2002 Proceedings

The Symposium: The Welfare of British Wild Mammals was convened by a group of veterinary surgeons known as Vets for Hunting on 1 November 2002 at The Butchers' Hall, Smithfield, London, EC1.

The Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

The intention was to broaden the debate away from the narrow politicised issue of hunting with dogs to the all-important issue of the welfare and management of British wild mammals. This issue has sadly been neglected to date by the Burns Inquiry, the Government (DEFRA) and such bodies as the National Trust and the RSPCA. Regrettably, all of these bodies declined to take part in the Symposium. It was also regrettable that invited politicians and the press largely stayed away from what turned out to be a stimulating and well balanced scientific meeting and discussion.

The Mink (Mustela vison)

It is hoped, therefore, that the publication now of most of the papers presented at the meeting will go some way towards informing the debate beyond the Symposium. Papers from Professor Roger Harris and Mr Peter Green are unfortunately not available but their comprehensive summaries have been included.

Red Deer stag (Cervus elaphus)

The organisers were pleased to have recruited as chairmen at the meeting two distinguished and independently minded veterinary academics, Professor Peter Biggs FRS, formerly Director of the Houghton Poultry Research Station and latterly Director of the Institute for Animal Health and Professor John Webster, Professor of Animal Husbandry at Bristol University.

They were also delighted to secure a list of speakers who were all demonstrably expert and well informed in their subjects.



Notes on the contributors

The need to manage some wildlife populations - Dr Archie McDiarmid & Dr Lewis Thomas

Assessing Cruelty, Suffering and Welfare with Reference to Deer Hunting - Dr Douglas Wise

The Physiological Response of Red Deer to Hunting - Conclusions from Two Studies Undertaken on Exmoor and the Quantock Hills - Professor Roger Harris & Dr Jeremy Naylor

The Stalking and Hunting of Red Deer - Peter Green MRCVS

Welfare of Wildlife Causalities - Richard Best MRCVS

What is it Like Not to be a Human? - Dr Ian Addison

Ethics and Welfare: the Case of Hunting - Professor Roger Scruton

Merits and Demerits of Different Culling Strategies - Dr Jonathan Reynolds

Merits and Demerits of Different Methods of Culling British Wild Mammals: a Veterinary Perspective - David Renny MRCVS

The Legal Situation - Charles Aldous QC


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