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Countryside
Stand up for wild animal welfare

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Vets need to move into the politics of the countryside and become stronger advocates for animal welfare.

That is the view of Alick Simmons, former deputy chief vet, who spoke at last week’s British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) conference in London.

Giving a keynote address, he called on vets to use their position to make a stand on welfare, particularly of wild animals, whose welfare needs are often regarded as inferior to those of higher value food-producing animals and pets.

He said the debate over countryside issues was being dominated by a small number of people whose values are very different to those within the profession.

‘All the discussions we are having about badgers, about trapping or fox-hunting, the killing of buzzards to protect pheasants – the outrage that many of us feel about this – these discussions are really proxies for what is a much bigger, more principled debate about who runs the countryside.

‘I would want us to move into that because if we don’t, the landscape over which …

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