BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Once again a golf club – not a working-class football club or rugby league club – has found itself under siege by animal rights extremists.
Muswell Hill Golf Club was targeted last year by the extremists, and it seems the same is now happening to others. Clubs are being bombarded on social media with toxic/bunny hugging memes and their inboxes are replete with messages advising how to avoid killing pests. The extremists’ swarming strategy is designed to terrorise and panic clubs into submission. The clubs are mostly volunteer-run and so not set up to defend themselves from public smearing – alas, they still tend to give into extremists’ demands.
The recent targeting of Eltham Warren Golf Club was particularly nasty because hunt saboteur groups passed around online the image featuring in the tweet below with names and email addresses of the club groundsmen with fox/rabbit killers emblazoned across it.
As can be seen from the tweet, Dominic Dyer from the Born Free Foundation (BFF) – a registered charity – got involved. BFF have strong links to the Goldsmith brothers who sit on the board of DEFRA. The question must be asked why is Dyer – a charity trustee – passing around intimidating material online, falsely claiming it’s not intimidating to have your personal details passed around by extremists, many of whom are convicted as such?
The truth is that these animal rights extremists are neither preservationist nor conservationist – they are a cruel cult. They deem that no animal should be killed or harmed yet the disconnect between reality and their stance is exposed repeatedly.
Who can forget how one of their fox removal units removed an urban fox, gave it surgery and let it into the rural wild with three legs hoping it would survive. Wild foxes are known to commit infanticide and will think nothing of visiting a rival’s earth for a subterranean fight to the death. Go figure how other foxes dealt with their three-legged friend who happened to be starving when he found no bins from which to feed. Poor creature did not stand a chance:
This releasing of amputees and wounded foxes with stitches is cruel and barbaric – to a normal person. However these so-called preservationists hold an opposing view – gunmen are cruel and barbaric for shooting foxes and rabbits even though the creatures get dispatched with a clean shot and dropped before the sound of the gunshot even reaches them.
Eltham Forest Golf club were culling their foxes legally at the most appropriate time of year, ensuring they wouldn’t be bothered with them until the autumn migration 7- 8 months later. They would remove them again next February when they appeared.
Why cull rabbits and foxes on golf courses?
Foxes dig up the greens looking for leather jackets (the larval stage of an insect called a crane fly is known as a leatherjacket) and also have the negative impact of making the rabbits – the greater golf green pest – jumpy and much harder to shoot.
One fox control expert told CSM:
“I have an agreement with all my courses that I shoot the foxes or it becomes a waste of time as 1 fox will spook all the rabbits and stop me shooting 20-30 rabbits a night. In essence a fox makes the job harder. Not every course understands this, they think that a fox will Control the rabbits. When you turn up, walk the course and the rabbits are twitchy, you know a fox has been round. Foxes may take three rabbits a week, whereas 2 visits with me walking can take over 50. In fact last year I managed 500 rabbits on most courses and on the one that don’t want the foxes shot it was well under 100.”
It’s clear from our expert the biggest problem golf clubs have is with rabbits – landowners are duty bound to control them. Whatever the animal rights people say, removing the problem is of great importance. So how should golf clubs react to intimidation from these extremists?
Don’t get convinced by the extremists to use one of their fox removal units.
Pennard Golf Club were treated by animal rights extremists in a similar way to the Eltham Forest groundsmen:
The South London hunt saboteur branch took it upon themselves to circulate this nasty graphic in an attempt to intimidate Pennard Golf Club groundsmen into using their removal services. Pennard responded:
“Landowners have the legal right to control rabbit populations that cause damage to their land or crops. We do however want to make it very clear that we never organised a mass killing of rabbits this week as has been incorrectly advertised on social media. Additionally, the 4 pictured individuals are not involved in the topic in question in any way. We realise that traditional methods of control are not acceptable to all. Consequently we are working with a newly established company to develop effective humane solutions to control our rabbit population and eradicate the damage they are causing. Other traditional methods of control have been ceased whilst a suitable humane method is identified and tested.”
Pennard was asked to use either Fox-a-gon or Humane Wildlife Solutions to clear their foxes. Both companies claim they use non-lethal methods to control fox populations. The truth is they are both run by ex- hunt saboteurs and cannot be trusted.
Humane Wildlife Solutions have a colourful boss, a sab called Kevin Newell who ran a course on how to sabotage legal fox hunting in Scotland. This found him in conflict with the law and his business suffered as a result. It seems terrorising the public is not viewed positively by customers. Kevin’s final court appearance for sabotaging legal activities in 2019 saw him tell the court he had given up his old ways of terrorising innocent women and children and he hasn’t been seen out with any saboteurs since, although they wear balaclavas.
The Fox-a-gon humane controller – another sab called Terry Wood – works with a charity called the Fox Project. In 2013 it was reported he had helped them relocate 10,000 foxes back into the countryside.
How are the sabs doing with their rural fox releases? See some of the comments from the British public online:
“Our local animal sanctuary releases patched up foxes, right next to a friend’s 38-acre property, he breeds pheasants and peacocks, average fox tally there is 30+ a year. Still loses birds to foxes”
“They will end up live trapping them, then release them somewhere else to be shot!! We had similar in Bucks, some twat with a white van released 18 foxes into a field. 11 shot as they wandered down the field totally bewildered and the other 7 shot that evening.”
“Having lived in East Sussex for 10 years, we lived near a ‘sanctuary’ charity that was a drop depot for this company and others. What actually happens is foxes are captured at great expense to the ‘client’ and driven to Sussex (large sheep farming area) and other locations and ‘released’ (the sanctuary having taken their cut of the ‘fee’). We all know the sanctuaries are run by anti/sabs, who can run the business as a charity and fundraiser through the sab group social media”
“You then have city foxes in territory battles with rural foxes, scavenging chickens and bins, farmers and keepers shooting the foxes, because they raid the vicinity having not been born and bred there. The foxes released are often mangy and poor or existed on a diet of rubbish bins.”
“Yegh shot all sorts up here, spade ones, amputees and ones with stitches still in…..between us and next door we can shoot 800 a year.”
The reality is that pest control has been practised for decades by golf clubs. They have a duty to other landowners, especially if their courses border farms. Shooting pests is the most humane method, that’s even according to the anti-hunting groups LACS, the RSPCA & IFAW – at least that’s what they told the government inquiry when they wanted to ban fox hunting as a pest control method:
“As we have stated in evidence, we are confident that shooting represents the most humane method of killing foxes, deer and hare in their natural environment with minimum distress perceptible to the animal.”
If you are a golf club and coming under attack from these extremists then hold firm and contact the police. Do not get pressured by this mafia into employing their removal units, which they set up – like various enterprises and charities they set up – for profit. Stick to your guns and quote back to these extremists the LACS/RSPCA/IFAW advice above.