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Here’s another reason we need to vote in the PCC elections on 2nd May

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place on 2 May, on the same day as people turn out to vote in the local elections. In North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, the PCC responsibilities are being taken over by the new mayors. If you live in Yorkshire, this is your chance to vote for a […]

VICTORY! Wild Justice proves that trigger-happy Tories acted unlawfully

Campaign group Wild Justice has announced the fantastic news that it has won a legal challenge against the government. The group took action after it found out that Defra had approved gamebird licences that Wild Justice knew were unlawful. Land owners who want to release pheasants and partridges near a Special Protected Area (SPA) must […]

Industrial scale of pheasant shooting revealed

Two pheasants flying

The industrial scale of rearing pheasants for the shooting industry has been uncovered by Who Owns England’s Guy Shrubsole in a series of FOI requests on the poultry registry made to APHA (the Animal and Plant Health Agency). Every year the shooting industry releases around 40 million Common Pheasants and 10 million Red-legged Partridges for […]

Stage 2 of Scotland’s Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill brings snare ban closer

Holyrood’s Rural Affairs and Islands Committee met on 7 February to discuss amendments to Scotland’s Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill. The Bill is at stage 2, and the committee voted on an amendment, put forward by MSP Gillian Martin, which will make snare use illegal. Seven MSPs voted for the amendment, with two voting against […]

Unelected Defra ministers won’t protect wildlife

Is our government fit to protect wildlife? We take a look at two men with key ministerial roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra): Richard Benyon (on the left in the image above) and Robbie Douglas-Miller (on the right). Defra has a number of tasks, perhaps the most important one being […]

The criminal justice system is failing wildlife

A new report once more highlights how Britain’s criminal justice system is failing animals, allowing people to hurt or kill wildlife with impunity. The report, compiled by Wildlife and Countryside Link, and containing information from different animal welfare charities, makes for damning reading. It shows that convictions in 2022 dropped by more than 40%, despite […]

Damning WhatsApp messages show how Tory MPs looked after their gun-wielding friends

Michael Gove Covid Inquiry

The Covid Inquiry has been telling of how Britain’s most influential looked after their friends during the pandemic. And now more revelations have uncovered how politicians lobbied hard to ensure that hunting and shooting were exempted from Covid restrictions. Protect the Wild recently reported on comments made by former deputy cabinet secretary Helena MacNamara. She […]

Devon: Right to Roam shows how pheasant shoots abuse environment

Dead pheasant

Landowners and gamekeepers like to boast that they are instrumental in conserving England’s wildlife; that they are the true custodians of the land. But shocking photos, taken by a local Right to Roam group, show the havoc wreaked on land by pheasant shoots. South Devon Right to Roam took a walk on the Duke of […]

Scotland: Shooting industry fails to bully politicians over snares

It’s welcome news that the Scottish government has announced that it will push ahead with a change in the law that would fully ban snares. As we previously reported, the shooting industry had been lobbying hard so that it could continue using the torture devices. Gamekeepers and landowners had been trying to influence legislation in […]

Covid-19 Inquiry: Government put more thought into hunting and shooting than supporting women

This week’s Covid Inquiry has highlighted the Tory government’s incompetence during the Covid pandemic. Former deputy cabinet secretary Helena MacNamara gave a witness statement arguing that Johnson and his “macho” and “toxic” team gave more thought to hunting and shooting interests than they did women’s issues. MacNamara’s 97-page statement, criticising the governing of the pandemic, […]

Shooting industry fails to criminalise Chris Packham

chris packham goshawk chicks

Hampshire Police has said that it won’t press charges against Chris Packham. The wildlife presenter’s supposed crime? Sniffing a goshawk chick on the BBC’s The One Show. Packham appeared on the programme back in August with three ringed chicks in the New Forest. He sniffed one to detect their “characteristic scent or perfume”. An individual […]

UK FIRST: Wales snare ban comes into force today

The Wales snare ban has finally come into force today, on 17 October 2023. The country is the first in the UK to implement such a ban. Scotland, too, is likely to be following in Wales’ footsteps. Meanwhile, England lags far behind both countries when it comes to the welfare of our wildlife. The Welsh […]

