BY NIGEL BEAN
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Banning Trophy Hunting which meets at the Palace of Westminster sounds official and authoritative. It even has cross party support. But don’t be fooled. Those parliamentarians supporting this group are the animal rights extremists from across various political spectra. (Even the Tamil Tigers had an APPG before they were routed. So did Irish extremists and other ne’er do wells).
And this APPG has support from some wacky groups too. Meet the dodgy affiliates hiding in amongst the more established organisations:
Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, Animal Aid, Animal Defenders International, Born Free Foundation, Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, FOUR PAWS UK, Humane Society International-UK, Labour Animal Welfare Society, LionAid, Protecting African Lions, RSPCA, Voice4Lions, World Animal Protection
Whenever this APPG post their drivel on social media about big game hunting they are countered by the very experienced and knowledgeable Dr Amy Dickman and Professor Adam Hart. It doesn’t matter how much cash propagandists hand over to PR agencies to generate newspaper stories or how many MPs they point towards their trough – nonsense will be called out by the professionals via their social media accounts and you’ve got to love it.
Going back a decade there was no redressing the misquotes, hearsay, assumptions or fabrications from the animal rights brigade. Put simply, they had carte blanche in the press to make up what they wanted, unopposed. Folk who disagreed were left with one course of action, to write to the Press Complaints Commission but that’s yet another chocolate teapot quango and an absolute joke.
So how does Sir Roger Gale MP, Chair of this APPG, respond to the academics that know their stuff?
He appears in a documentary apparently exposing the ‘truth’ over Trophy Hunting:
Remember, Gale has form. He was also vehemently against the use of animals in circuses and appeared in a documentary stating he wanted circus animals banned. Did you also know he once wrote to someone complaining of his ideological stance on circuses – that he is wholly opposed to wild animals in circuses, and even if they were kept in circumstances resembling their natural environment and entirely humanely, he would still do everything in his power to get them banned. Just the kind of bigot you need to run such an APPG.
So, on to the documentary shown on the BBC on the 22nd May 1996. It was one of a series called “Here and Now”. Animal rights groups had broken into a circus compound at night and shone torches in the faces of sleeping lions. This of course terrified the lions, but this fear was of course portrayed as “circus misery”. (You should be getting used to the animal rights’ tendency for con-jobs now).
Circus folk were shocked as one lie after another was spouted in the documentary by activists who said they had watched the cages for months and the lions had not been let out for exercise. Then enter Roger Gale. He made his tuppence worth appearance as he no doubt will in the latest mockumentary on trophy hunting. He lends his support to the animal rights extremists’ illegal actions and states he thinks wild animals in circuses should be banned. (The BBC did offer Dicky Chipperfield an interview back then but seeing as they were willing to promote extremists entering his property and who caused his animals severe distress – and the fact they refused to show his comments unedited in which he could expose the activists’ lies – he rightly refused to be a part of the charade).
After the documentary was aired, circus folk quickly complained to the BBC only to be rebuked. The BBC sided with the extremists and their nasty behaviour. So the circus folk were forced to go to the Broadcasting Standards Commission. The hearing lasted three hours and their complaints were upheld.
The commission found all-round unfairness:
- The programme failed to show the animals’ exercise areas, instead suggesting the animals were continuously caged.
- On the matter of safety and the programme’s adverse conclusions – based on a brief shot of baler twine that held together interior partitions – the BSC ruled against the BBC.
- On whether or not the animals were mentally damaged: The circus folk had presented expert opinions that conflicted with the BBC programme’s allegations. It was decided evidence was clearly inadequate to base judgement on a few disconnected video shots.
- The programme relied exclusively on opinion drawn from one side of the controversy. A vet and Dr Kiley-Worthington had very differing views. The BBC failed to provide a fair and balanced treatment of a complex and emotive issue.
- The conclusion found the filming by animal rights activists on circus land without permission did infringe their privacy. The infringement of privacy was unwarranted.
- The commission therefore upheld both the unfairness and the privacy complaint.
The BBC had been party to propaganda. It had based a documentary on evidence that was either so shaky as to be unbelievable or fabricated. Roger Gale had been part of the stitch-up.
Was the BSC result a spectacular success then for the circus?
Well no. It took a whole year to restore justice via the BSC. Yet the BBC were allowed to get away with an apology of a few minutes – merely reporting their findings to the commission. And sadly, during that year of 1996 these same animal rights activists had an old bus, which they travelled from town to town in with painted slogans on the side such as “Circus Madness”. They showed the same videos shown on the BBC – a sort of “as seen on the BBC” – to unsuspecting members of the public. And of course they collected buckets of money in donations. Roger Gale was in his local papers lending his support and saying he would visit the bus when it came to his home town.
So ignore Roger. He’s a waste of space. North Thanet and the Conservative Party should ditch the fool. Put him out to pasture. Don’t watch any of his nonsense on Trophy Hunting as it will be the same farcical rubbish and propaganda that the BBC put out on the circuses. And, just like with the circuses, if the heartfelt complaints from the African nations are true – and there is no reason to doubt them – folk will suffer, businesses and livelihoods will be destroyed and so will the natural environments of the animals we all care for without spouting propaganda or enjoying lunches from animal rights extremists.