Wigan Council has announced that it is committed to destroying the entire population of Ruddy Ducks at Wigan Flashes and Pennington Flash Country Park, because some have dared to breed with a close genetic relative called the white-headed duck. It is not too late to stop this insane and brutal massacre.
YOU can help save the Ruddy Duck, please contact the NWHSA on 07960 038230 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
Why the slaughter?
It is claimed that some Ruddy Ducks are flying from Britain to Spain where they are mating with the now-endangered white-headed duck - birds who have been hunted to near extinction and have had much of their habitat destroyed. The mating of the Ruddys and their close genetic kin - the white-headed – is nature's way of ensuring the survival of the white-headed duck. But the ducklings they produce are considered 'impure' by leaders of top table conservation groups such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, English Nature and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. They won't tolerate this mixing of blood, despite opposition from a large number of their own supporters and the RSPCA.
The killing of ruddy ducks is yet another example of the arrogance of some old world 'conservationists' who believe that they can shoot and poison their way to environmental harmony.
The slaughter of the Ruddy Ducks is an insane, massively expensive exercise, which has no public support and seems designed to please only a small number of obsessives, who are interfering with nature in ways they can neither understand nor control.
During trial 'culls', which took place between 1993 and 2002, a significant number of birds died in protracted agony. Many were shot on their nests and, according to a government report, some were shot as many as 13 times and took up to two hours to die.
Even at this late stage, you can make your voice heard and help stop this insane and brutal massacre.
Contact the NWHSA to find out how you can help or download the leaflet at http://nwhsa.redblackandgreen.net/Sentenced_to_death.pdf (pdf format) and distribute where necessary.
Please contact Wigan Council on 01942 244991 or send them an email (listed below) to register your opposition to the duck cull.
All the Wigan councillors emails are below. (Also see the news story below email addresses)
M.Aldred@wiganmbc.gov.uk, K.Aldred@wiganmbc.gov.uk, K.Anderson@wiganmbc.gov.uk, N.Ash@wiganmbc.gov.uk, B.Baldwin@wiganmbc.gov.uk, S.Barnes@wiganmbc.gov.uk, A.Bennett@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Beswick@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Birch@wiganmbc.gov.uk, A.Bland@wiganmbc.gov.uk, B.Bourne@wiganmbc.gov.uk, G.Bretherton@wiganmbc.gov.uk, D.Brown@wiganmbc.gov.uk , H.Cadman@wiganmbc.gov.uk, W.Carney@wiganmbc.gov.uk, R.Clayton@wiganmbc.gov.uk, George.Davies@wiganmbc.gov.ukuk, K.Cunliffe@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Davies@wiganmbc.gov.uk, George.Davies@wiganmbc.gov.uk, R.Derricutt@wiganmbc.gov.uk, M.Dewhurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Shirley.Dewhurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, James.Ellis@wiganmbc.gov.uk, B.Fagan@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Gareth.Fairhurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, George.Fairhurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, P.Franzen@wiganmbc.gov.uk, I.Franzen@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Haley@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Debbie.Fairhurst@wigan.gov.uk, DemocraticServices@wiganmbc.gov.uk, D.Higginbottom@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Hilton@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Don.Hodgkinson@wiganmbc.gov.uk, N.Hogg@wiganmbc.gov.uk, G.Hogg@wiganmbc.gov.uk, P.Holland@wiganmbc.gov.uk, E.Houlton@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Hurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Brian.Jarvis@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Barbara.Jarvis@wiganmbc.gov.uk, S.Loudon@wiganmbc.gov.uk, K.McManus@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Brian.Merry@wiganmbc.gov.uk, M.Klieve@wigan.gov.uk, Jonathan.Miller@wiganmbc.gov.uk, D.Molyneux@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Moodie@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.O' Brien@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Oneill@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Jonathan.Miller@wigan.gov.uk, J.Prescott@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Paul.Prescott@wiganmbc.gov.uk, C.Ready@wiganmbc.gov.uk, C.Rigby@wiganmbc.gov.uk , Alfred.Robinson@wiganmbc.gov.uk, W.Rotherham@wiganmbc.gov.uk, Joe.Shaw@wiganmbc.gov.uk, S.Simmons@wiganmbc.gov.uk, E.Smethurst@wiganmbc.gov.uk, P.Smith@wiganmbc.gov.uk, R.Splaine@wiganmbc.gov.uk , C.Sweeney@wiganmbc.gov.uk, J.Talbot@wiganmbc.gov.uk, P.Thompson3@wiganmbc.gov.uk, A.Turnock@wiganmbc.gov.uk, P.Tushingham@wiganmbc.gov.uk, F.Walker@wiganmbc.gov.uk, M.Whiteside@wiganmbc.gov.uk, N.Whittingham@wiganmbc.gov.uk, G.Wilkes@wiganmbc.gov.uk, W.Wilkes@wiganmbc.gov.uk, K.Williams@wiganmbc.gov.uk, D.Willis@wiganmbc.gov.uk, B.Wilson@wiganmbc.gov.uk, R.Winkworth@wiganmbc.gov.uk , M.Winstanley@wiganmbc.gov.uk, M.Baines@wigan.gov.uk, R.Bleakley@wigan.gov.uk, B.Bowen@wigan.gov.uk, N.Bradbury@wigan.gov.uk, C.Cottam@wigan.gov.uk, J.Eccles-Churton@wigan.gov.uk, L.Fagan2@wigan.gov.uk
8 October 2007
Gunmen to be unleashed on ruddy ducks
By Kristina Santus
Wigan's ruddy ducks will soon be wiped out after Council bosses "reluctantly" agreed to let the controversial cull go ahead.
Licensed operatives from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will now be allowed access on to council-owned land to start an eradication programme which has already taken place in 14 other countries across Europe.
Experts say the white-headed duck, which does not occur in this country, is now threatened due to cross-breeding with the ruddy duck outside the UK in countries such as Spain.
Defra contacted the council to ask permission for access to the borough's water bodies in order to carry out the cull to protect the endangered white-headed duck.
But the decision was delayed due to calls from councillors to the government body to supply up to date scientific evidence to support its position.
Following that review, and after consulting with anti-cull organisations, Wigan's ruling cabinet gave the nod to allow Defra access to the Flashes to control the doomed ducks.
But at a meeting at the town hall, many members declared they had reluctantly said yes.
Coun David Molyneux said: "I put the motion into the council to ask for more information about this in the first place.
"But no-one has submitted any evidence which tells us we shouldn't do it.
"We don't want to see things like this happen, but unfortunately it is a fact of life.
"It is a major problem so we have got to agree to it. Albeit reluctantly."
Martin Kimber, director of environmental services, told the cabinet he had only heard "contradictory views" from anti-cull organisations as opposed to hard scientific evidence.
He said: "Defra still believed their position to be correct after considering up to date scientific information.
"There are a number of groups who oppose the control of the ruddy duck but no strong scientific evidence has been presented by any group to contradict that of Defra.
"Having contacted those organisations and individuals referred to in the resolution passed by council, no contradictory scientific evidence has been provided, only contradictory views."
Mr Kimber told those present at the meeting that a number of organisations, including the RSPB, BirdLife International, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, were also in support of the cull.
But opponents, including Animal Aid and the Leigh Ornithological Society say they will not let the matter rest.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "It is a sick, irrational decision which has disregarded scientific information and common sense.
"The fact is that due to much warmer weather, the number of ruddy ducks going over to Spain in the winter has decreased to as little as seven or eight and is decreasing all the time.
"Also numbers of white-headed ducks in Spain have increased from 200 to 3,000.
"But if two ducks are so similar that they can provide healthy offspring, why are we interfering?
"It doesn't matter to a duck whether her ducklings are an impure species. It only matters to the fanatical birdwatchers."