Category: Podcasts

GOTL | Tom Langton ‘Next Steps’ Policy (07:13)

“It’s such a sad indictment of the current way in which science is conducted and vested interests have infected our society.” Ecologist Tom Langton has been looking at the scientific and legal aspects of the dreaded badger culls since 2016, and this summer represents his fifth year working on what is being described as the worst miscarriage of UK biological science for fifty years. Tomorrow (the 22nd of July) Tom is off to London for a High Court challenge of Secretary of State George Eustice over the “Next Steps” policy, which was published in March 2020 and revealed the way in which badgers may be legally shot in huge numbers over the next five years and beyond – all the way up to 2038. For this shortcast we asked Tom to explain a bit about the new 2020 policy and what exactly was being challenged – a challenge which, incidentally, has taken over a year of battling to gain permission for. Tom starts off with aspects of the 2020 policy in terms of what we might expect to see under the wording of the controversial new policy and the dilemma (in Tom’s words) that it now offers to those who may be invited for the foreseeable future to vaccinate badgers as long as they stand by while most of them are killed first…

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GOTL | Tessa Boase The Story of the RSPB’s Women Founders (12:37)

  The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a conservation powerhouse. As the RSPB’s homepage proudly states – at the time of publishing this anyway – they are ‘Celebrating 100 Years of Saving Birds”. So, those grim-faced men holding indistinct placards in the black and white header photograph on the RSPB’s website, they would be the charity’s founders, would they? Not even close. As author, journalist, and campaigner Tessa Boase explains in this wonderful shortcast, the founders

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GOTL | Bob Elliot (OneKind) on snares

Snares. Metal nooses, indiscriminate and cruel. Hundreds of thousands of these primitive devices litter the countryside. Two things about snares: a) most people think they’re already banned; b) the only people who support their use are gamekeepers and a few farmers (and lobbyists for the shooting industry of course). Director of the Scottish charity OneKind (and formerly Head of Investigations at the RSPB) Bob Elliot has had more than his fair share of experience of snares. OneKind operates SnareWatch, an information-sharing and reporting facility about snaring in the UK, and in the following shortcast Bob is unequivocal about his and OneKind’s position on snares: “We’ve got to ban them – they shouldn’t be being used in our countryside – they are causing unnecessary and unjustified suffering.”

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GOTL | Alex Lockwood ‘Planting Value’ Report

As the Vegan Society says, “our food system is broken”. Food producers are not rewarded for their work, livestock production is cruel to farmed animals, intensive agriculture is causing biodiversity loss, and what we eat is fuelling an obesity crisis. Is there an alternative? Published on the 12th July by The Vegan Society, Planting Value in the Food System presents an ambitious but practical vision for a fully plant-based food system with the ability to help achieve climate targets, reduce the impact on our health service, improve the experiences of farmers and farm workers, and ultimately save the lives of thousands of animals. ‘Planting Value’ was written by Dr Alex Lockwood, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sunderland, in consultation with The Vegan Society policy team. In this shortcast Alex explains the process and thinking behind the report, and the four key elements we should look out for.

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GOTL | Tom Langton – JNCC and QR7 (08:01)

Last month we posted a shortcast by ecologist Tom Langton which discussed a call for evidence made by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (the JNCC) which could lead to the removal of legislative protection for many of the UK’s amphibians and reptiles, and which – in Tom’s words – could “allow snake-bashing to become lawful again”. The following week a short, precise message was sent to the JNCC by a coalition of over 30 non-government organisations (see – Open NGO letter responding to proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)) which specifically referenced the Quinquennial Review – the process by which every five years an inter-agency group makes recommendations to Defra and the devolved administrations in Great Britain on changes to the schedules (or lists) of protected species. Tom decided to go a bit further and also wrote to the various government bodies concerned to remind them of some of the detail and asking them to be clear about things as soon as possible – by the 26th July to be precise. He also popped in a freedom of information request for the paperwork for good measure. In his letter, Tom suggested that legal issues are at stake here and that repercussions could be huge. What seems strange is the lack of response from those government bodies. You can imagine it might perhaps take a few days to draft a response, but it’s now been more than two weeks since his letter was sent. Maybe they disagree amongst themselves – or simply don’t know what to do about it….

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GOTL | Nick Weston (LACS) on National Trust campaign (03:39)

For years the National Trust, a charity and one of the country’s largest landowners, has allowed so-called ‘trail hunting’ to take place on its properties. In the lead up to the NT’s next AGM in October this year, the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) is urging the Trust’s members to vote against licencing. In this shortcast Nick Weston, Campaigns Manager at LACS, explains the situation and what he and LACS would like us all to do.

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