Tuesday 27 October 2009

Because It’s Different When We Do It!

The ‘Indy’ is indulging in a spot of pre-pantomime season booing practice, centred on the villain A A Gill.

His crime? Hunting:
His hunting credentials include pheasant-seeking missions to Wiltshire with Jeremy Clarkson, and trigger-happy deliberations with the chef Marco Pierre White moments before they despatched a deer.
Oh noes!
But now AA Gill, the outspoken restaurant critic and self-appointed arbiter of British culinary standards, might have just taken a pop too far with a column revelling in the demise of his latest gunshot victim – an entirely inedible African baboon.
You mean, if he’d eaten it, it would have been perfectly ok with you?

And since when have apes and monkeys been ‘inedible’? If you meant ‘unpalatable to Western tastes’, then fine.

Never heard of bushmeat, ‘Indy’?
Writing in yesterday's Sunday Times Style Magazine, Gill described a trip to Tanzania where, driven by the urge to embody a "recreational primate killer", he shot the ape during a safari.

"I know perfectly well there is absolutely no excuse for this," he said. "Baboon isn't good to eat, unless you're a leopard. The feeble argument for cull and control is much the same as for foxes: a veil of naughty fun."
And fun, naughty or otherwise, is to be frowned on…
The comments, which to his critics will smack of Oscar Wilde's famous quotation about fox-hunters ("the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable"), have angered animal welfare charities, which yesterday brandished the act "utterly morally reprehensible".
To them. To others, not so much.

And it doesn’t prevent them from lying to advance their cause:
Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "There is no excuse for taking potshots at such endangered species."
Endangered species?

Hardly. The Hamadryas is, but that's hardly likely to have been the species Gill shot. More likely, this was a yellow (or olive) baboon. They are a known crop pest in Africa.
But a spokesman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare said the incident highlighted the growing perception of Africa's baboons as vermin or problem animals. "We are working to shift this perception and are completely opposed to the act of cold killing, which is especially rife among farmers in Africa," he added.
The act of hot killing is presumably ok?
Mr Batchelor went even further, saying: "Baboons might not be in the same league as endangered elephants but that's not the point. Even if the world was overrun with such animals, it is not for a journalist to make the call of culling them."
And why not? They seem to call for all other things that tickle their fancy or happen to coincide with their own prejudices, and I don’t see you attacking them.

I suppose it’s different when it’s your ox being gored baboon being shot.

Not that Gill is going to worry unduly, possessed as he is of quite a good sense of humour:
In a column in 2003, Gill wrote: "Somebody asked me what I was going to do in Scotland. Stalking, I said. 'Oh, how exciting. Who?' 'Who? No, I'm shooting.' 'Ooh, with a long lens? I suppose it's Balmoral. You journalists are real scum.' 'No, no, I'm stalking deer and shooting them with bullets. 'Oh God, not Bambi's mother? 'No, no, of course not – Bambi's absentee father.'"

And just because this happened perfectly legally in a land far, far away, don’t think the UK’s premier lobbying industry wanted to miss out on the hounding:
A spokesman for the RSPCA also condemned Gill's actions but said it could not act against him because the shooting took place beyond its UK jurisdiction.
Not because they’ve no proof any cruelty occurred, you note…

And would this be that same RSPCA who recently blotted its copybook with the slaughter of ten Alsatians by non-approved methods, for convenience’s sake?
The dogs, which had been kept indoors for several weeks and were said to be aggressive and in poor condition, were killed with a captive bolt gun of the kind used in abattoirs to stun livestock before slaughter. The use of captive bolt guns is deemed “inhumane” and “unacceptable” for the destruction of dogs by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

This incident has prompted a campaign against the RSPCA by various dog charities, both for their lack of re-homing effort and the method of destruction.
The charity says that it would have been impossible to rehome the dogs and there was no alternative to having them destroyed.But instead of being put down with a pain-free injection, they were caught with a “grab” pole — a noose at the end of a stick — before being dragged outside and shot in the head with the bolt gun, which fires a metal bar about three inches long into the animal’s brain. In an abattoir, stunning is followed either by bleeding or use of a “pithing” stick to destroy the brain, causing instant death.

