The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy Is Proud to present Author Helen Seddon: 25 Reasons To Ban Fox Hunting For Good!
25 Reasons To Ban Fox Hunting For Good!
Sinister and criminal conspiracy schemes from leaked webinars by fox hunting’s highest level executives
In light of the leaked “training webinars from the Hunting office in August 2020” it is imperative that the government acts swiftly towards a total ban on hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink with a pack of hounds for good! We now have the evidence, thanks to the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA), that the hunting fraternity have been deliberately encouraged to break the law by the Hunting Office. This organisation is described as the executive arm of the governing bodies for hunting with hounds in the UK. A rather provocative description when hunting with a pack of hounds is illegal across mainland UK. They appear to presume it is perfectly acceptable to break a law that makes it illegal to hunt foxes, deer, hares and mink since 18 February 2005. In fact the hunts are using retired policemen to advise them on how to get around the law and avoid prosecution. There are some exemptions to the Hunting Act 2004 which allows foxes, deer, hares and mink to be hunted but not for ‘sport’ or with a pack of dogs. The Hunting Act was passed in Parliament with 85% of the British Public in support of a ban on fox hunting. From a poll carried out by Ipsos MORI it was deemed at the time that 81% of people living in rural areas were also in support of the ban.
To recap, it has been 15 years since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force. In total 362 MPs in the House of Commons voted to ban the so called ‘blood sports’ with 154 MPs voting against it. The majority voting against the ban were Conservative. The House of Lords voted for self-regulation. The government at the time was Labour and they supported the vote in the House of Commons.
Like the overwhelming majority of the British public, I too fail to understand why hunts are allowed to get away with fox hunting as well as hunting deer, hares and mink. They hunt week in week out in some cases for as long as 8 months of the year. The leaked training webinars from the Hunting office have now given us an understanding which explains why the Hunts think it is acceptable. It appears to be the case that they are under the illusion that there is one law for them and another for the rest of the British population. Employing ex-policemen to give them advice on how to hunt illegally, how to deal with the Police if they are caught and how to blame it all on Hunt Saboteurs and Hunt Monitors appears to give them the right to flout the law. This air of deliberate criminality from those at the top at the expense of innocent people was obvious from the leaked webinars chaired by Lord Mancroft, Chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). So let’s look at:
25 Reasons To Ban Fox Hunting For Good!
Reason No 1 Ban on fox hunting in England & Wales came into effect on 18 February 2005. It has been 15 years since hunting foxes with a pack of dogs became ILLEGAL. Why does this Tory Government not only turn a blind eye to illegal fox hunting, but appears to actually encourage it? Why do the stalwarts of fox hunting think they are above the law? They are not. Hunting foxes with a pack of dogs has been BANNED!!
Reason No 2 Mass criminality in hunting community revealed. Those who monitor and attend fox hunts and other hunts know full well the hunts see it as their right to hunt as they please. There is a huge amount of video evidence on the internet of hunt personnel and their supporters attacking peaceful Hunt Monitors and Hunt Sabs causing them serious bodily harm. Females are often targeted and physically assaulted by huntsmen or supporters. There is serious criminal damage by personnel working for or supporting the hunts towards monitors, sabs and the public by smashing their vehicles, stealing video recorders, cameras and other personnel possessions as well as trespassing on private property. Too often hounds are running dangerously loose on roads as well as attacking pets and farm animals because the hunt has very little control of their hounds. Go on the internet and witness the video evidence yourself.
Reason No 3 ‘Trail Hunting’ is being used as a pretext for real hunting as fox hunts continue to hunt foxes. Trail hunting was devised by the hunts because it could be used to continue hunting as normal. It is based on drag hunting where hounds follow a scent at speed from a cloth dragged along the ground by a human runner. There is no killing of animals involved. Fox hunts supposedly have someone on foot, horse or quad bike dragging a cloth soaked in ‘an ethically sourced quarry based scent’. Are they using it to train hounds to hunt foxes? Of course they are! It’s all a bit of a lark because in order to secure a conviction for hunts killing foxes it is necessary to prove a person’s intent to hunt a wild mammal with dogs. Each time the hounds kill a fox, the hunt will describe it as an ‘accident’. Trail hunting is a total farce and a hideous sham. The leaked webinars made that very clear. A very good reason to tighten the ban on fox hunting for good!
Reason No 4 The majority of people in this country want fox hunting to STOP! There have been a number of polls in recent years which show more than 8 out of 10 of the British public want a total end to fox hunting altogether. The polls have shown that this applies to both rural areas as well as urban areas. So why do Tory governments ignore the democratic will of the people?
