We were approached by Hounds Magazine September | 2022 | Hounds Magazine (houndsmagazineonline.co.uk) to commission an article for them to publish, to show support for the Packham 3 Fundraiser. On behalf of the Packham 3 Fundraising Team, we would like to thank the Editorial Team at the Magazine for their support. And, of course, thanks to Sarah Green for writing this excellent article for us.
Trail of Lies
‘Trail of Lies’, is a cartoon commissioned by group Keep The Ban purporting to show how trail hunting really is. Chris Packham narrates the video and gives yet another airing of the Pack of Lies regularly trotted out by anyone who is against hunting. The only ‘new’ aspect was the use of the word ‘smokescreen’. This was uttered during the trial of Mark Hankinson at the infamous and infiltrated Hunting Office webinar. It was then leapt on with alacrity by all and sundry who wanted to drag hunting towards an outright ban.
Strangely, these loud -mouthed pundits were not quite so vocal about the appeal. This overturned the original verdict and exonerated Mr Hankinson of encouraging illegal hunting by using ‘smokescreen’ methods. He had addressed this at the beginning of the webinar by stating he was discussing legal trail hunting. He went on to discuss the means of deflecting hunt saboteur activity. This comment was taken out of context and turned back on him.
Country Squire Magazine
This is an article I wrote for Country Squire Magazine on debunking the video
Trail hunting has been constantly targeted by anti hunt activists and saboteurs since the 2004 ban. This is despite the fact that anti hunt organisations were involved in drafting it. These includede the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) for example, were involved in drafting it. For a time, they were accepting of the term ‘trail hunting’ and the policies for its enacting. LACS registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in 2003. In 2004, the year the ban came in, LACS income was £57,623. LACS income dropped massively in 2005 to £11,095. In 2006 its income had rocketed to £182,060. This coincided with LACS ramping up claims of illegal hunting and the need for further action.
There were no convictions for illegal hunting connected with foxhound packs during this period. However, this fact did not stop the claims. Pointing the finger of law-breaking at hunting has become a very lucrative source of income for many groups.
On social media hunt saboteur groups have successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of willing devotees for years. The gullible are regularly plied with ‘true’ stories. They write of the horrors emanating from the hunting field. Thwarted, naturally, by the heroic actions of the ‘brave sabs’. These ‘brave sabs’ were out that day to ‘spoil’ the ‘bloodthirsty’ fun of the ‘toffs’. This is always followed by a please donate to our ko-fi fund. This will keep our horrendously polluting, ancient vehicles in action so we can keep ‘saving our wildlife’. At the same time it will be lining our pockets.
Hunt saboteur groups are obviously very social and regularly join forces to maximise their impact. Social media saboteur reports regularly list the several groups who have turned out to sab a hunt. This is sometimes as many as a dozen representatives from four or five hunt saboteur groups. Obviously, the way they are presented on social media suggests this is a good turnout.
It’s certainly good for the coffers as none of these groups are registered with the Charity Commission. As a result none of them have to transparently account for their income and expenditure. I have asked for access to the accounts of these publicly donated funds from a couple of groups. Inevitably, I am blocked by those who run the pages and have my requests deleted.
For numerous reasons animal rights activism attracts a large number of people who appear to be oddballs. Many of them have lengthy criminal records, which doesn’t sit well when they accuse hunting people of criminal activities. Some people are in it for genuinely held animal welfare reasons, others are in it for anarchic political reasons. Yet more are in it to wield power and control over the governance of the country. The method used is lobbying via Non-Governmental Organisations.
These have been highlighted in this article. https://thealdenham.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/the-truth-about-the-trail-hunting-suspensions/ It is an excellent and well -researched online blog. In this article, published on 10th March 2021, the way that these groups work is exposed. This is manipulation to gain traction, pure and simple. It is based on a ‘command pyramid structure’ under the name of the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’. It has links via Dominic Dyer* to Carrie Johnson, Boris Johnson, and Zac Goldsmith.
*Dominic Dyer, Born Free Foundation and previously the Badger Trust.
The Command’s purpose is to bring together non-Governmental Organisations whilst still being seen to be working independently and separately. As a result it appears to politicians, the media and public, that many groups saying the same things. Accordingly, the implication is that it is based on a majority evidential base as well as public opinion. This is not the case and is carefully planned and orchestrated.
Wildlife and Countryside Link
The ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ has 65 member groups, employing over 11,000 fulltime staff and 174,000 volunteers. It has a collective membership in UK of over 8 million. Amongst these member groups are the National Trust, League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and RSPB. Connected with these groups is TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who has a big social media following. Packham knew which landowners to approach to call for a ban on trail hunting PRIOR to the verdict on Mark Hankinson. There are other organisations who have banned or suspended hunting based on the webinar infiltration allegations with connections to the Wildlife and Countryside Link. These include Forestry England, Lake District National Park, Natural Resource Wales and United Utilities.
