Wild Claims from Wild Justice

BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ

Wild Justice have launched a campaign to fight the new and necessary proposed badger cull because they say the Government has backtracked on its original proposal to move to a vaccination-based policy.

So it would appear a letter sent to the Minister for the Environment, George Eustice, by the Badger Trust and supported by LACS, RSPCA, IFAW and the Born Free Foundation reminding the minister of the vaccination policy failed to impress. And so, on the back of donations, Wild Justice are set to take their complaints to court.

One of their backers will certainly raise eyebrows, Wild Justice were cock-a-hoop when a £10k donation rolled in from Humane Society International (HSI), but their parent organisation Humane Society US (HSUS) are no strangers to court room dramas. In 2014 HSUS and their cohorts were ordered to pay $15.75 million in an out of court settlement to Feld Entertainment for using a paid plaintiff.

“Feld Entertainment discovered the animal rights groups and their lawyers had paid over $190,000 to a former circus employee, Tom Rider, to be a “paid plaintiff,” in a suit against Feld. The court also found that the animal rights groups and their attorneys “sought to conceal the nature, extent and purpose of the payments” during the litigation”

The press release at the time also stated, “Their abuse of the judicial system included the issuance of a false statement under oath by Rider, assisted by his counsel, who the court found was ‘the same attorney who was paying him’ to participate in the litigation. The court found in addition to Rider being a “paid plaintiff,” that the lawsuit was “frivolous and vexatious.”

Wild Justice’s new fundraising campaign has been partly based on spreading propaganda about the horrific wounding rates of the cull with false numbers shouted to the rooftops by anti-cull voices. Here is Rosie Woodroffe, a scientist and supporter of the vaccination program. Only she appears to have got slightly confused. The number she gives for shots fired and wounded are for shots fired and missed.

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The reality – 24,919 badgers were shot at during the 2019 culls, a total of 81 were wounded and lost.

Woodroffe seems cut from the same cloth as Badger Trust CEO, Dominic Dyer. Dyer’s infamous quote, the one about all these badgers taking over five minutes to die, was soon put right by those in the know, which did not stop Dyer further embellishing the truth with emotive verbiage like ‘crawling back to their setts to die in agony’ and the like.

An experienced cull marksman had this to say in response to Dyer:

“Firstly, is the oft perpetuated myth that shot badgers took longer than 5 minutes to die. This came about as a misinterpreted report from the Independent Expert Panel:

(The IEP cull monitor) had a stopwatch and started it the moment the shot was fired, and stopped it at the moment of confirmed death, which was done usually by means of a corneal reflex test. In an open field this might be only a few seconds but when the badger was shot across a stream or hedge for example it could often take several minutes to get the marksman, his buddy and the monitor to the carcass”

‘Time to confirmed death’ was how it was reported, and not the misquoted ‘time to die’ which is how the Badger Trust and others have spun it. Anyone who has ever used a high velocity centre fire rifle with ballistic tipped rounds will know how devastating they are, and that death is almost always instantaneous.

So why the angry and emotive wording from Wild Justice, who claim that the badger cull ‘operates at appallingly low standards of animal welfare’? Culling wild animals is never an attractive event to witness for the squeamish, but this doesn’t mean it should never be done. In the case of the current badger culls, a huge amount of research and planning was carried out before they were allowed to start. The levels of animal welfare adhered to have been second to none with highest levels of professionalism shown. No more could be done to ensure a quick and humane kill.

And at this point it is important and fair to note that, of 24,919 badgers shot at during the 2019 culls, a total of 81 were wounded and lost. Deeply regrettable, but a tiny proportion, and proof that everything was done to ensure that losing a wounded badger was an extremely rare occurrence.

We should all know by now that the RSPCA, LACS and IFAW were responsible for the explosion in badger numbers and the subsequent culling needed to prevent the spread. Campaigning to collect donations against a problem they created is pretty much all the Left do these days. Hopefully one day they’ll pack up and let the countryside handle its own.