Reason No 5 Exemption clauses in the Hunting Act are exploited by fox hunts for their benefit. The fox hunting fraternity have been trying to find ways to continue fox hunting by avoiding the law since the ban came in. “Flushing to a bird of prey” allows an unlimited number of dogs that can be used to flush a fox from cover to a bird of prey which will catch it and kill it! About 20 hunts were purported to have bought golden eagles and eagle owls when the ban came in. They believed by using a bird of prey they could legally hunt with full packs of hounds. So someone would take out a bird of prey to the hunt so they could claim to use it whilst hunting. Unfortunately the hunts were using people who had only been on a short course to learn how to handle the birds and they weren’t competent. The Chairman of the Hawk Board was concerned about the practice and felt the hunts were bringing their sport into disrepute. Also a fox was not a recognised quarry and if an eagle caught a fox it would not let go and the hounds could attack the eagle. It was a shambles and DEFRA had complaints about the use of birds of prey.
Reason No 6 The fox hunting fraternity like to blame their ‘sport’ as being a class issue. The Countryside Alliance is forever blaming anti-hunt supporters for waging some sort of class war. It’s a pathetic view and very outdated. The days of touching your cap as a sign of respect to the landed gentry are long gone. From the seventies onwards there has been an influx of people from urban areas who have moved into the countryside for the ‘good life’. With technology and transport available many people are able to earn a good income living in the countryside. No doubt they have undermined rural pastimes and values and eroded the domination of the wealthy over a rural society. We also need to consider the growth of public interest in wildlife conservation. Fox hunting has become a concern regarding the welfare and rights of wildlife. People are more interested in building a relationship with nature and the environment. The hunting fraternity are out of touch when they hunt wildlife for fun and any conservation they claim to do is only seen as supporting their barbaric sport.
Reason No 7 The notion that fox hunting should continue because it’s a British tradition. Hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink to death with packs of dogs as a pleasurable pursuit really does need to be confined to the past. It doesn’t have a place in modern society along with bear baiting, bull baiting, badger baiting, dog fighting and cock fighting. It’s a sad tribute to this country that even though we have laws to protect animals we still have dog fighting, cock fighting and badger baiting. It’s also very sad there is a strong link with these activities to fox hunts across the country.
Reason No 8 Fox hunting can never be a form of pest control. Hunts will maintain that fox hunting is helping farmers by controlling foxes. But where foxes have been controlled it has been done by shooting. In 2005 DEFRA suggested better protection of farm stock rather than trying to control foxes would be more successful and cost protective.
Reason No 9 Cubbing is the dirty secret of fox hunting and even supporters find it disgusting. Yet shame on them for turning their backs on a callous and brutally cruel activity. This activity is usually carried out in the early morning or evening during August to October. The hunts assemble near a wooded area or crop fields where they know there are fox cubs. The hounds are let loose to find the cubs. Hunt supporters on foot and on horses surround the area so when frightened cubs try to escape from the hounds they make loud noises to scare the cubs to go back to the hounds. Defenceless cubs are torn to shreds by the hounds with no cubs surviving. Apparently it’s a method of training young hounds to recognize the smell and taste of fox. It’s just a blatant unjustified slaughter of our wildlife because hunting foxes with a pack of dogs is illegal! Even the young hounds risk slaughter by the huntsmen if they are deemed not to be ‘savage’ enough. This isn’t ‘sport’. It’s a criminal as well as unethical activity and is breaking the law!
Reason No 10 Hounds spread bovine TB but the government has no interest in checking hunt hounds for bTB. In December 2016, the Kimblewick Hunt’s pack of hounds were found to be infected with bTB. Of the 164 hounds tested, 97 had evidence of being bTB infected and these dogs were removed and euthanised. Apparently the kennels were described as “suboptimal”. This meant the hounds were kept in unhygienic, overcrowded and dilapidated conditions. The hunt take the hounds across a large number of farms in different counties and this should have been a concern. But DEFRA basically weren’t interested in what was likely to be a large number of foxhounds running across farmland all over the UK. Their excuse was bTB was not a ‘notifiable disease in dogs’ and therefore they were unable to verify how many hounds had been put down. Interestingly Lord Gardner of Kimble, an honorary member of the Kimblewick Hunt, served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DEFRA from 17 July 2016 to January 2018. There has never been any blame put on hounds for spreading bTB yet every year since 2013 tens of thousands of badgers are culled for spreading bTB when there has been no conclusive evidence. The Badger Cull has been a huge costly barbaric travesty that the Conservatives have waged against our wildlife.
Reason No 11 Why do fox hunts allow their hounds to hunt on or near railway lines? There have been numerous reports of hunts in the last 15 years deliberately hunting on or near railway lines. First question is why would any law abiding hunt put a trail there for hounds to follow? Well they wouldn’t would they. But the number of hounds killed near railway lines and the number of human lives that can be put in jeopardy beggars belief!