According to the WSPA, use of the captive bolt gun to put down domestic animals is “unacceptable” because of the difficulty of ensuring a clean kill. It states that it is “not recommended for euthanasia, as other methods are more practicable and humane”.
So how does the RSPCA justify it?

Well, apparently, nothing is inhumane if you can get enough senior managers to agree with it:
An RSPCA spokesman said: “It was an absolutely extreme case. I have never heard of this method being used before but apparently eight inspectors, including some very senior and experienced, decided it was the best course of action.”
So, you can’t have any objection to the Facebook campaign against you, can you?

Since you’ve already established that the will of the majority rules….


woman on a raft said...

beyond its UK jurisdiction.

Why does the RSPCA think it has a 'jurisdiction'? They ain't the law. The legal right to hear a case and determine the law belongs to the court, not them.

All it has is a devolved capability to launch criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, equivalent to the DWP being able to bring cases of benefit fraud, or the RIPA powers of local authorities to bring cases, such as was tried against Mrinal Patel in Harrow.

Because of the growth of agencies who can bring criminal prosecutions it is important these days to check whether a rubbish prosecution is being put forward by the CPS or somebody else. After all, even a private individual can bring a criminal prosecution if they can back it up - but it will usually be taken over and discontinued by the CPS. If I do bring a criminal prosecution, it still doesn't mean I have or am "a jurisdiction" - I'm just a complainant or acting as the prosecutor.

I'm just waiting (hoping) for the CPS bringing a case against the RSPCA.

Ross said...

"he shot the ape during a safari. "

Should someone tell them that Baboons aren't apes?

Just like multiculturalism requires no knowledge of other cultures, animal rights activism requires no knowledge of animals.

Stan said...

Speaking as someone who is generally pro hunting and pro guns I have to say that I find Gill's comments appalling in suggesting that hunting an animal which can be a pest is nothing but a "veil for naughty fun".

Yes, hunting can be fun, but it is in no way "naughty" to protect ones livelihood and in most cases it is no veil either. It is necessary and, in many circumstances, preferable as a method of control than other means such as trapping.

It's people like Gill - a city boy by birth and upbringing - who give hunting a bad name. People like him are no friends of the countryside or rural communities and they'd be better off sticking to what they know - which in his case happens to be eating other peoples food (wow, what a skill!).

As someone who was brought up in a semi-rural community (now swallowed by the over development of Slough) I despise these townies who see the countryside as nothing more than their playground. They are as bad as the insufferable "environmentalists" who want to carpet our beautiful landscape in hordes of ugly monstrous wind farms.

Umbongo said...

"apparently eight inspectors, including some very senior and experienced, decided it was the best course of action."

But JuliaM there's a "consensus" here. The correctness of the RSPCA decision is therefore "settled". You should know better than to question the "experts" on animal cruelty.

Edwin Greenwood said...

"You mean, if he’d eaten it, it would have been perfectly ok with you? "

Now that opens up all sorts of interesting moral and legal considerations. The case of Charlene Downes comes to mind. Suppose I were to murder someone, then eat them. Or indeed chop them up and put them into pies.

Would the assuaging of hunger be a successful defence?

woman on a raft said...

Would the assuaging of hunger be a successful defence?

Me miss, me. The defence of necessity. Dudley and Stephens. No, it wouldn't, although the public were very sympathetic to the situation and were quite angry with the verdict, especially as it appeared that their attorney had been got at by the government who didn't want the defence to stand.

Seven hundred miles from St Helena i.e. one of the loneliest spots on earth, the Migonette was wrecked. Captain Dudley managed to get the three other crew members in to the lifeboat and kept them going for as long as he could, but they eventually resorted to killing the youngest crew member, Richard Parker, in order to be able to survive on him. They believed themselves to be covered by the Custom of the Sea which, in a seafaring age, was known to everyone.