Snares: Scottish government must not be hoodwinked by gamekeepers

As the Scottish government considers a ban on the use of snares, land owners and gamekeepers have been making their pro-snare, pro-cruelty voices loudly heard. Recognising what an irretrievably appalling image snares have, they’re trying to rebrand the devices by giving them a friendlier name: humane cable restraints. A government consultation, asking the public for […]

The grouse shooting industry’s ‘illusion of truth’

Hen Harrier

“141 hen harrier chicks fledge as encouraging population growth recorded” (Natural England). “Record high for Hen harrier population in England” (Moorland Association). “Another record year for hen harriers as 141 chicks fledge in England” (BASC). “Population of Hen Harrier in England experiences boom” (Hexham Courant). “Hen harrier chick numbers grow for seventh year in a […]

The Royals must be called out for their obsession with wildlife slaughter

The Royal Family is probably the most well-known family in the world. Its members’ daily lives are scrutinised by the mainstream media, their hobbies photographed for the front page. Through their choices, the Windsors have huge power to influence the public. The royals, with all their elite privilege, have always been keen hunters. Queen Victoria […]

Men plead guilty to poaching grouse in North Yorkshire

Three men pleaded guilty in Teesside Magistrates Court on 7 August 2023, charged with a number of poaching offences. The men were searched by police on moorland near Lockwood Beck in the North York Moors National Park on 29 January 2023 after a tip-off. Cleveland Police said: “Officers immediately attended the area and detained the […]

The Welsh government could be subsidising the largest pheasant-rearing farm in the UK

Research by Animal Aid has found that the Welsh government may have subsidised the UK’s biggest pheasant-rearing farm. The pheasants are bred to be shot for ‘sport’. Bettws Hall game farm raises raises more than 1.7 million pheasant and partridge chicks a year, which it sells to shooting estates to be killed for ‘fun’. On […]

An eleven-year-old boy suffers life-changing injuries during a shoot

On 31 August an eleven-year-old boy was shot in a woodland in East Sussex. His life-changing injuries are a stark reminder of how dangerous the shooting industry can be. Sky News reported that: “During the incident, the boy suffered a serious, potentially life-changing wound to his hip and was airlifted to hospital in London, according […]

Punching a horse is atrocious, but so is murdering fox cubs

Most people reading Protect the Wild already know this, but it bears being said. The media circus around Sarah Moulds highlights Britain’s broken relationship with other animals. When Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs filmed Moulds attacking a horse in November 2021, the footage went far and wide. Not only across anti-hunting social media but across the headlines […]

Scottish Water looks set to ban grouse shooting on their land

The gory blood sport of grouse shooting is well underway in the UK. The rich are whipping out their rifles in delight, eager to murder defenceless birds. But it’s one blow after another for grouse shooters in Scotland, as Scottish Water has stated that it will issue no new leases on its estate. The company […]

Scottish Greens describe grouse shooting as ‘festival of violence’

The barbaric grouse shooting season began on 12 August, the ‘Inglorious 12th’. The Scottish Green Party has sent a clear message to gamekeepers and wealthy shooters that the blood sport is not welcome in Scotland. The Scottish Greens’ rural affairs minister, Ariane Burgess MSP, didn’t mince her words when she said: “There is nothing glorious […]

GOOD NEWS: Wales bans snares

Wales rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths announes the Agriculture Bill including a ban on snares has passed

Wales has banned snares. It is the first country in the UK to do so, and campaigners say the decision puts pressure on the rest of the Britain to follow suit. The Welsh Senedd unanimously agreed to pass the Agriculture (Wales) Bill on 27 June. The broad bill covers a range of measures related to […]

Cat found nearly ‘cut in two’ after a snare wrapped around his stomach

The injury caused by a snare to Harry the cat

When Harry arrived back at his home after five days, his return should have delighted Marion Brownlie. Instead, she was shocked. Harry, a farm cat living with Brownlie, had a deep welt across his abdomen. And it was the result of a snare. Brownlie lives in St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire, on Scotland’s eastern coast. Harry had […]

Natural England’s Tony Juniper: overseeing the devastation of England’s biodiversity

