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Gervase BS: Englands Biggest Stag Shot on Exmoor (132* d) RE: BS: Englands Biggest Stag Shot on Exmoor 30 Oct 10


A good article here, athough it might be too nuanced for some of the more rabid bunny-huggers to grasp.
For those who can't access the link, it's a piece by Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, and a hate figure to many on the Left.

He addresses first of all the question of whether or not the stag was actually shot - something which is open to debate, before turning to the outrage the publicity has spawned. On the initial claim, by a publicity-hungry Irish animal sentimentalist called Johhny Kingdom, who once imprisoned a three-legged deer in a pen, named it 'Bambi' and kept it as a pet, Moore writes; Whose interest, then, did it serve, apart from helping sales of Mr Austin's photographs and ratings for Mr Kingdom's programmes? The answer, I suggest, is the desire, deep in the puritan character, to get self-righteously angry about animals.

To quote selectively:
It is not wrong, in general, to kill a deer. They are wild animals with no natural predators in these islands. If they are not shot, they die of natural causes, most commonly of starvation. Their welfare is served by killing a percentage of them, because if they grow too numerous, their quality declines and they do too much damage to agriculture, forestry and habitat. If you do not kill a few, there will come a time when you will need to kill a lot.

And...
So you are left with the "How could you…?" line. "How could you be so cruel as to kill such a beautiful thing?" As someone who has shot stags quite often, I have sometimes felt sad about it, a feeling which tends to grow as one gets older. But it is not crueller to kill a stag, which is beautiful, than a rat, which isn't. This is a matter of human taste, not of kindness to animals...

Now I know Charles Moore is a 'toff' and therefore anything he says must - for many - be tosh, but as someone who lives in a rural area but who has worked in the media, I can see little to argue with there.


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