Reason No 12 There are good reasons for hunt kennels to be checked and regulated. There have been numerous reports of hunt kennels being dirty and dilapidated. The RSPCA has called for the regulation of these kennels but the Government has not responded because they say ‘hunt kennels are exempt as they are not considered to be a commercial enterprise”. Obviously the hunting fraternity are not interested in the animal welfare of their hounds. Yet numerous hunts have been blatantly operating as a commercial enterprise by winning local council grants and taking advantage of taxpayer-backed schemes to get loans during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Reason No 13 Fox hunt members and supporters are renowned for assaulting Hunt Monitors and Hunt Saboteurs. You can watch the horrific assaults and attacks by hunt members and supporters on videos, on the local news, in local and national papers and the evidence given in court rooms. In the past two Hunt Sabs have been killed by huntsmen. That’s how far they have been prepared to go to prevent the torture and killing of our wildlife. At the same time the hunting fraternity and the ex-policemen they employ have done their very best to describe Hunt Monitors and Sabs as violent gangs armed with ‘staves and balaclavas’! It has been confirmed that almost all Hunt Sab arrests have been for ‘Breach of the Peace’ or more recently ‘Aggravated Trespass’. The terrible crime of blowing a hunting horn in a field or spraying lemon oil in a wood to deter foxes from being shredded alive by a pack of hounds hardly compares with the vicious attacks and assaults by huntsmen and their supporters. A recent example in 2019 reveals the Belvoir hunt paid £37,500 in damages to a Hunt Monitor who was monitoring the hunt. He was attacked by 4 men dressed in black who broke his neck when he was pushed off a ledge. His colleague filming the hunt was also injured and was paid £11,000 in damages. Hunt Saboteurs wear balaclavas to hide their identity from the huntsmen and their supporters who will endeavour to find out where they live and work to harass them and damage their property.
Reason No 14 There is scientific evidence that foxes suffer physical and mental stress when hunted by a pack of hounds. Pro fox hunting people always refute that foxes suffer physical and mental stress and that the evidence will be undoubtedly based on emotion not fact. Anti fox hunting people will claim that chasing a fox to the point of exhaustion and allowing a pack of dogs to rip the fox to shreds before it has died, for sport, is inhumane! The Burns report also concluded that hunting with a pack of hounds caused animal suffering “both during the latter stages of the chase and at the kill.
Reason No 15 Fox hunts are renowned for capturing and rearing foxes purely for hunting. The best way to find out about what goes on in fox hunting is to talk to former huntsmen and terriermen. Many give up because of the abuse to live foxes ordered by the hunt masters which they are unable to stomach any longer. Bagging foxes alive to keep them for special hunts. Cutting a fox’s paws before it was released to slow it down on the chase. Throwing live cubs to hungry hounds in their kennels. Moving cubs to another area to aid cub hunting. Tying a fox in a sack to a tree branch to allow hounds to jump up and bite it. Then the terrified fox would sweat and urinate letting off a powerful smell. The fox would then be tied up and dragged across fields to leave a scent. Plus many other scenarios.
Reason No 16 Hunts employ staff to block up badger setts to stop foxes escaping underground. The 1992 Protection of Badgers Act made it a criminal offence to damage, destroy, obstruct or disturb a badger sett. But Hunt Monitors record hundreds of setts being blocked to stop foxes, especially on the days local hunts are out with packs of hounds. In 2018 the BBC quoted Tim Easby, director of the MFHA at the time, as saying blocking setts “promotes hunting within the law and in accordance with the Hunting Act 2004.” Yet it is illegal to block access to an active badger sett in England and Wales under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Therefore is absolutely no reason to block any setts or earths! Another example of the hunting fraternity to mislead the British public!
Reason No 17 Fox hunts claim hounds kill foxes quickly by a bite to the back of the neck. The hunting fraternity insist a pack of hounds kill a fox by a quick nip to the back of the neck and that kills it outright. Really? Listen to a pack of hounds descending on one fox. The noise is sickening! Autopsies have revealed foxes are not killed quickly. They have to endure tears and bites to their sides and hindquarters which obviously cause suffering before death. When they go to ground to evade a pack of hounds the terriermen send their terrier dogs underground and again foxes suffer from the nasty bites to the face, head and neck from the dogs. When the dog is called off and the fox is dug out they are supposed to be shot. But ex-hunters and ex-supporters claim they are usually thrown to the hounds alive to be ripped to shreds before they die. The terrier dogs can also be badly injured underground.
