BY STEVE GRANT
The League Against Cruel Sports has had very little – well, nothing – to boast about over recent months but its coffers have to be filled. How else will they pay those hefty salaries for the top men?
So, as usual, it’s stepped up its propaganda war against dog fighting, badger baiting and illegal coursing. Oops, silly me. Of course they haven’t – there’s no money in it! So, they continue to flog the dead horse of trail hunting….
Their latest hyberbole – or should that be hyper-bollocks – involved a press release titled New report into fox hunting reveals hundreds of cases (note the use of ‘fox hunting’ instead of the less emotive trail hunting). A great headline for those who don’t ask questions.
The report seemed to be authored by a chap called Mark Collings, who is apparently the League’s ‘head of field operations’. My guess is that he hasn’t got his fat arse off his chair in leafy Godalming in many moons.
According to this ‘report’, the League, between October 2020 and March 2021, recorded more than 200 reports of ‘fox hunting’. Naturally, there is no independent verification of this. You just have to take the League’s – a charity don’t forget – word on it.
You can simply phone up the charity’s Animal Crimewatch hotline and make it up. No one will ever know.
Collings even has the audacity to admit that ‘not all of these reports concerned illegal hunting’ – something that the voracious needs of the mainstream media (MSM) won’t care about. Clickbait headlines help numbers which impress advertisers.
Some 63 of those reports were simply reports that hunting was taking place. The League implies something illegal was taking place but there’s no evidence to back it up. It’s simply fake news.
There were also 51 reports of hunting ‘meets’. I won’t even bother commenting on such crap.
Finally, Collings admits there were just 11 reports of illegal hunting this season. Heroically, he admits: “This may mean the hunters were seen chasing a fox, or the hounds were out of control.”
Sadly, the League’s patsies in the MSM won’t care. It will just be spewed out as gospel.
Naturally, it’s not the only recent example of hyper-bollocks by the League. Earlier this month it claimed ‘campaigners’ had taken to the streets of Cambridge to call on the National Trust to stop licensing trail hunting on its land.
Despite claiming the ‘overwhelming majority of the public’ supported it, the ‘charity’ produced very little evidence apart from a few photos of very young children posing next to a volunteer in a fox outfit. Which tiny kid wouldn’t? It’s hardly a serious gesture of support.
Yet the League’s head of campaigns is happy to lie publicly about this ‘campaign’ claiming the National Trust is licensing ‘fox hunting’. A blatant lie, which one would hope the National Trust would refute and complain to the Charity Commission about.
Laughably, the League also this month claimed ‘campaigners took to the streets’ of Peterborough calling for the cancellation of the Festival of Hunting which, according to them celebrates ‘the brutal world of fox hunting’, a claim that is again far from the actual truth.
Again, the ‘campaigners’ seemed to be a couple of young kids posing next to a furry mascot. One assumes these people have been DBS checked…
Obviously, Peterborough City Council are sympathetic to the League, after it all it banned hunting on its car parks. An outstandingly ridiculous piece of local legislation. Not just a clanger but a piece of legislation as effective as banning legal trail hunting on the planet of the Clangers.
As I write I’ve no idea whether the city council could refuse a licence for the festival, which is held on privately-owned ground. But, as we recover from the COVID crisis would any council be stupid enough to prevent tens of thousands of pounds from entering the local economy. If they don’t want it, there will be plenty others who will.
I look forward to any Peterborough City council debate on the issue.
As most of its claims seem fake, the League itself can’t agree on its claims. Nick Weston, its head of campaigns, said on July 2 there were ‘300 separate eye-witness reports of suspected illegal hunting’ in 2020. A week later, Emily Lawrence, the League’s confused regional campaign manager, claimed there were ‘485 separate eye-witness reports of suspected illegal fox hunting, plus 300 reports relating to illegal cub hunting’ in 2020.
So, who is telling the truth? Someone isn’t.
Ms Lawrence certainly seems guilty of exaggeration. In a blog she claimed the Peterborough demo had ‘plenty of support and you can read about it in the Peterborough Telegraph. I read it. It said no such thing, It featured the ubiquitous pic of a toddler with the fox mascot and a quote from Weston. Absolutely no independent verification at all.
I could go on, especially about recent, again unverified blogs about pheasant pens on Exmoor, but the evidence of fake claims is already plain to see. From a ‘charity’.