Letter for Publication.......

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Dave

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Hi everyone, today I received this:


Dear Sir,

The Countryside Alliance would like to draw the attention of the coarse
angling fraternity to comments made by Jackie Ballard, the new Director-
General of the RSPCA, in an article in the Daily Telegraph on Sat 26th
October, that set out to explore her views on a range of animal issues.

When Ms Ballard was asked about her attitude
to angling she reportedly replied 'I don't like coarse fishing. Fishing for
food is probably acceptable, but it's cruel to stick a hook in a fish's jaw
and then fling it back'. She also opined that 'breeding birds for
shooting is unacceptable' while other comments
included 'there is a strong link between cruelty to animals and to
children', and that 'animals have real rights'.

The RSPCA has a budget of 80 million and is now headed by a person
who buys into the animal rights agenda and who has a negative
attitude to coarse angling. This has to be a worrying development The
Alliance has long believed that those who control the RSPCA have lost sight
of its original animal welfare charter and are betraying the tremendous
animal welfare work still done, by dedicated RSPCA staff, at grassroots
level. The RSPCA appears to have succumbed to the ideology of animal rights
protagonists who have insinuated themselves into positions of influence
inside the organisation and on its council. And whilst the RSPCA as yet has
no official campaign against angling, through its previous published
literature, and now through the comments of its new Director-General, it has
made overtly hostile comments about the sport. We urge all anglers to keep
a watching brief on the organisation, its leadership and activities.


Yours faithfully,


Charles Jardine

Director, Gone Fishing, the Countryside Alliance's campaign for angling.


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dazb

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dave
this is a turn up for the book's & one to look out for

dazb
 

Dai Fish

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When the RSPCA stop killing thousands of animals needlessly then I may listen to what thay have to say on animal welfare issues, until then it is total hypocrisy for them to judge anyone.

Dai Fish
 

Steve

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This is one of the most outrageous things I have ever read.

How dare she suggest that there is a strong link between anglers and child abuse.

If I find that her original comments were in a written article, I hope for her sake it is either written on very smooth paper or that she has some vaseline handy.




Fishermen have more fun than people do!

Steve
 

Stu

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She's A Slapper

Stu
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Beebs

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This kind of attitude gets right up my nose. Ok she was asked for her opinion on coarse fishing and she doesn't agree with it. But "sticking hooks in their jaw and then fling it back" does that sound like the true words of somebody in the most senior position of a National organisation who I assume to be educated with more of a grasp on the English language? I presonally think she has been guided into a response and words put into her mouth. Either that or she's thick.

If angling was how she described then it would be illegal. What the hell do they think we do, torture the fish we catch and teach our kids wanton violence? I think it's B***ocks. There's a very good chance that some scroat who beats his kids wouldn't think twice about kcking a dog or any other animal and that's where the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to children is, it's all a question of context. Is she really saying that if a child gets beaten it goes straight out and tortures animals? If that's the case where does fishing come into all this? I've not seen any kids playing rugby with fish at any of the lakes or rivers I've been to this year and if they did, every angler on the bank would put a stop to it.

I would like to listen to the original transcript of the interview and not the version editted by some journalist.

 

Beebs

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Before everybody jumps up and starts slagging this woman off, it would be wise to give it time and see if these are her views and not the result of some 'selective editting' by the Daily Telegraph. If the journalist is an Anti, then the interview could have been biased to read whatever they want, to reflect their own views and not necessarily Ms. Ballards true feelings. If she has got an agenda, then it will come out in time. If she hasn't, and this is some journalistic licence, then we could get her back up and make an enemy before we know what she's really all about.

Like Mr. Jardine has said, she is the NEW Director General of the RSPCA and if we start attacking her before she has really opened her mouth, Antis could use that as an attack on the RSPCA by fishermen and I don't think that is one argument we want to get into. So before we hang this woman without a trial, we should see how things progress after she has been in the position for a while and a truer picture can be seen.

