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For those of you in the UK, Brian May has launched a campaign to do whatever necessary to defeat those who would reinstitute fox hunting with dogs. He has titled it the Save Me Campaign and invites you to join him at

He has also been trying to find some way of preventing the destruction of badgers in Wales due to the spread of Bovine TB. If anyone is interested in following these, check in at:

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Comment by Heike on April 16, 2010 at 7:17
Thank you, Cacatua. I don't live in Britain but close enough to feel concerned... I never understood the appeal of letting dogs hunt down a fox for you but apparently there are many who do...
Comment by Cacatua on April 16, 2010 at 14:33
Things like hunting foxes or other animals considered to be varmints arose out of necessity, back in history I suppose, but then hunting them became a social event or a sport. Apparently they managed to annihilate the entire fox population on the Isle of Wight, and then imported foxes and began raising them so they could turn them loose and still have fun hunting them down.

Live pigeon shooting was another "sport" where many pigeons were gathered via paying locals to capture them and bring them in, or raising them so that "sportsmen" could bring come to a gathering and shoot them. The pigeons were put under boxes, or in traps, that had been placed in various locations, and then each one was tripped to suddenly release the pigeon, I think that some even had a way of shooting a blast of air at the bird when the "trap" was opened in order to startle the bird and make sure it burst out of there. I think this is where the term "trap shooting"came from. It became clay pigeon shooting when they went to hurling small, round "clay pigeons" like frisbees out of various locations for the shooters. I know there had been a revival of live pigeon shoots back I suppose 15-20 years ago because I was asked to engrave a shotgun, with this theme, assumedly to be used for it. But I refused to do it. I haven't checked into it, so I don't know if it is allowed anywhere at present or not.
Comment by Cacatua on April 16, 2010 at 16:28
I had to google "live pigeon shoots" and find out if these barbaric things still exist, and to my horror I found out that they are still doing this in Pennsylvania! There is a video of one, I will put an address here, but it nearly made me throw up, so consider yourself warned:

This video was put out there by SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness).

I don't know which was worse, the treatment of the poor birds or the fact that they have children collecting the shot birds, stomping, beating or yanking the heads off of the many birds who are yet alive!!

Then I went and sent an email to Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania to tell him what I thought. Apparently efforts on the part of people in PA to get this outlawed have been undermined by support from the National Rifle Association, aka the lunatic fringe, in my opinion - and I used to be involved with firearms!
Comment by Corwen ap Broch on April 16, 2010 at 22:07
Thats absolutely awful, though not far off the pheasant shoots that are a big part of the rural economy here. The pheasants are reared in their millions (yes millions) and then driven from woodlands by beaters, to ensure they fly right over the guns. Pheasants are quite big, incredibly stupid, fly low, slowly and in a straight line and are shot at with shotguns with tiny birding shot which spreads out into a great cone in the air so even businessmen and inbred aristocrats can hit them. Pheasants are a problem because many escape and eat smaller wildlife especially lizards. I do like eating them though.

Sadly I just heard that a judicial review to prevent the slaughter of badgers in Wales has failed. It is madness when experimental culls have shown that culling has no effect and may even spread TB as surviving animals move away to new areas. I know a lot of people will be attempting to sabotage and obstruct the culls, good luck to them.
Comment by Cacatua on April 16, 2010 at 23:21
Yeah, I saw that it failed too, though they will appeal. I think one can only keep chipping away at practices like these. I hope Brian doesn't lose heart, because I think people like him can raise the profile of these events so that more people become aware of what is going on. Otherwise they just play out on a relatively smaller stage. That is assuming that those more people who find out are sympathetic to stopping it!

Paul McCartney is another one who is involved to some extent in the animal rights movement, especially against the abuse of farm animals. Brian has expressed interest in getting involved in that too, so perhaps he and Paul can team up?
Comment by Cacatua on April 17, 2010 at 1:20
I meant to add that we also have pheasants here, though they are not hunted the way that you spoke of. Here the hunters walk through grassy areas and along ditches, and the birds either flush from nearly under foot or just ahead of you somewhere. Some hunters have dogs trained to flush or point and retireve, but not most.

I agree that pheasants probably aren't the brightest birds, mentally, but the roosters are certainly brightly colored. They took a real hit the last year or two here because it was so wet during their nesting season.

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