Inside Protect the Wild: why write news articles?

At Protect the Wild, we don’t just campaign to end the hunting and shooting industries. We also keep our supporters informed with news articles.

For the past two years, we have covered news on a range of topics, including the criminal acts of fox hunters; how the shooting industry is responsible for lethally poisoning birds of prey; and how the government is wiping out Britain’s badger population.

But why is writing news articles so important to us?

Quite simply, we believe that news is a vital tool in our fight to end wildlife cruelty. Knowledge is empowering.

If we are properly informed of the cruelty taking place – even if it breaks our hearts – we can take action to protect Britain’s wildlife.

Owners of grouse moors don’t want us to know about dead birds of prey, poisoned with bendiocarb by gamekeepers. Nor do they want us to witness the acres of moorland they have set fire to, transforming our peatland into scorched earth. They would rather we believed their narrative: that they are the country’s true conservationists, that without them – and them alone – the curlew, lapwing and plover would perish.

Wealthy land owners, who use their vast swathes of land for shooting birds such as pheasants – don’t want us to see the brutal reality of their ‘hobbies’. They keep the public out with PRIVATE PROPERTY signs, and then cause carnage, free from scrutiny – or so they think. These landowners don’t want us to see the dead pheasants they have left to rot, nor do they want us to see the traps they have set to murder corvids. And they certainly don’t want us to know about the millions of snares littering the countryside, killing foxes, badgers and family pets.

Fox hunters, too, rely on the public swallowing their lies. They are desperate to portray their blood sport as a harmless and intrinsic part of the ‘rural life’. They don’t want us to get wind of the small fox cub their hounds have just torn up. Nor do they want us to hear about the family cat their hounds just mauled to death. They dread news headlines, highlighting the danger they are putting the public in as their dogs cause havoc on roads and railway tracks.

Hunters despise those who capture their murders on camera, and they violently attack saboteurs and monitors for daring to challenge their illegal exploits. They no doubt hate Protect the Wild, too, for reporting about them.

They need to be held to account, and together we can do that. But only if we’re informed in the first place.

Building community and hope

Of course, another reason to report on wildlife news is that it gives us all hope. Not everything is doom and gloom: hunting packs amalgamate and fold every year; occasionally a fox hunter is forced to plead guilty in court; and legislation sometimes changes for the better! And it inspires us all when we hear about communities coming together to protect wildlife in their neighbourhoods.

In a world that only covers terrible news, it is essential that we all read inspirational stories. Without them, we will fall into despair.

Giving animals a voice

As for me, I have written news for Protect the Wild for the past two years. It is an absolute privilege to write stories about the UK’s wildlife, to give voices to the animals who can’t speak up for themselves because they don’t have the same language as us.

Our news also informs the public of hunt saboteurs and monitors on the ground. They are on the frontline, protecting our foxes, stags, hares and mink from hunters’ bloodlust which seems to know no bounds. It is essential to me that Protect the Wild highlights their hard work, and that we direct our readers to ways that they can support these activists.

Effective together

By following Protect the Wild’s news, you’ll continue to be informed of the campaigns that we think are currently vital. We’ll let you know how you can support these campaigns, wherever you are. We’ll tell you of the victories we’ve won along the way through all of us working together.

We are more effective when we are united. Together we can shut down the hunting and shooting industries. Together we can save our remaining badgers from being scapegoated and culled.

Our love for wildlife guides our work at Protect the Wild, driving everything we write and campaign about. We are very thankful to all our supporters and readers for standing by us. 2024 will be an exciting year – because we have strength in numbers.