 

Beebs

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Here is the full article in all its glory. You should read it yourselves and make up your own minds where she's coming from. I think she's got some pretty outrageous viewpoints about circusses and zoos, but I don't really see her having banning angling at the top of her hitlist.




Jackie Ballard reveals her animal instincts
By Alice Thomson
(Filed: 26/10/2002)


Jackie Ballard has enemies. On the train down to Taunton, a man suddenly jabs his finger at her picture. "I hope she slips on the vilest, smelliest, slipperiest, banana skin, and when she goes, I'll gloat."

When the former Liberal Democrat MP ran for the leadership last year under the slogan "Jackie B - Who Cares Wins" posters were changed to "Who Cares?" She then shocked everyone by announcing she was off to Iran because the men were sexier there.

Now, the anti-hunting, single mother and social worker has become the new chief executive of the RSPCA. One council member immediately resigned because she said Mrs Ballard couldn't read a spread sheet.

As I turn into her cul de sac in a quiet Taunton suburb, I'm expecting a vast Ann Widdecombe with shorn hair wearing the sab's camouflage uniform.

But Mrs Ballard, 49, has lost five stone through a fruit and vegetable diet. She is cosy rather than confrontational: she wears purple eyeshadow, keeps cats and puts on her make-up (untested on animals) in front of me, curled up on the sofa.

"I never applied to be head of the RSPCA," she says, waving her purple toenails. "They approached me. But it's my dream job. I've always cared passionately about cruelty to women, children and animals."

Does she have any qualifications to run the largest animal charity in the world? The RSPCA has a budget of 80 million, and lost 18 million on the stock exchange recently.

"The job of leadership is to articulate vision, to inspire a team, to know what questions to ask and when the wool is being pulled over your eyes.

"It's a barefaced lie by disgruntled members on the council to say that I hadn't heard of a balance sheet. I may have been a bit vague but the RSPCA has already got a perfectly good finance director."

She considers herself a typical "sweet, gentle, animal loving" RSPCA donor. "I've had five cats from the RSPCA over the years and I've given donations."

She has already spent a day with an inspector, when she was an MP. "I saw some appallingly badly treated chickens, a dog tied up, two cows stranded in floods. That and my time as a social worker made me realise that there is a strong link between cruelty to animals and to children."

Her predecessors are former brigadiers and colonels. "I'm the first woman in the job. I haven't shot anything in my life. I don't give orders - I won't ask people to call me Sir or Mrs Ballard but I never run from a fight."

Her views on animal welfare are suddenly extremely influential. "I do find zoos uncomfortable places," she says, of this week's announcement by the RSPCA that keeping elephants in zoos is cruel. "I remember going to the local zoo and seeing elephants pacing back and forth in their concrete cages. They should be in their natural environment."

Should we free all zoo animals? "Big cats, giraffes, anything whose natural habitat is chasing things in a wilderness, you can't coop them up in a cage. Or penguins and pelicans. I'd liberate them. But that's just my personal view not the RSPCA's."

In an ideal world, she would also ban circuses with animals. "Definitely. I hope that's already RSPCA policy. It's inhumane to teach animals tricks for our benefit."

Does that mean she doesn't think horses should be taught dressage or even broken in? "I don't like seeing horses being whipped in races or jumping over sticks in steeplechases. I've never been to a gymkhana or watched eventing. But I used to live in Chepstow and go to the races. I'm not against people riding horses."

As a child in Scotland, did she never want a horse? "My father was a forester and he used horses for work. I guess that was exploitative. I rode when I was younger but when I got overweight, it seemed cruel to the poor horse." She laughs.

"I've done bad things, I'm a sinner. I've ridden a camel in Jordan as a tourist. I wouldn't do it again. It's only afterwards you think how awful it is for the poor animal to have so many people jumping on its back all day."