As Neil Hanson* explains, the case coincided with a wave of Irish nationalism which 1884 had led to the first instances of duress offences where people not necessarily connected with the events found themselves threatened if they did not carry out a crime. The British government was anxious to remove the defence.

The defence of necessity still exists but in very specialized circumstances. The most recent one was the case of the Conjoined Twins "Jodie and Mary", where the court ruled that doctors carrying out a procedure which would inevitably lead to the death of one of the twins would not thereby be held liable for a criminal act.

Regarding Charlene Downes - the IPCC have recently reported on this case (15 October) and why the prosecution collapsed. Have sick-bag handy.

*Hanson, Neil [(1999). The Custom of the Sea: The Story that Changed British Law. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385601153.]

Edwin Greenwood said...

Fascinating reply and link, WOAR. Thank you. Though I doubt that the (alleged) killers of Charlene Downes would have been in a position to mount the defence of necessity.

WV = mudparph. No particular reason to quote it, except that it strikes me as a word in search of a meaning.

Fat Hen said...

Ahem... for once in their miserable existence, the RSPCA actually gets *something* right, so I don't see what the problem is...

The loop and bolt method is the best way here, a vet trying to inject a paranoid dog that hates people would only get bitten and the dogs would get stressed much more that way since it also takes considerably longer.

Also see here: http://www.grandin.com/humane/cap.bolt.tips.html

"A captive bolt stunning gun kills the animal and reduces it instantly unconscious without causing pain. A captive bolt gun has a steel bolt that is powered by either compressed air or a blank cartridge. The bolt is driven into the animal's brain. It has the same effect on the animal as a firearm with a live bullet. After the animal is shot the bolt retracts and is reset for the next animal. A captive bolt gun is safer than a firearm. "

Note that there is almost always body movement after brain death, and this is taken to be 'suffering' by the uninitiated. It's not, the animal itself is dead and the thrashing you see is a nerve reaction.

Also see this link: http://www.grandin.com/humane/insensibility.html for further info on this.

Temple Grandin is a world expert on human slaughter (she designed the blueprint for McDonalds' facilities) and her books on animal psychology are wonderful.

The problem in general is that people no longer keep livestock at home for their pot... a few chickens, quails and bunnies in the back garden would go a long way towards humane (and eco-friendly) guilt-free meat consumption and inject some much needed rationality and reality regarding life, death and genetics in general.


Von Spreuth. said...

Fat Hen said...
The loop and bolt method is the best way here,


What do you think they use on rampaging bvloody elephants? A kiddys fishing net and a hammer?

Never heard of dart guns?

OR you can do as we do here, shoot the bastard, whether it be dog, or wild boar, with your service pistol.

JuliaM said...

"Why does the RSPCA think it has a 'jurisdiction'? They ain't the law."

They'd like to be. Very much so.

"Should someone tell them that Baboons aren't apes?"

I nearly did, but a CiF'ers comment that the AA must stand for 'Ape Assassin' was too good to puncture with the zoological truth.. ;)

"Yes, hunting can be fun, but it is in no way "naughty" to protect ones livelihood and in most cases it is no veil either."

True. But it's amusing to watch the liberal elite blow their stack over this.

Less amusing though, when you view the complete absence of outrage over the successful appeal of the Baby Peter killer this afternoon.

JuliaM said...

"But JuliaM there's a "consensus" here. "

Another 'scientific' consensus. Like global warming...

"The case of Charlene Downes comes to mind. "

Indeed! Surprised that hasn't been in the news more.

"Have sick-bag handy. "

*sigh* What happened to British justice?

"Ahem... for once in their miserable existence, the RSPCA actually gets *something* right, so I don't see what the problem is..."

The problem is that it allows another animal campaign group to wave the 'holier than thou!' flag. And they are. Big time!

"Temple Grandin is a world expert on human slaughter..."

I've read her book, and seen one of the documentaries about her. Fanscinating!