Tony Juniper / badger

The chair of Natural England (the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England) has hypocritically argued that England “is going to have to work much harder” if it wants to meet biodiversity targets. In his role, Tony Juniper is actively responsible for the loss of biodiversity. The Tories’ biodiversity targets have already been called […]

The Welsh Senedd has just approved a ban on snares without amendments

Snares

The Welsh Senedd has held its third stage reading of the Agriculture Bill. This proposed legislation, amongst other things, contains a section on the use of snares. And despite attempts to water down restrictions, the ban has continued unabated. On 16 May, Wales’s Economy, Trade, and Rural Affairs Committee held the Stage 3 reading of […]

Paltry punishment for wealthy company that deliberately burnt moor

burning grouse moor UK

A company worth almost £20 million has pleaded guilty after it deliberately burnt swathes of moorland in the Peak District. Dunlin Ltd, which owns Midhope Moors, didn’t have a licence to set fire to the land but was fined just a paltry £2,645. Dunlin’s land agents, JM Osbourne Rural and Sporting, had initially applied for […]

Thanks to the shooting industry, your dog’s food might cause lead posioning

Dead pheasants hung from a railing

A new study into lead shot has confirmed what we already know – it’s creating toxicity in foods that reach supermarket shelves. But this study shows that it has affected dog food too. On 3 May, environmental research journal Ambio published a study into the levels of lead found in commercial dog food. Headed up […]

Avian Flu forces lockdown of largest pheasant rearing farm in UK

Avian Flu protection zones have been imposed around a massive pheasant and partridge breeding farm in north Powys. The family-owned Bettws Hall Game Farm, near Bettws Cedewain, which describes itself as ‘a market leader in the production of pheasant and partridge chicks and poults in the UK‘, says it raises more than 1.7m pheasant and […]

Family cat found dead in garden, a snare around his neck

Tigger the cat, who was found dead in a neighbour's garden with a snare around his neck

Tigger, a domestic cat, died after a snare caught him around the neck. He was found in his family’s neighbour’s garden. But the RSPCA believe he actually died elsewhere. Tigger’s body was found on 11 April in Netherhall, on the outskirts of Leicester. A snare had pulled tight around his neck. However, Leicestershire Live reported […]

Time for shooting and hunting to acknowledge the truth about ‘pests’

An article in The Guardian this week headlined, “Lichens, slime moulds and wasps: RHS lists top beneficial wildlife for garden” should be required reading for the shooting and hunting industries. Written by Helena Horton, it comes thirteen months after the same journalist wrote a Guardian article with the headline “‘Planet friendly’: RHS to no longer […]

Natural Resources Wales and one-sided ‘compromise’

As Protect the Wild’s Glen Black outlined in a March 31st news post, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is asking the public for its thoughts on new regulations designed to licence the release of pheasants and partridges by the shooting industry. Glen wrote that we need to ‘keep our eyes on the prize’ and that ‘those […]

Chris Packham’s fundraiser highlights how wildlife killers try to operate in secret

Chris Packham speaking at Hen Harrier Day 2016

Chris Packham is taking legal action against hunting and shooting industry media platform Fieldsports Channel. And you can donate to help him pursue the case in the courts. Unknown persons have targetted Chris Packham in recent years with a series of unsavoury acts. Someone strung dead crows up on his gate, for example, just months […]

Wales is holding a public consultation on licensing parts of the shooting industry

Red-legged partridge pokes their head out of long grass

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is asking the public for its thoughts on new regulation for releasing pheasants, partridges and other ‘non-native’ birds killed by the shooting industry. At present, there are regulations around the release of birds inside Wales’ sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs). However, beyond those areas, there is almost no regulatory oversight. […]

Join protests against a shooting estate where snares have trapped dogs

National Anti-Snaring Campaign (NASC) is launching a series of protests to highlight the ubiquity of snaring on a West Sussex shooting estate. NASC announced that it is planning to hold a series of protests at Arundel Castle, West Sussex, beginning on 1 April. The group will hold further protests on 7, 15, 22 and 28 […]

Snared badger disappears leaving only pool of blood

Badger foraging in grass. Badgers are regularly targetted and caught by snares.

