Image of the Day – 37

Another great day’s Spanish culture comes to an end … with another exhausted, tortured, dead bull. Help us put a stop to it.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    gilesbradshaw said,

    I recently sent this letter to Gordon Brown

    Gordon Brown MP,

    House of Commons


    SW1A 0AA

    9 December 2009

    Dear Mr Brown,

    I noted with interest your statement on the Hunting Act 2004 at the end of today’s Prime Minister’s


    My MP Nick Harvey has recently been kind enough to put a series of questions to your Mr Jim

    Fitzpatrick regarding the Hunting Act.

    These questions centre around my use of three dogs to flush deer out of cover on my farm in Devon.

    My procedure is simple. I enter the woods with my dogs off the lead, when the deer become aware

    of the dogs they are flushed out and the dogs sometimes chase the deer.

    You will no doubt be aware that the Hunting Act states that the use of dogs to flush deer out of

    cover is exempt hunting if certain conditions are met. Amongst these conditions is the fifth


    (7) The fifth condition is that—

    (a) reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found

    or flushed out the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person, and

    (b) in particular, each dog used in the stalking or flushing out is kept under sufficiently close

    control to ensure that it does not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective in paragraph (a).

    I am vehemently opposed to any steps to shoot the deer I flush out being imposed as a condition for

    the legality of my activities. I have never shot or harmed a deer and the non lethal nature of my

    wildlife management techniques are central to them.

    I have written several times to Defra regarding the use of dogs to flush out deer. They have at

    different times told me it is legal and illegal. Mr Fitzpatrick now tells me that it’s legality is

    ‘uncertain’. Parliament discussed this matter for some considerable time as you will be aware and

    could not come up with a satisfactory definition of what they wanted to ban. It was decided to leave

    the offence undefined in the hope that the Judiciary would at some point produce a definition.

    Defra for some time insisted that hunting was to be given ‘the ordinary English meaning of the word

    which includes searching’. Unfortunately this interpretation has proved wrong and the courts have

    ruled that searching for wild mammals with dogs is not illegal.

    It has become clear that I have absolutely no way of finding out whether my activities are illegal

    apart from if I am prosecuted.

    The reason I am writing to you is not to ask you what the law is but what you think it should be. It

    seems to me that someone in Government be able to address this issue. Mr Fitzpatrick has failed

    to and has written to my MP informing him that he does not propose to correspond further on this


    Given that your minister responsible for hunting with dogs is either unable or unwilling to answer

    this simple question and given your belief that this issue will be important in the forthcoming

    general election I am hoping that you will be kind enough to answer the following question.

    Does the British Government believe that unless strict conditions are met it should be a

    criminal offence to deliberately flush wild mammals out of cover by entering dogs into it

    where there is no intention to catch harm or kill them?

    Can I also cordially invite you to my farm if ever you are in North Devon? It would be a great

    pleasure to take you out flushing out deer with my dogs. I am sure you would enjoy it and also

    agree that it is a far more humane procedure than shooting them. Red Deer are fantastic animals

    and where non lethal methods of management are appropriate you and your Government should be

    supporting them.

    With my very best wishes,

    Giles Bradshaw

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