Reason No 18 Fox hunts cause a lot of upset to livestock on farms. Hounds will cross any land to chase their prey so it is not surprising that they can cause havoc with livestock. Ewes can abort lambs. Lambs can be ravaged by hounds. Cattle are frightened and can bolt and calves are terrified unable to get out of their field pursued by a pack of howling hounds. Why do farmers have to put up with this atrocious activity? Many onlookers say the huntsmen just watch and don’t get involved. Obviously their hounds are out of control and they can do nothing to stop them. It’s outrageous and farmers are struggling enough without the hunts allowing a pack of hounds on their land.
Reason No 19 Fox hunts claim 6,000-8,000 full time jobs depend on hunting activities. The shooting industry and the hunting industry come out with the most interesting statistics on how their ‘sports’ provide full time jobs for people. But where is the evidence? How are the statistics compiled? Hunts on the one hand claim not to be commercial enterprises but on the other hand they pay wages and claim grants from local councils and in 2020 some hunts have applied for a business loan on good terms. So what are they? A business or a club?
Reason No 20 Fox hunts kill many pets on private property as well as dogs being walked on leads. There are countless incidents where fox hounds have killed domestic pets. There are videos and reports of pets being chased and attacked by fox hounds all over the country. Sometimes the hounds chase and attack cats and dogs when out on exercise. Basically huntsmen and hunt staff are frequently not in control of the hounds when out hunting or exercising them. Yet the hunting fraternity continue to deny their hounds don’t attack, chase or hunt pets. Apparently hounds won’t chase and attack a cat because it’s trained to kill foxes! But then why are hounds being trained to kill foxes when it is illegal! It’s a nonsense whilst peoples’ beloved domestic pets are killed by packs of dogs on their owners’ properties or out being walked on a lead.
Reason No 21 Fox hunt members are renowned for being intoxicated while riding horses, driving quad bikes and other vehicles. Huntsmen have been found to be too drunk to stay on their horse and have attended court in front of a judge. Yes it is illegal under Section 12, Licensing Act 1872 to be drunk in charge of a horse. Hip flasks containing a variety of strong alcohol are commonly carried by hunt supporters, terriermen and hunt staff. They make no effort to be discreet when swigging booze from their flasks as it’s considered to be part of a good day out. Some may drink alcohol for bravery to face the hunt ahead but this ‘boozy style’ can be reckless, dangerous and breaks the law especially when driving quad bikes and vehicles following the hunt on the road.
Reason No 22 Why do private landowners have to take legal action to keep hunts off their land? Let’s be clear. Hunts have no right to enter privately-owned lands without permission. It is also unacceptable for them to claim they didn’t know that your lands and property are private and preserved. But hunts will still trespass on your land because their hounds are there to hunt foxes and they cannot control them causing havoc as they run across your property. People can complain to their MP, Parish Councillors, County Councillors and the Police. They can put up ‘No Hunting’ signs, write to the hunts and warn them not come on to your land, put a piece in the local paper and get advice. But hunting foxes is illegal and trails are not going to be put down on your land so why do property owners have to put up with hunts coming across their land?
Reason No 23 Life of a foxhound. Fox hunts treat their hounds as killing machines however they want to describe their affection for them. The RSPCA has called for regulation of hunt kennels because they are aware of some hunt kennels being dirty, dilapidated and overcrowded. Thousands of hounds are slaughtered every year if they are weak as puppies, have no interest in killing foxes or have been unproductive in later years. Former huntswoman told the Mirror newspaper that hounds are killed with a bullet in the head or clubbed to death and then incinerated. Ex-huntsman Clifford Pellow told the newspapers that the cruelty is so horrendous with hounds being whipped frequently for making a sound it is not supposed to do, chasing the wrong animal instead of the fox and other minor ‘failures’. They are taught to be savage which is not their natural instinct. Funny how Hunt Monitors and Sabs are often seen patting and stroking hounds.
Reason No 24 It’s a myth that fox hunts “provide an essential wildlife management service”. ‘Fox farming’ is a widespread practice associated with fox hunts. The fox hunting fraternity defend it by saying that they “provide an essential wildlife management service”. It’s a joke to think that fox hunts are looking after captive foxes and cubs for their welfare. The reason they are keeping these foxes captive is so they are able to have a ready supply of foxes to hunt. This immediately throws out their claims of hunting foxes as pest control and supports their aim to continue hunting foxes with a pack of hounds. Trail hunting is more or less a smoke screen to keep on hunting foxes like they did before the ban in 2005. It’s just another form of cruelty without any justification other than the pleasure of killing wildlife by the fox hunts.
