Stoats & Weasels


On 16th June, the political correspondent of that deeply respected British repository of truth and good taste that is the Mirror reported, in its usual ignorant, countryside hate-mongering way, on the House of Lords leg of the passage of the disingenuous Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill.  

This bill should be of great interest to the excellent and refined readers of Country Squire because it is presently, carefully and deceptively aimed only at trophy hunting in foreign countries, not in the UK. Now think “thin end” and “wedge” – if you think your guns/hunting/way of life are safe, you must believe in fairies. Like a Westminster version of the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video, these deranged and mindless Eco-zombies will be coming after you next.

Why?  Because this bill is simply a La-La campaign that does not rely – even remotely – on any kind of scientific or physical evidence. According to the Mirror, Tory peer Baroness Fookes, who is sponsoring the bill whilst hypocritically draped in dead stoats, said:

Those watching the wonderful wildlife films … will wonder why anyone should actually want to bring back trophies of slaughtered animals.

Her actually wearing trophies of slaughtered animals kind of Fookes up that statement good and proper, doesn’t it? 

A law based on her watching wildlife films? As Janet Street Porter once observed, “It’s about time we recognised that nature documentary makers regularly deceive us” or perhaps The Atlantic, “The nature you see in documentaries is beautiful and false” or even the Mail, “Nature documentaries… come under fire for presenting animals’ lives as ‘soap operas’ and not reality”. So there you have it – hypocrisy, deceit, falsity and unreality – what great foundations for a UK law, Baroness.

Some voices were expected – Labour Peer, Baroness Hayman of Ullock, for example, who wears fake ermine and long ago actually worked for a living (in a bookshop and social services, no less) giving her deep understanding of trophy hunting industry economics. She apparently said: “I don’t believe trophy hunting is helping to save our planet”, and belief is the new truth, mes braves. Mind you, she is a vegetarian, so obviously believes in world peas, too. Don’t tell the poor soul that her woke fur is made of fine plastic filaments that break off in sunlight, poisoning us all and the planet’s oceans. 

Lord, save Africa’s wildlife and people from these holy cardboard eaters.

Helpfully, the Mirror then reminded us that, “Ahead of the hearing, 103 wildlife conservation experts, scientists, government officials and community leaders from across Africa wrote an open letter urging peers to back the ban”.

That settles it, then. Experts. This letter was, in reality, a petri-dish of 103 politicians, tin shakers and grant-suckers, organised by HSUS, the global eco-chugger (income $160 million annually) that once paid out part of a $17 million settlement against a racketeering charge in the USA. HSUS reportedly puts more into its pension plan and Caribbean hedge funds than it gives to pet shelters – just the sort of a moral bastion on which to base UK law, then.

The HSUS letter’s “conservation experts” included more than a few dependants who suckle from that same copious HSUS bosom and a number heralded from Kenya – a country that so wisely banned trophy hunting thirty years ago and has since lost more than 70% of its wildlife.

The signatories included lots of rent-a-gob bunny-huggers, peaceniks and animal rights zealots. Pride of place went to ex-President Ian Khama of Botswana – who prohibited hunting in his country without a democratic kgotla mandate from his people and is now in exile with an arrest warrant waiting for him at home, trying his best to embarrass his successor, President Masisi. Yet another weasel to hang around the neck of the noble Lords.

Also included, of course, is colourful Mr Boniface Mpario, the well known Maasai leader who, the last time I looked, was fronting the Mirror Campaign whilst apparently leading his tribe and herding his cattle across the endless savannahs from his modest house in Hampshire.  He is also a photogenic token African voice for the financially secretive Ban Trophy Hunting (income unknown) a company belonging to that demonstrable shyster and weasel extraordinaire, Eduardo Gonçalves, and whose secret accounts were overdue as recently as 17th June. Perhaps the company will suddenly dissolve before it has to produce details, a bit like its predecessor, Gonçalves’ similarly named Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd (also income unknown). Tick tock, Eduardo.    

Meanwhile the Mirror continued, “… the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting’s acting chief executive Adam Cruise…”   It appears that CBTH has a new ACE, one Adam Cruise.  What happened to eco-Fagin Gonçalves?  Did he die from a hernia, carrying all his ill-gotten public donations to the bank? Did he drown in his own lake of Eco-slurry? Will the CBTH be telling the public the truth from now on?

I think not.

CBTH’s new knight in brown armour is the very same Dr Adam Cruise (PhD in philosophy, of course) who thinks animals, vegetables and minerals are not for the benefit of humans. Lord knows what he lives on – perhaps bile.  He wrote a notorious “scientific report” in 2022 for the Swiss animal rights Foundation Franz Weber (income – £7 million) and found that (unsurprisingly) elephant hunting in Botswana was v.v.v. bad for the whole universe – probably the one inside his head. It was immediately seized upon as Holy Writ by the worlds’ Eco-moonshine drinkers.

Dr Cruise has more neck than a diplodocus and more cheek than a hippo’s backside. His report “found” “that trophy hunting fails to provide tangible financial benefits to local communities”.  With impressive myopia, he also failed to mention the fact that although the vast global eco-industry sucks billions of dollars out of gullible animal lovers every year (and commissions his eco-fiction with some of it), almost none of those many billions actually end up in remote, rural Africa. 

Since a recent court ruling, let me say very carefully that Dr Cruise’s report was “at variance with the actualité”.  Don’t take my word for it – here is the nitty-gritty from wildlife-rich Botswana’s Dr Senyatso, Director of their Wildlife and National Parks, who had to say about the Cruise report:

…the 2022 elephant quota is 294. Considering that Botswana’s elephant population is estimated at 130 000, this clearly demonstrates that the number of elephants hunted will not have any significant effect on the country’s elephant population …Therefore reports such as the one by Dr Adam Cruise should be disregarded as they are part of a crusade against trophy hunting, and against empowerment of local communities to derive benefits from the resources found within their locality. There is no scientific basis nor backing for any of the allegations that have been made in the report including the financial figures that are mentioned. The author has not engaged any of the CBO Boards who would have provided the financial information required for such a study.

…We appreciate the interest of the media and private researchers in reporting on wildlife conservation and management in Botswana but such reporting should be factual and objective. The views of both photographic and hunting industries should be brought together for balanced reporting on the benefits of the two wildlife utilisation options.

…Lastly, we urge the authors of such publications to consult the Department of Wildlife and National Parks as the wildlife authority in the country to facilitate informed and factual reporting. (my emphases)

Trophy hunting has benefits but doesn’t actually affect the wild animal population? Cruise and the whole elephant outrage industry is nothing but a political campaign against the empowerment of actual (black) people?  You should rather ask the actual authorities who have successfully conserved their wildlife?  You should stick to actual, objective facts?  How quaint.  How very old-fashioned.

The Botswana Minister speaks wise words indeed, Dear Reader and he perfectly sums up the best advice I could find for our intoxicated law-makers. No wonder Parliament and DEFRA studiously ignore actual African authorities like him and dismiss Community Leaders who speak the truth. Our MPs (and the standards and privileges watchdogs charged with keeping them in line) are a disgrace, like this Bill, whose only connection with any wildlife is the kangaroo representing its court. 

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high-rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.