Where to start?
There’s a lot of tricky questions that come across my desk at the League, but where to start in summarising the deluge of positive media stories hitting the headlines at the moment is one I have to think hard about. How about the two centre fold articles on Trophy Hunting in the Daily Mirror and Daily Express that were on my desk first thing this morning? There’s nothing like reading League stories in the news; ones that are alerting millions of people in this country to what many will find utterly shocking – that Stags are being hunted by dogs and people on horses in England in 2018. This is not the dark ages – it is hard to think of any decent reason why this is necessary – and indeed that is what the people on the other side of the argument also struggle to do, as you will see by clicking on this recent documentary aired on the BBC earlier this week.
For those of you that have already seen this programme, along with millions of others, I hope you have also seen the skill, expertise and complexity that goes into mounting an operation like this. We need intelligence, the investigators, the contacts in the media, and of course, to be able to combine all of that in a way that actually captures the story and allows journalists to use it and to inform the public. For those that are found to be acting illegally, this also requires capturing the evidence – including the intent to break the law - and getting the case in front of the courts. This is what the League is about, investigating wrong doing, educating the public on what is going on and protecting the animals that are being killed unnecessarily, and in many cases illegally, in the name of ‘sport’. Our work is aimed at preserving our wildlife, so that everyone can enjoy it instead of just a few killing it. Surely, almost everyone could agree on that? But of course they do not.
The League is at the very sharp end of animal welfare. Because of that, we attract enemies; even those previously on our side. I wanted to commend my outstanding staff for that they are doing. You will see the physical courage it takes to do this in the video, but it also takes morale courage. Courage that sees people ‘do the right thing’, as well as then having the skill and judgement ‘to do things right’. We have those people, including in our new board of trustees, our army of loyal supporters and we are now seeing that more and more in our operational output. To make that film and to get those articles in the newspapers, teamwork and determination from our investigator and media teams; as well as the fundraisers that support them and all the back-office teams that provide the foundations that allow us to operate in the most effective way possible. I look forward to reading more successes, and of course, the day when animals are no longer persecuted in this way.