Reason No 25 Fox Hunts can cause havoc on country lanes and busy main roads. When a pack of hounds are following a scent and running along a main road scattered amongst the traffic it has been labelled as “Hunt Havoc”. It’s a serious matter with vehicles making emergency stops and putting drivers and passengers at risk of terrible injury. Surely a trail wouldn’t have been laid along a busy main road? In these circumstances, once again, we have to acknowledge the hounds are out of control and the responsibility for this lays with the hunt who own the hounds. Hunts should not be exempt and any laws pertaining to dogs in use ‘under proper control for sporting purposes’ or just being let loose on roads for exercise should be tightened up immediately.
Why Have All The Animals Gone?
About Helen Seddon
Helen Seddon is a passionate advocate for animals and wildlife. She is also a business owner, a writer and blogger and has supported many charities and their causes.
Her aim is to devote her time helping projects whose purpose is to protect wildlife species. Through well researched information she wants to reach as many people as possible to help them understand what is happening on our planet.
"We must act now because there are so many animal, bird and insect species on the brink of extinction. Does the average ‘man or woman in the street’ actually know what is going on in the world with wildlife species? If they did then surely they would want to help save them. Many of the species covered in my book have lived on the earth for millions of years!
"Everything is interconnected in nature which is why we need to have a healthy ecosystem for not just every animal, bird, insect and plant species but for humans as well. We are intertwined with wildlife on this planet. Their future is our future too."
The book ‘Why Have All The Animals Gone?’ was written by Helen Seddon to inform people and encourage them to act now to help save our precious wildlife. She guarantees her readers will be more informed and enlightened about wildlife, across our planet, by reading this book.
“Your research is excellent and you get straight to the point. Nothing dry and boring like many academic books. It would make a great handbook for keyboard warriors on Twitter or FB, and for those attending demos. Tells them all they have to know without their having to dig the info out themselves.”
Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons) - Co-author of The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy - Member of the Society of Authors
Thank you, Helen Seddon, for submitting this blog, originally posted by you on 22nd November 2020. Link to original blog 25 Reasons To Ban Fox Hunting For Good! | The Ageing Warrior
TRACEY OZDEMIR OF MEDIA ON TAIJI VOICES HER SUPPORT FOR FORMER UK HEAD TRAINER FEATURED IN THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY
Dolphin/whale captivity is a contentious topic – one that should not even exist in today’s society. The main reason we still have these watery hell holes is due to lack of education and awareness.
Captivity is all about profit - it is a supply-and-demand industry. But what few people know is that captivity and slaughter go hand in hand. The dolphin drives in Taiji and the wild orca captures leave many cetaceans dead, be it through the bloody slaughters themselves, or through the violence of the drive/captures. Only the best-looking are chosen to entertain the masses; the rest are sold as slabs of toxic meat to be put on the dinner plates of innocent children in Japan. And this cruelty does not bypass those who are said to be captive bred either.
Here is the link to Tracey Ozdemir's footage of Morgan beaching to escape attack by other orcas.
(142) Morgan Update: Kay Burley speaks with Dr. Jeffrey Ventre - YouTube
My footage of Morgan the orca beaching herself in Loro Parque, Tenerife made global news headlines, and profits dropped at SeaWorld because people saw the truth with their own eyes. Media coverage should play a huge part in ending cetacean captivity and slaughter. It is time the media took responsibility and played their role in protecting all sentient beings. We have all seen the news reports on the plight of elephants and rhinos, but there is NEVER enough focus on the oceans and those who swim in them. Yet, they are a vital part of the ecosystem: if our oceans die, then we die too!
The glamorous shows presented to audiences in marine parks offer not one ounce of education. There is no natural behaviour on show - just signs of stress, anxiety and depression. Little wonder! These “death pools” are so small that cetaceans swim in circles until they die. The public are unaware that their precious aqua stars are replaced like goldfish, with dolphins performing under the same name as the previous ill-fated “clowns”.
As a former head trainer, David Capello (aka David C Holroyd) has all the information needed to expose what lies behind the closed doors of a marine captive facility. He has first-hand experience and so much to tell … if only people would listen!
We must learn from our mistakes. We humans are solely at fault for accepting cetacean captivity and abuse. These sentient beings did not willingly jump into concrete tanks; they were cruelly torn from their families and left to grieve … grieve till their dying day. It is their birthright to feel the rhythm of the ocean and to swim in an endless sea.
Captivity is nothing but a DEATH sentence!
Imagine if your child were kept in a bathtub and fed on a diet of frozen fish fingers. Horrible! Not something most would want to imagine. We constantly hear how people are suffering with mental health issues because of Covid lockdown – well, our captive dolphins and whales are in lockdown for life. The aqua circus. Swim-with-dolphins programmes. Dolphin-assisted therapy – nothing but a scam! A cheap, money-making scam!
The media report animal cruelty all the time, be it an RSPCA story, fox hunting, elephant and rhino poaching, or a new arrival at a zoo, but there is nothing reported on marine captivity/capture or slaughter. Okay, we see the occasional report of a stranding, but that’s all.
