Copy of letter to DEFRA from Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management
The Proposed Removal of the Long Established Best Practice Means of Locating and Following Up Wounded and Casualty Deer, Foxes and HaresI have yet to receive the promised response from Ben Bradshaw to the key points on wild animal welfare and management, which I raised with Ashley Matthews and Tanya Arkle, in my submission to DEFRA on the Sustainable Management of Wild Deer in England.
I also requested a meeting with Ben Bradshaw to discuss the range of important issues, which I raised in my submission, including TB.
In addition, I have had no satisfactory response on the failure by DEFRA to address the crucial TB problems, caused directly by the mismanagement and neglect at the League Against Cruel Sports deer sanctuary at Baronsdown,
The excuse that endemic TB in wild deer is not subject to the full powers of Animal Health legislation is plain wrong, as I have demonstrated by forwarding a full brief on the powers available.
Had DEFRA responded as soon as TB was confirmed, and my formal complaint raised, we would not be in the current disastrous situation, where such a high percentage of the red deer are sick and suffering. The similar problem at Charlcote Park was quickly resolved and the disease contained.
I wrote as follows in my e-mail to Tanya Arkle.
Please may I have a detailed response on the following central issue ?
Collectively you have made a terrible mistake in dismissing and burying my evidence for the following reason:
- Wounding and casualties in Deer, Foxes and Hares is the single most important issue in any consultation on these species, where the word management is used.
- Acknowledging the obvious facts and detailed research now available on the problems of wounding and casualties, is the responsibility of all virtuous and competent people in Government, and those advising Government.
- It is significant that the advice of the informed majority of the veterinary profession on this subject is being ignored.
- Please tell me, or get a Minister to tell me, why this subject and the clear evidence on wounding and casualties is being ignored ?
- The many issues relating to the welfare and management of deer are central to your DEFRA Consultation on the Management of Wild Deer in England. The documentation, which accompanies the invitation to submit evidence makes this quite clear on most counts, including wounding and the use of scent hounds.
- However, the very significant behavioural, dispersal, casualty and health issues are also being ignored.
- You should not be using the word management in this consultation, if the key management issues and problems are being ignored for political reasons.
I would refer you to Clause 97 of the Report of the Committee on Cruelty to Wild Animals prepared by for the Labour Government by the Scott Henderson Inquiry and presented to Parliament in June 1951.
Clause 97 - We think that persons who shoot at wild animals without exercising due care or making an attempt to follow up those which are wounded, thereby causing unnecessary suffering, should be liable to prosecution.Simple logic applied to Clause 97, dictates that by removing scent hounds and ignoring 50% wounding rates, best case scenario 15% walking wounded rates and high casualty rates in wild deer, such action equates to: Deliberately Causing Unnecessary Suffering - A Criminal Offence ?
Failure to accept this simple truth, will confirm to the British public that Labour and DEFRA are putting party political prejudices before the proper welfare and management of our precious wildlife. On the basis of the conclusions of their own inquiry, Labour and DEFRA would be a party to criminal activity.
I would warn you that there is not a scrap of evidence that single scent or blood trailing dogs provide a practical solution in dealing with these follow up issues nationally.
I look forward to an urgent meeting with Ministers to reach a clear understanding and resolution on this important matter.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management