We (Save-Me) and a great many of our colleagues in Animal welfare work have joined forces to write a letter to the Guardian, following their excellent but terribly painful account of the new rise of the appalling ‘sport’ of badger baiting. It should appear in this morning’s edition (Wednesday). We hope that many other organisations will join our plea for justice in these matters, and we plan to make as much noise as we can, building a legitimate clamour for change in the way these terrible offences are dealt with.
Let us all work this year for justice – for all creatures.
Your article “Badger baiting has been illegal since 1835 so why is it making a comeback?” (January 3rd 2012) made horrific reading, exposing not only the unimaginable suffering of badgers illegally baited but also the extent of cruelty to many other species illegally pursued, tortured and killed by people using vicious dogs as status symbols.
The article has inspired us, the undersigned, to unite as representatives of the animal welfare community and as concerned, compassionate individuals to unanimously condemn this appalling criminality. We ask for increased vigilance from users of the countryside who may be in a position to catch these despicable criminals in action or as landowners to prevent their access. Cruelty to animals in this way is barbaric and the perpetrators must be brought to justice and feel the full force of the law for their illegal activities. There should be a zero tolerance policy by the authorities for those caught. It is already evident that more and more people are prepared to show courage by reporting sightings of suspected wildlife crime, gathering evidence and helping to prosecute those involved.
This inhumane and illegal activity must stop. The advice for anyone who suspects badger baiting or any crime against wildlife is taking place is as follows. Members of the public should always avoid putting themselves in danger. Where possible, details of location, vehicles involved (colour, make, registration number) should be obtained, plus descriptions of perpetrators and ideally, photographs. Then move quietly out of sight and earshot and ring 999 immediately to pass on the details, ask for immediate attendance by the Police and obtain an incident number.
We hope that many other organisations and caring individuals will unite with us in our campaign against cruelty in the countryside by e-mailing Badger Trust Admin <email@example.com> in order that their signature can be added to future publicity.
Save Me, Dr. Brian May, Founder
Badger Protection League, umbrella organisation representing other groups and celebrities
Badger Trust, David Williams, Chairman
Born Free Foundation, Virginia McKenna, Founder
Born Free Foundation, Will Travers, CEO
Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, Lorraine Platt, Co-founder
Hare Preservation Trust, John Rimmington, Press Officer
Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, Anne Brummer, Founder
Humane Society International/UK, Mark Jones, Executive Director
IASJ (animal protection think tank), Dr. Dan Lyons, CEO
International Fund for Animal Welfare, Robbie Marsland, Director
League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, CEO
Network for Animals, Andrew Plumbly, Executive Director
OneKind, Libby Anderson, Acting Chief Executive
RSPCA, David Bowles, Director of Communications
Secret World Wildlife Rescue, Pauline Kidner, Founder