It is time that the world opened its eyes and ears. David Capello works damn hard to right his wrongs and has one hell of a story to tell -THE TRUTH!
We desperately need the media and the general public to get behind him, to listen and to act … Above all, people need to STOP buying tickets!
Tracey Ozdemir's educational children's story books are available on the Amazon website.
(4) Tracey Özdemir The Dolphin Lady | Facebook
(4) Tracey Özdemir | Facebook
(3) MEDIA ON TAIJI OCEAN DEFENDERS | Facebook
We urge ALL activists and non-activists alike to support Tracey's work.
Please feel free to make comment on this blog.
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY PROUDLY PRESENTS CELEBRITY ENTREPRENEUR AND PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN STRAIGHT - SOUTH ELMSALL STORIES - THE DOLPHINARIUM
My name is Jonathan Straight. I am a Yorkshire-based photographic artist. I have been commissioned by Wakefield Museums and Castles to provide a body of work that is currently being shown in the South Elmsall museum hub which is based in the local library. The artwork interprets local stories and consists of video, photography and objects.
I wear many different hats - photographic artist is one. Despite the many pressures of other things I do, I like to complete at least one creative project each year and so I am always looking for interesting ideas to pursue.
In July 2021, a commission was advertised on a service called Curator Space. Each week an email comes with different opportunities for artists … This time, the post was from Wakefield Museums and Castles …
South Elmsall Stories - The Dolphinarium
(Originally published by Jonathan Straight on October 25th, 2021)www.facesofsouthelmsall.com/blog/post/south-elmsall-stories-the-dolphinarium
One of the strangest stories I had discovered about South Elmsall was that in the 1970s, a disused swimming baths on Westfield Lane was used for training dolphins. There was quite a bit of press coverage about this on-line which in turn led me to David Holroyd, a Mancunian who was a trainee dolphin trainer at the facility and went on to be head trainer at other dolphinaria.
I tracked David down and asked if he would speak to me. He kindly agreed and we scheduled an interview over Zoom. He explained how the pool in South Elmsall had come to be owned by someone local called John Nolan who was involved with filtration for swimming pools. When David was 17 years old, his mother had seen an advert in the Manchester Evening News to recruit dolphin presenters with the interviews being held at Belle Vue Zoo nearby. This would have been around 1969. David's mother pushed him to apply as an alternative to his work as a signwriter with his father.
After three interviews, David found himself on a shortlist of five, eventually getting the job and being posted to South Elmsall. He lodged with Joe and Ada Howes and fondly remembers Ada's Yorkshire cooking.
Initially, there were no dolphins in the pool, just a pair of penguins. Shortly afterwards, a sea lion called Bobby arrived. Bobby had been at Belle Vue when he attacked a spectator and so was sent away, being too valuable to be destroyed. David told me how he had formed a strong bond with Bobby, such that when a local miner came into the pool to loudly complain about David occupying his parking space, Bobby jumped out of the pool and chased this fellow away.
Click on link below to read the full award-winning story Deliver Us from Bobby!
The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy Tasters
Eventually, the dolphins came and David trained them for various facilities around the UK such as Knowsley Safari Park and Woburn Abbey. Despite being hugely successful at his craft, David found the treatment of the dolphins to be unacceptable, significantly reducing their lifespan. Now in his 60s, he is an activist, campaigning to stop dolphins and other cetaceans being used for public displays.
The video footage I took of David forms part of this project. A life buoy ring he used to train dolphins in the 1970s, features as part of the exhibition in South Elmsall library museum hub.
"David Capello" pictured holding a dolphin logbook long since thought destroyed.
Watch the full Jonathan Straight interview.
Comment by David C Holroyd, stage name David Capello.
Please forgive, Jonathan - it’s not often that I crash a guest blog, but I’m expecting a lot of interest in your tremendous exhibit, so just had to press my advantage!
“There’s nowt so strange as life!”
That phrase certainly rings true for me after being contacted by celebrity entrepreneur Jonathan Straight.
To this day, I vividly remember stepping off the train at South Elmsall station those many years ago; still fondly recall the touch of the cheery station master’s calloused hands as he greeted me. I met many smiling faces in South Elmsall, building fond memories that have stayed with me for over 50 years. Sadly, many of those faces have long since passed.
So, imagine just how bizarre it feels to find myself once again heading back to sunny South Elmsall, the place where my adventure began. However, on this occasion, where once stood a young wannabee dolphin trainer, now stands a committed activist fighting for the rights of captive cetaceans.
Indeed, there’s nowt so strange as life!
