I saw this story this morning on BBC News; my friends Red Wizard and Hyperborean on the HPANWO Forum have also brought this to my attention (See Links column): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21688447. This comes just a few months after the disgraceful decision to cull badgers. The decision went ahead despite mass protests by thousands of people, including the rock star Brian May, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtRkf744yTU. Lisa Shunkaha Wanagi of Critical Mass Radio did a special show on this subject: http://www.mixcloud.com/lisashunkahawanagi/. Now it seems that once again animals are going to be made to suffer for human mismanagement of the environment. One of the comments on the original news story is interesting. These "game handling regulations" have prevented the low-level hunting and sustainable husbandry of deer, and so caused their numbers to expand so rapidly. It's true also that
Britain lacks a large natural predator,
unless you include man; however we just kill things for convenience or the hell
of it, not just so we can eat! This was a point made by Jonathan Downes of the
Centre for Fortean Zoology, see: http://www.cfz.org.uk/.
There have been attempts to introduce large predators to the British
countryside; the obvious choice is the wolf. Wild wolves died out in Britain
during the 19th Century, but there have been moves to release some from zoos
into the wild to see how well they get on. The main argument against this has
been the danger wolves might pose to humans, but nature is not meant to be some
kind of public garden for humans! In North America many
people enjoy the countryside and rambling, or "trailblazing" as it's
called over there, is a popular pastime; Joe Dunn from The Mind Set Podcast is a
regular at that, see: http://www.youtube.com/user/FLtrailblazer.
North America still has many potentially hazardous
predators like wolves, snakes, bears and big cats etc, but the people there
just get used to it and adapt their hikes to take account of the danger. Most
of those beasts avoid humans anyway and attacks most often happen when somebody
tries to capture or kill an animal.
Basically, if we leave nature as it is to thrive and treat it with respect and compassion it tends to look after itself. It's only when we see it as something to be exploited and conquered that Mother Earth digs her heels in and starts making problems for us.