UK: Anglers demand legal killing of otters

Hunting and pollution drove otters to the brink of extinction in the 1970s, but now they are back.

Their widespread return to our waterways is one of few recent successes for Britain’s beleaguered wildlife. Yet instead of celebrating the return of this beautiful animal, extremist anglers have launched a petition to have its legal protections removed.

Incredibly, the petition calls for the complete removal of all legal protections currently enjoyed by the otter.

Otter Cruelty

The petition is only the latest salvo in a long running anti-otter campaign by anglers who complain that otters take ‘their’ fish from waterways or fish farms.

In March 2020, for example, Dorset fishery owner Stuart Jones was jailed for two months after trapping and shooting an otter in front of horrified holiday makers.
Jones killed the otter rather than pay for otter-proof fencing.

No Laughing Matter

Anti-otter sentiment is rife in angling circles. Particularly unpleasant are the Predation Action Group, a lobby organisation composed of anglers and fish farmers.

Their hypocrisy is astounding: they breed fish – for ‘sport’ or ‘food’ – in filthy, cruel and cramped conditions and then complain when otters are attracted to this over-abundance of natural prey.

The PAG’s own ‘report’ reveals the grim nature of their activities:

“These are intensive operations involving huge numbers of fish, farmed in a relatively small area, being kept in concrete tanks or earth ponds.”

As if this was not bad enough …PAG’s patron is ‘comedian’ Jim Davidson!!!

Not funny: PAG patron Jim Davidson

Sound familiar?

This situation is analogous with what happens on grouse moors or pheasant shoots. An artificially high number of animals are bred to be killed and any potential predators are then ruthlessly snared, poisoned or beaten to death.

It is a certainty that anglers are already killing otters – just as gamekeepers continue to kill birds of prey.

Their petition just shows they want to do it with impunity.

Direct Action Against ALL Bloodsports

None of this surprises the HSA which has always opposed shooting and fishing, as well as hunting with hounds.

These activities are inherently cruel and cause huge environmental damage along the way.

And I mean…Instead of killing defenseless animals, which are very popular in England, the anglers should buy their meat and fish from the supermarket – if it absolutely has to be meat.
Angling fish although they don’t need it to survive is a bloody sport, the otter needs it to survive, otherwise it will starve to death.

The Barbel Society Officers have recently launched a petition on the government website calling for the removal of the current legal protected status of otters.
This follows on from their 2018 petition calling for ‘non-lethal controls’ which was comprehensively rejected by the government.

The petition organisers should be honest. Their petition is a doomed call to the government to remove legal protection for otters so that they can be culled- what the hunters have been doing illegally up to now anyway.

That’s what the organisers have been calling for on social media and elsewhere and that’s exactly how it’s already being perceived by the public.
That means: what they will achieve is that hundreds of thousands of people will stand against this bloody sport.

We are confident that the government will refuse the legal murder of otters this time even more violently than the last one

My best regards to all, Venus

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