Anglers Target Otters

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Hunt saboteurs disrupt the Northern Counties Otterhounds, 1970s.

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.

Hunt saboteurs disrupt the Northern Counties Otterhounds, 1970s.
Hunt saboteurs disrupt the Northern Counties Otterhounds, 1970s.

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.

The otter shot by Jones.
The otter shot by Jones.

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
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.

Sickening scenes at UK fish farm ©Viva
Sickening scenes at UK fish farm ©Viva

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.

Please join the only organisation that promotes direct action against ALL bloodsports.

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