I still can't gauge where she is on the "animals rights" Richter scale. "People used to say, 'If you're anti-hunting, why do you wear leather shoes?' There isn't a moral absolute. We all draw our own personal lines. I'm a fish-eating vegetarian. I don't like eating things with legs. Some people won't eat things with faces. I gave up meat 12 years ago, I went off the taste of bacon."

I assume she has never been into a McDonald's. "I bought a beanburger once at the station, when I was starving." But they're not organic. "It's so blooming expensive that most times in my life, I haven't been able to afford organic. Now I'm earning a good salary, I will."

She lives on fruit, vegetables and dolphin-friendly tuna. "I'm always trying to diet. I lost five stone for the leadership challenge, but put on a stone in Iran. My weight is a constant issue." So what about fat pets? "That's cruel. I can't stand seeing wealthy old ladies feeding their pampered poodles with Thorntons chocolates."

She wouldn't have let me in the door with a fur coat on. "Why can't you use synthetic material? We should change all those mayoral robes, too, they're made out of dead animals and the robes in the Lords are ermine. It's terrible, we should stop it." Nor will she carry a ponyskin bag. "Only cow's leather, because it's a by-product."

What else would have her wiping her eyebrows off the ceiling? "Foie gras. It's absolutely disgusting. It's the ultimate in abuse. It totally goes against the nature of a creature to force it to be stuffed. I don't know what kind of warped mind can invent things like that, it's sick. It's like leaving baby cows in the dark to make white veal."

I'm on safe ground here, having never eaten white veal. She looks momentarily embarrassed. "Actually, I have eaten veal, but it was 25 years ago, before I knew better. It was a Wiener schnitzel in Austria. And I admit I once ate frogs' legs."

What about cod? "I eat cod." Yet it's an endangered species. "I'm not perfect. I prefer salmon or tuna." But salmon is often farmed. "I eat farmed salmon, although it does worry me."

Beach donkeys? "They're forced to have lots of different riders and plod mindlessly along a beach. It's an unsettled life, so probably not a good thing." Bullfighting is easy. "It's definitely terrible, even if the bull isn't killed."

How bloodthirsty is she? "I'd never kill a mole, although I've had them in my garden. I couldn't kill a rat but I'd get an expert in if I had them. My daughter had a pet rat that bit me but I didn't send it away. If I see a spider I'll put it outside but I wouldn't go berserk if a friend stood on one in my house."

She would kill bees and wasps because she is allergic to them. "And cockroaches, I killed a lot of them in Iran when they crawled up my bed." But she thinks people should learn to live "in harmony" with pigeons.

She sits back, exhausted. "If my time at the RSPCA is judged by whether I'm morally consistent and pure at all times in what I do and eat, I will fail. I make mistakes. Sometimes, I take the easy way out. I put my hands up now. Go and search my cupboard in the kitchen and you'll find things there that shouldn't be."

Is she a wellies or stiletto person? "In an ideal life, I'd like a penthouse in the city and a cottage in the country. I like the excitement of city life but I'd also like a stream running through my garden."

I remind her that the RSPCA was quiet during the foot and mouth crisis, and that farmers fear the organisation sees them as the enemy.

"I felt sorry for the farmers, who hadn't created the maelstrom. I had a lot of distressed farmers in my Taunton constituency. Some were suicidal but a lot are very wealthy; some are spoiling the countryside, others treat animals appallingly."

In 1976, she moved out of London with her now ex-husband after watching The Good Life on television. "So we could have chickens and grow our own veg."

But she is not against keeping small pets in towns. "I think pets bring an awful lot of comfort, they give some people their only reason for living. They can reduce blood pressure and be real companions. Learning to care for animals is important, we all need responsibility in life."

She has had cats since she was 18. "The last one was grey and called Sooty and I inherited Smoky, who was black. My mum and dad had dogs, a Jack Russell and an alsatian. But I'm a cat person. My daughter [now 20] had a rat, a hamster and a goldfish."