The importance of South Elmsall to UK dolphinaria cannot be underplayed. The training facility concealed in this small mining village once fuelled the boom of the 1970s UK aqua circus, sending many Atlantean performers to the glamorous venues that were springing up over swinging Britain. Make no mistake, this “secret” pool is indeed a hugely important part of South Elmsall’s history.
So, I want to thank Jonathan Straight and Wakefield Museums and Castles for giving the ill-fated South Elmsall dolphins a voice. I would also like to thank the former reporter Olivia Hale for her tremendous article, The worst kept secret in Pontefract – a story published by The Yorkshire Post, The Pontefract and Castleford Express and The Wakefield Express, amongst others.
And last, but not least, can I say a huge thank you to all those wonderful South Elmsall townsfolk who so moulded my memories.
Faces of South Elmsall Website
Dr Jonathan Straight FRSA (@planetstraight) / Twitter
Wakefield Museums & Castles (@WFMuseums) / Twitter
'The worst kept secret in Pontefract' - the Manchester-born dolphin trainer turned animal activist who trained dolphins, sea lions and penguins at a South Elmsall swimming pool | Yorkshire Post
'Cars stopped to watch the sea lion chase him up the street' - How Bobby the sea lion saved a South Elmsall dolphin trainer from a 'thumping' | Wakefield Express
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY AUTHORS - GETTING NON-ACTIVISTS ON THE ACTIVIST TRAIN
With 2021 behind us, we – as a collective – must ask ourselves: what has humankind achieved in the past year?
Well, despite mind-blowing feats in tech, medicine and virology, it appears to be very little.
We find ourselves living in a world stricken by Covid and ravaged by climate change - man-made catastrophes that will inevitably drive desperate nations to turn in on themselves - or worse, on their global neighbours.
Overall, not good news for 2022.
So, how did we get here? How have we managed to drag ourselves into this self-inflicted spiral of doom?
Well, let’s examine the facts:
We’re hearing a lot about climate change, but not about the catastrophic ramifications of animal abuse. Make no mistake, the potential for mass extinction is not down to climate change alone; it is also about humankind’s greed and lack of empathy - especially towards those non-human beings who have no voice.
Covid, bird flu, swine flu, Ebola, SARS, MERS, BSE (mad cow disease) to name but a few – all, and I do mean ALL, are animal karmas brought about by humankind’s inhumanity towards those non-human souls with whom we share this planet. By this, I refer to the abuse of animals in the food industry and laboratories across the globe.
We can add to this the ongoing mass extinction of our precious sea and land animals by greedy, uncaring hunters - horrors that include the barbaric whale and dolphin slaughters committed by so-called civilized nations such as Japan, the Faroe Islands and others. The reckless over-fishing and rape of our oceans by Chinese factory ships, to say nothing of the Asian demand for ivory and body parts to create hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo, sham “medications”. Insane practices that global offenders try to justify with equally insane excuses, ie tradition, alternative medicine, fashion accessories … and, of course, their God-given right. In other words, a planetary destruction fuelled by overpopulation, money and power.
So, we ask: when is this madness going to end? Well, it appears NEVER if left to our spineless world leaders, who are afraid to challenge offending nations in case they lose their precious trade deals, and – even worse – in case the challengers’ own offences are brought to light.
Well, enough is enough!
If things don’t change radically, we as a species will continue our not-so-slow drift into oblivion. And those who suffer most will be our children. But, as I am constantly told, we must remain positive. So, with this in mind, can I ask you all to start the new year by doing something positive: UK citizens please sign this petition against the Faroe Islands’ Grind (whale and dolphin slaughter).
PLEASE CLICK ON LINK OR IMAGE BELOW TO SIGN.
Suspend trade agreement with Faroe Islands until all whale & dolphin hunts end - Petitions (parliament.uk)
As many of you will know, we from The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy have constantly pushed this petition posted by well-known UK personality Dominic Dyer. But, whilst doing so, we have made one vital observation: the petition is reaching activists, but there simply aren’t enough UK activists to bring this petition to Parliament. We NEED the signatures of non-activists, too! So, can we urge EVERYONE to share this blog to non-activist friends, because without their help, this petition will go nowhere, and our Government will be free to hide behind the excuse that “not enough people care”.
Let’s put our UK Government in the uncomfortable position of facing up to its responsibilities. Let’s hear what excuses our elected voices can muster in a Parliamentary debate.
Can we also ask all international activists who cannot sign this petition to continue to share this blog and encourage their UK friends and family to sign and promote it.
Thank you for reading.
Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons) and David C Holroyd
Members of the Society of Authors.
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY PRESENTS DOMINIC DYER - TIME TO USE TRADE SANCTION TO END WHALE AND DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER ON THE FAROE ISLANDS
The brutal slaughter of over 1400 white sided dolphins on the Faroe Islands has triggered huge anger and revulsion around the world and has once again brought global attention to the long and bloody history of whale and dolphin killing in this beautiful but isolated archipelago 200 miles to the Northwest of Scotland.
