Are famers a law unto themselves?
At election time we are familiar with the countryside being littered by large posters favouring the Conservative Party. But do they really have any regard for parliament? Only when it suits them it seems. In 2004, a Birmingham JP threatened to quit his post 1) if the hunting ban became law. When the hunting ban was passed in parliament, many carried on with hunting with disregard for the law.
There was considerable opposition to the recent badger cull, and the government announced a delay.2)
Nevertheless it seems that some have started a badger cull anyway. It seems the arrogant farmers consider themselves above the law.
1. A Shropshire wildlife group says it has evidence badgers have been illegally shot and then dumped on the roadside to make it look like they were roadkill 3)
X-rays of the badgers showed fragments of cartridges in the animals’ bodies
2. There are reports of badgers being deliberately drowned in slurry, as police investigate cruelty. This is Gloucestershire 4)
“Some have even pumped slurry into setts effectively drowning the badgers in excrement. It is the most cruel and sick activity.
“There have been some people inciting this sort of behaviour online, suggesting ways in which to kill them and we are monitoring them.”
3. The Countryside Alliance in Cornwall is putting forward its candidate for the new PCC elections, but in its literature it mentions fly tipping, trespass, and agricultural theft, yet there is no mention of wildlife crime.
But why is wildlife crime not mentioned? This issue is of great importance to many rural people, and while they do not suffer financially, it can destroy the quality of rural life. People also feel insecure if wildlife crime, often at night, and by men with guns, is happening around them. Crimes that immediately come to mind are badger baiting and the illegal poisoning of birds of prey by shoot servants. And whatever the world of shooting says in public, poisoning is very easy to hide, and very difficult to successfully prosecute, and the crime is still widespread.
Clearly, for some the only laws which count
are the ones they buy into.