She doesn't support extremist animal rights protesters. "I strongly disapprove of the violent side. But I'm not opposed to demonstrations. I've been on lots myself. I also think trying to sabotage hunts by leading a false trail is a good idea."

Are people or animals more important? "If I saw a child and a dog drowning, I would save the child but I hope I would never be faced with that terrible choice."

She believes animals have real rights. "I don't agree that if you have rights, you automatically have responsibilities, too. Animals can have rights in the same way someone disabled or in a vegetative state does. They have a right not to be ill-treated, to express their natural instincts, to be free from fear and hunger."

She turned against hunting 25 years ago. "When we moved to Somerset. The in-laws came for Christmas and we'd go to see the hunt after the Boxing Day lunch. It was part of the ritual.

"One year, there were hunt protesters and a scuffle. Suddenly I thought, what's this all about? What do the huntsman do when they've had their sherry and left the market square. I realised it was indefensible."

She thinks hunting will soon be banned. "It will be interesting on Exmoor where deerhunting is part of a feudal system of social control."

Elsewhere, she says, hunting isn't a class issue. "But deerhunting on Exmoor is. In my experience, people who like deerhunting are obnoxious and arrogant, they are vicious and nasty, people are frightened of them. On hunt days, they stick their caps in people's car windows and if they don't cough up, their life is made difficult."

As for shooting, she says she couldn't contemplate going out with a man in plus fours. "In my view, breeding birds for the purpose of shooting them is unacceptable. I really don't understand that mentality. Why can't they be content with clay pigeons?"

Does she still want to keep the Queen as patron? After all, she wrings pheasants' necks on shoots. "The Queen is a great asset. The country has an image of her as a great dog lover." What about the Prince of Wales? "We'll deal with that when it comes."

Stalking, she believes, is different. "If you've got to shoot a deer, you need to stalk it, it's the only acceptable method. I went stalking with my dad once in Scotland. I annoyed him because I kept getting between the sights and the deer."

Surely she supports fishing? Half her members must be anglers. "I have caught trout with my hands by tickling them. My dad was a keen fisherman. I don't like coarse fishing. Fishing for food is probably acceptable, but it's cruel to stick a hook in a fish's jaw and then fling it back."

She sighs. "I don't know how you can love animals and love blood sports. It doesn't make sense to me. I lost my Taunton seat over it. The Tory candidate had the help of the Countryside Alliance, who were very motivated. If I hadn't been anti-hunting I wouldn't have lost."

The Liberty and Livelihood March last month infuriated her. "I didn't look at the coverage I was so annoyed. There are a lot of serious issues in the countryside, like loss of rural services, schools and post offices, but most of the people who went on that march couldn't give two figs about real issues.

"Some have damaged the countryside badly by building houses all over them and using their Land Rovers to go to the supermarket rather than going to local shops."

She doesn't mind fighting them. "They're bothered about my appointment because they know I'll be an effective communicator. If I was really hopeless they'd be happy."

But hunting, she concedes, isn't everything. "I'm not taking this job to ban hunting, I hope it's one of the things we'll achieve but there's a lot of other work. Elephants, fur, foie gras - it's like the NHS, a bottomless pit."



 

Terrier

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Is this bint the same person I recently read gets paid 90,000 a year. Thats a lot of change through a plastic dogs head in the doorway of shops.(Do they still have 'em)
I tell you what, I wouldnt mind getting that sort of money for writing drivel like the aforementioned letter. I agree with a lot of what the RSPCA do, but getting involved in a political hotbed which is currently receiving media attention, ie hunting etc can only fuel the antis cause.
Very worrying.

Terrier.

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Steve

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She still needs careful watching in my opinion


Fishermen have more fun than people do!

Steve
 

ben grim

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disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nice new head quaters though,


I,M NOT DAFT,JUST HAPPY.
DEATH IN VEGAS
 
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