Animal Aid

RUDDY DUCKS - Help stop the slaughter

Posted 1 March 2003
The Ruddy Justice T-shirt

Ruddy ducks are to be killed because some of them are allegedly mating with the white headed duck in Spain and producing a 'genetically impure' hybrid. To find out how you can help see below.

Those who run reactionary conservation bodies such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are not only deeply offended by the idea of genetic impurity, such 'hybridisation' makes it more difficult for them to compile the lists of birds seen through their binoculars. It is they who have pressed the government into this attempted genetic cleansing of nature.

The Ruddy Justice T-shirt cartoon - The caption on the t-shirt reads "Do you feel lucky? Punk!"

In a trial cull that ended in May last year and accounted for 2,651 ruddy ducks, 50 per cent of landowners who were approached refused to allow the killing gangs on to their land. The government is now considering passing a law to gain compulsory access. This is grotesque, obscene and absurd, and all very reminiscent of the foot and mouth fiasco.

The ruddy and white headed ducks are close genetic kin - which is why they are able to produce healthy offspring. Furthermore, white headed ducks have been brought to the point of extinction because they have been mercilessly hunted in Spain and their habitat destroyed. Mating with the robust ruddy duck is the white headed duck's means of survival. We should leave them to it and not compound our near-destruction of one species with the destruction of another.

According to the environment ministry's own data, previous trial 'culls' resulted in a sizeable proportion of ruddy ducks dying in protracted agony. Many were shot on their nests. Conservation should be about protecting habitat, not killing animals in the name of blood purity.

We urge the public to withdraw all support for the RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust until the two bodies change their position and urge the government to do so.

  • Write to the RSPB expressing your disgust at this mass slaughter of the ruddy ducks which they have orchestrated. Write to Graham Wynne, UK Head Quarters, The RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL. If you are an existing member of the RSPB and are considering leaving, or if you have made the pledge of a legacy to RSPB and are thinking of changing this, contact them and tell them why.

  • Write to Elliot Morley at DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) telling him that you are outraged by his decision to allow this massacre. DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

  • Write to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust who are actively supporting the cull and ask them to concentrate on positive campaign work rather than on the killing of wildfowl. Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Dursley, Glouchester, GL2 7BT.

  • Sign the petition against the cull online today and ask your friends, relatives and colleagues to sign it too.

  • Order your Ruddy Justice t-shirt from the online shop.

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