A few days ago, I posted somewhat of a fervid piece in response to tweets published by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) apparently disputing the notion that non-native American Mink are detrimental to the British ecosystem, and criticising legitimate control efforts enacted to curb their expansion. Said post can be found here for those interested.
Well, it appears that I was not the only one to express dismay at The League’s position, and in response, the organisation’s social media team were quick to answer the numerous conservationists expressing their distaste via social media, including myself. Here is what they had to say:
So it appears that the League were “not arguing for Mink” after all, rather arguing against the illegal hunting of Mink with dogs. Something which certainly falls within their remit – I am, however, unsure how much of a problem this is in the UK? I have certainly never heard of covert Mink hunts, but doubtless given the nature of some people in Britain, they do occur, however sporadically. I will bow to the superior knowledge of LACS on this one and, for the record, fully agree with their view on hunting with dogs (it’s just not sporting, nor fair, nor humane). I am grateful to LACS for making an effort to clarify their earlier tweets. If only all organisations did the same…
It looks like myself and LACS will have to agree to disagree on the status of Mink as a naturalised species, however. Despite their attempts to smooth over their controversial tweets, they still argue in favour of the Mink on their website – a view I could never personally condone. In my eyes, the species represents one of the clearest and most pressing threats to our native wildlife in current times and must be dealt with. To others, Mink are just another animal to be admired – a view I can sympathise with, if not support. The Mink, after all, is a rather intriguing creature; albeit one that inflicts untold damage in the countryside annually.
While I do not think that myself and the countless others who jumped on LACS for their view in this instance did so unnecessarily, perhaps some leniency could be given. They did, after all, admit that the wording of their tweets could have been better. Or perhaps it shouldn’t be – at least until we see the science behind some of the bonkers claims made about the status of Mink in the ecosystem and/or they accept fact with regards to this highly damaging non-native species.