Animal Aid

RUDDY DUCKS UNDER FIRE AGAIN

Posted 3 February 1998

35 countries belonging to Europe's Bern Convention have told the UK government to go ahead with a cull of 4,000 North American ruddy ducks in the UK - 'without further delay'.

The Convention's stated objective is to conserve European wildlife and habitats. As reported in elsewhere, the proposed killing was cancelled last April, following a series of protests led by Animal Aid. We said then that the cull plan was immoral, pointless and unworkable.

Following the new announcement, we appealed to groups throughout Europe to endorse our campaign to stop the slaughter plans being re-introduced. Campaigners from Cyprus, France, Germany, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland and Spain have already come forward to support us. We also expressed our firm opposition to the cull to the Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, and we will be presenting our case at the next meeting of the House of Commons All Party Animal Welfare Group.

Mr Meacher has told Animal Aid that,

'I understand the concerns you have raised about the control of ruddy ducks in this country. If a cull is really needed, the reasons for the cull need to be defended more robustly and it is accepted that it should be carried out without unnecessary cruelty.'

We can take heart from this statement. A final decision has yet to be made, and Mr. Meacher is clearly not fully convinced by the pro-cull lobby.

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