled by Ministers who Covered Up Scientific Proof that Hunting Methods were more Humane than Shooting by a Factor of at Least 10.

Please Note - Relevant to inaccurate Statements made by two senior High Court Judges in the High Court last July, and the current appeals being heard on challenges to the Hunting Act.

Pro-hunt campaigners headed by the Countryside Alliance, having lost their constitutional challenge to the process under which the 2004 Hunting Act was introduced by Parliament, are appealing this week under European Law.
In their ruling last July, the judges said: “We consider that there was sufficient material available to the House of Commons for them to conclude that hunting with dogs is cruel” – “In any event, there was a reasonable basis for concluding that taken as a whole, hunting of foxes with dogs causes more suffering than shooting them.”
Government Ministers were provided more than six years ago with the scientific proof that hunting methods were more humane than shooting by a factor of at least 10, by Edmund Marriage of British Wildlife Management. This evidence and conclusion draws on the scientific and practical research made available following the Bateson Report on Deer Hunting, and presented to the Burns Inquiry, the DEFRA Hearings, and an important Veterinary Symposium.
Government Ministers failed to tell Parliament and the public about this important fact, on which over 700 hours of Parliamentary Time was wasted. The Public and Parliament are still being misled.
Measuring and comparing suffering between different methods of killing and capturing wild animals is a little known, but well accepted objective science, where the degree and duration of suffering can be factored. The Government has already decided that wildlife can be killed, by promoting poisons, gas, traps, cages and snares, setting the criteria for their use.
Animal welfare science provides for a welfare equation, which presents a simple method to compare the degree and duration of suffering between hunted and shot, deer, foxes or hares. Parameters can be set to establish the minimum and maximum suffering levels and simple sums provide the solution in favour of hunting methods.
The natural, physiological and psychological stress of the short pursuit phase, in the terminal stages of the hunt, is compared to the prolonged pain and suffering from wounding, and the damaging harassment to non-target animals from shooting.
Where it is decided that animals have to be killed, there is an obvious moral requirement they should be given the best prospect of an instantaneous death. Culling methods should also be selective, in that the weak the sick and the injured should be found and dispatched before healthy animals are killed. It is only within the processes of search, following scent, location, dispersal, flushing, pursuit, dispatch, or bringing to bay, using soft or hard temperament scent hounds, sight hounds or terriers, that the above requirements can best be satisfied.

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