As a young boy I have vivid memories of seeing footage of the whale and dolphin hunts, or the “Grind” as they are called in the Faroes. Before the age of social media, it was left to a few intrepid film makers to bring into our living rooms the wild beauty of the Islands and the defiant spirit but violent actions of some of its people.
In 1972 National Geographic made a short documentary film called ‘Faroe Islands - The last of the Vikings’ which painted a picture of a uniquely independent people largely untouched by the outside world in the last remaining outpost of the Viking Spirit.
The film included a whale hunt, in which an armada of wooden rowing and powered fishing boats drove a pod of pilot whales into the shore. The noise and excitement of the people involved was clear to see as they threw rocks into the water and used their vessels to form a ring around the increasingly alarmed pod of whales. As women and children cheered from the quayside the whale hunters plunged their sharp tipped harpoons into the bodies of the whales.
As the sea turned red with blood and the whales twisted in agony, the narrator of the film made a statement to the viewing audience which stays with me over four decades later. He said “when the whales come these peaceful people revert to another age where killing becomes an outlet for native savagery when Viking blood boils”.
But why, nearly fifty years since this film was made, does this barbaric slaughter continue?
Although the European Union has a ban on the killing of whales and dolphins by its Member States under an EU Council Directive and the Bern Convention, this does not apply to the Faroe Islands as a self-governing country in the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands is also not a member of the International Whaling Commission, and whale and dolphin hunts can be legally licenced by the Faroese Government.
In recent decades several marine conservation organisations have engaged with the Government and people of the Faroe Islands to end the whale and dolphin hunts. Public meetings and debates have been held, studies have looked at the economic benefits of developing a whale watching industry, documentaries made and books published, yet the brutal killing continues.
Although the Faroe Islands are an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark, they could not continue to kill whales and dolphins without the active support of the Danish Government who retain responsibility for military defence, policing, justice, currency control and foreign affairs.
Over the past five years Danish naval vessels, helicopters and military personnel have even been used to monitor and disrupt the activities of Sea Shepherd activists, who record the brutal reality of the whale and dolphin hunts in order to inform a global audience.
However, one key driver for change within this isolated island community that has been forced to connect with the modern world, is international trade.
Prior to leaving the European Union, Britain had little leverage over the Faroes or Danish Governments on this issue, but that has all changed with Brexit.
In March 2019 the UK Government entered into a Free Trade Agreement with the Faroe Islands which now accounts for over 25% of the Faroes’ global trade. In the past 12 months the value of exports from the Faroe Islands under this agreement reached £582 million, a 142.5% increase on the previous year. Most of this trade involved cod, shellfish and farmed salmon which is sold in UK supermarkets. In comparison, the total value of UK exports to the Faroe Islands over the same period amounted to just £34 million.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has made his opposition to whaling very clear. He has raised serious concerns with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Japan’s resumption of commercial whaling, at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in September 2019. In January 2021 he made a stand against the killing of a minke whale by Japanese fisherman in Taiji cove, telling the Telegraph “At a time when we are already seeing the tragic and irreversible destruction of our natural world, with the sea increasingly pumped full of plastics and climate change threatening entre eco systems, it is more important than ever to take a stand against the cruel practise of whaling.”
The Prime Minister’s wife Carrie and father Stanley have both joined me to campaign against whaling outside the Japanese Embassy in London, and in recent days the Defra and Foreign Office Minister Lord Goldsmith has taken to social media to call the mass slaughter of dolphins on the Faroe Islands “one of the most sickening spectacles I’ve ever seen. It shames our species.”
I have now started a Government e-Petition calling for a suspension of the Free Trade Agreement with the Faroe Islands until the whale and dolphin slaughter hunts ends for good. If Boris Johnson is not willing to put on hold £34 million of British exports to stop this brutal slaughter of marine mammals 200 miles from our shores, his government’s commitment to global wildlife protection will be seriously undermined.
No whales and dolphins should be brutally slaughtered in the Faroe Islands to put cod and farmed salmon on our supermarket shelves. It’s time we used trade sanctions to end this barbarism for good.
Policy Advisor Born Free Foundation
Author Badgered to Death Badgered to Death: The People and Politics of the Badger Cull : Dominic Dyer, Chris Packham: Amazon.co.uk: Books
Suspend trade agreement with Faroe Islands until all whale & dolphin hunts end - Petitions (parliament.uk)
Article originally published on 22nd September 2021 by Mail+
Re-published on The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy blog page with kind permission of Dominic Dyer
David c holroyd & tracy j holroyd