Essex Police are investigating after blood was found by a snare. A member of the public reported finding a badger trapped in the device. But by the time police arrived, the creature had gone. As local paper the Daily Gazette reported, the incident occurred on 25 February and involved a dog-walker finding a badger struggling […]

National Trust bans grouse shooting from a Peak District estate

Grouse sitting on frosty grass

The National Trust has announced it’s banning grouse shooting from 1,600 acres of its land in the Peak District. And it comes after the charity voiced concerns over the shooting industry’s “management techniques”. On 3 March, Sheffield paper The Star reported that the National Trust had chosen not to renew its relationship with the shooting […]

Woodcock petition debate: through the looking glass with the shooting lobby

On the 27th of February, Parliament debated petition 619615 ‘Limit the shooting season of Woodcock‘, which was launched by Wild Justice and signed by 107, 916 members of the public. The petition asked that the (so-called) shooting season for Woodcock, a species in serious decline here, should be moved back from 01 October (it starts […]

New review shows pheasants are still riddled with lead despite industry promises

A new study reveals that the shooting industry has done almost nothing to reduce lead in shotgun pellets. The finding comes half-way through an industry pledge to voluntarily reduce lead by 2025. The Conservation Evidence Journal published a review on 27 February led by Rhys Green of the Environmental Research Institute and Cambridge University. The […]

Gamekeepers burn moors above Sheffield

Avian Flu, declining biodiversity, and growing awareness of animal sentience, be damned. Warnings about the impacts of air pollution and microscopic smoke particulates on lung health and chronic respiratory problems, be damned. Climate change, be damned. Opportunities for local residents to enjoy the first blue skies and the first fresh air of the coming spring, […]

York: Fox fatally injured in illegal snare

The RSPCA is appealing for information following the discovery of a fox caught in a snare in York. And it’s a grim reminder that these “awful” devices are everywhere. A number of news reports said the young fox was discovered in a hedgerow near Rye Walk, in the north-west of the city. Following his discovery, […]

BREAKING: Wales one step closer to ban on snare use

Snare found at Hilborough Estate

The Welsh Senedd just announced it is carrying forwards a plan to prohibit the use of snares. On 27 January, the Welsh Senedd’s Economic, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee published its Stage 1 Report on its upcoming Agricultural Bill. The 116-page document covers many subjects related to the future of agricultural legislation in the nation. […]

DARTMOOR: camping ban and pheasant shooting

Dartmoor protest

On Saturday 21 January, Protect the Wild joined more than 3,000 people marching in protest on Dartmoor after a pheasant-shooting millionaire took action to prevent wild camping. Hedge fund manager Alexander Darwall, who owns the 4,000-acre Blachford Estate on Dartmoor, brought the case against Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA). The high court ruled in his […]

The Scottish government’s advisory group just came out strongly for a snare ban

Snare found at Hilborough Estate

Snares are cruel and indiscriminate, raising “significant welfare concerns”, an advisory board to the Scottish government has just announced. As a result, the board is recommending a blanket snare ban in Scotland. On 9 December, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC) published its position paper on using snares to trap wildlife. The evaluation was based […]

Red-listing and Red-listed species

red listed species

We mention ‘Red-listing’ a great deal in news posts and blogs on Protect the Wild, especially when it comes to issues around the shooting industry. But what is it? Biodiversity loss is at last being recognised as having an absolutely critical impact on the survival of all life on the planet. Without animals, plants, and […]

The government has finally given a date to debate a ban on snares

Free-running snare

Government ministers will debate a ban on snares following a successful petition. The news comes just weeks after the Welsh Assembly agreed to outlaw snares throughout Wales. The UK government recently announced that it will undertake a debate on criminalising free-running snares on 9 January 2023. It is the result of a petition on the […]

To survive we have to change the narrative

burning grouse moor UK

Headline statistics from the 2022 Biodiversity Conference (or COP15), which starts in Montreal today, are shocking. Over 1 million species are on the brink of extinction (an under-estimate as no-one knows how many species there actually are).  Species are dying off at a frequency rate 1,000 times higher than before the arrival of humans. Wildlife […]