Some other members of the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ group are: – Council for the Protection of Rural England, Council for British Archaeology, Floodplain Meadows Partnership, Keep Britain Tidy, Marine Conservation Society, and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Whilst there is no suggestion that these organisations have any particular interest in, or have been active as a group in, calling for a trail hunting ban, the fact that they are allied to the other groups by the link charity could be seen to be confering tacit support to the active organisations who have banned trail hunting. Members of these and fellow link groups are called ‘Passive supporters’, and will have no knowledge of how the link charity governance and policies are formed and will be kept in the dark to keep the membership and subscriptions coming in.
Although these groups may have no interest in, or connection to, field sports they may influence others. For example, would members be told the mechanics of how the ruling bodies might be influenced? And by whom if the decision to support further trail hunting bans were made?
The National Trust ban on issuing trail hunting licenses was gained by a campaign reported in the media exhorting Trust members to ‘wake up to the reality of trail hunting’ and that ‘concerns have been raised that the lawful activity is being used as a ‘smokescreen’ for chasing and killing foxes’ (www.thelondoneconomic.com, ‘Wake Up to ‘reality of trail hunting, National Trust told’, 30 October 2021).
However, in all the various media reports there is no mention of who exactly is telling the National Trust to ‘wake up’. The vote was carried unanimously by the 76816 who voted for a ban, against the 38184 who voted against it, this is just 2% of the National Trust membership, yet it was touted in the media as a ‘landslide’ and ‘overwhelming’ vote of the membership, when in fact it was nothing of the sort as 98% hadn’t bothered to vote, suggesting they weren’t interested. This fact barely registered with mainstream media so another ‘win’ for ‘anti’ rhetoric.
Tim Parker, Chairman of National Trust, resigns
In 2020 its Chairman, Tim Parker, who had a reputation of being ‘woke’, resigned. The resignation apparently had been provoked by the setting up of a splinter group called ‘Restore Trust’. Sir John Hayes, MP and National Trust member, said that the Trust had ‘sadly lost sight of its purpose. It is preoccupied by the prejudices of a woke minority’. (www.theguardian.com, ‘National Trust rejects claim that chief quit because of campaign against ‘wokeness’. 30th May 2021). The Deputy Chair, Orna NiChionna Turner, was in charge at the vote. She is a ‘passionate environmentalist’ and had previously been Chair of the Soil Association who, coincidentally, are also part of ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’.
The Aldenham research shows that many of these groups are ‘woke’ and interlinked. I think many of us, some of whom may be members of the organisations within the link charity, will be shocked about the underlying network of subterfuge and, to paraphrase Sir John Mays words, ‘ preoccupation with the prejudices of a woke minority’, particularly the lack of transparency about these preoccupations and the pressure they put on other organisations to follow their lead, without fully informing their membership of their reasons for doing so and how they came to the conclusions they expect others to acknowledge.
Chris Packham is a significant link between the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link’ and hunting. Mr Packham never knowingly misses the opportunity to damage our way of life in any way he can. His anti-field sports stance is well known. According to his website he is Vice President of Bat Conservation Society, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB and RSPCA. He is a Patron of Birding for All, Naturewatch Foundation, ORCA, Raptor Rescue, the Seahorse Trust. He is a supporter of Marine Conservation Society. You may be interested to know all these organisations, with the exception of Birding for All, are members of Wildlife and Countryside Link.
The lie laden ‘Trail of Lies’ anti propaganda cartoon is given extra credibility by having him as a ‘respected’ BBC wildlife presenter doing the voiceover. He presents lying, anti rhetoric as fact. We ignore this at our peril. Complacency and keeping our heads down has done us no good in the past. We must fight fire with fire. Stop the momentum that is being built up to finish hunting once and for all.
The Packham 3
The “Packham Three” are the defendants in the High Court case of Packham v. Wightman and others (QB-2021-001227). The three individual defendants are Dominic Wightman, Nigel Bean and Paul Read. The Claimant is Chris Packham. The case is about the alleged ‘rescue’ of several former circus tigers from Spain. The tigers were donated to the sanctuary. The sanctuary then loaned them to go to the Isle of Wight Zoo, now the Wildheart Trust Sanctuary. One of the of trustees is none other than Chris Packham. More on this can be found here.
Please look at update number 5 as this gives more detail about the case
To fight the underhand way that is being meted out to The Packham 3 by Chris Packham and, by extension, to us that hunt, donations are needed to fund the court case. During which case it is hoped to prove him to be a liar, not trusted to impart the truth. It will be a huge boost to the real countryside and those who live and take their leisure in it by traditional means.
It will demonstrate that people who carelessly accuse hunts and their employees of breaching the law without any proof will soon see the end of them. Even if the media and social media zealots are willing to be deceived, the judges will not be swayed.
How you can help
You can donate via the link above, or donate here where you can use PayPal https://ko-fi.com/packham3 or if you prefer to pay the Solicitors via bank transfer or cheque contact the Fundraising Team via the contact page.