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countryside alliance a good idea?

Guest euan pink

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Guest Excalibur

Why oh why do so many anglers believe that they are morally perfect and totally safe from any curbs on their chosen sport? All antis work on the water on a stone principle, and if we make the stone smaller of our own accord, it only speeds up the process. Vagabond, Waterman and Dave have got it spot on. If I can only convince another two million anglers, and a few million other voters I will have done a good job.

Peter, sorry to disagree but the class war is perceived as the reason to ban hunting, even though there are probably more like you and I involved than "Toffs".


This prophesy was brought to you courtesy of Cassandra. Look it up.



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Guest Peter Waller
Originally posted by euan pink:

peter i am not trying to be funny but did`nt national service teach people to shoot and kill?

without shoots i think south norfolk would be a far more barren place than it currently is.



The National Service finished some forty years ago Euan. Do you really think we are less of a civilised society because we no longer train all our youngsters to be able to kill one another?


Seen from this side of the pond America has a major problem with handguns. One massacre is enough but the US has had more than its fair share. Seen from that perspective do you still think all our youngsters should be taught to kill one another?


On a personal basis I have no problem with those who wish to shoot as a sport. I have done it myself. I was also a beatster on a number of shoots, meeting many hundreds of guns, not once did I meet a shooter who would celebrate, in a pagan manner, the death of the prey as with the fox hunting fraternity.


The destruction of a passing fox hunt can be devastating, not the case with those who shoot.


Responsible gun handling is to be commended, for those who have an outlet for gun use. But to encourage all and sundry to the use of guns, and the ability to kill, is, at best, questionable, at worst, madness.


My problem, like a great many country folk, is not with hunting in general, but with Fox hunting in particular. To my mind, in a civilised society, the primitive blood letting that is Fox hunting, with hounds, has had its day. It is not to the best advantage of anglers to be tarred with the same brush as the Fox hunting brigade.


Once Fox hunting has gone then perhaps angling will be best served by uniting with other hunters. Time will tell.

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Guest peter mccue

Concious or unconcious there is some hypocritical statements coming out here.


Firstly, Class envy, deny it as much as you want but the truth is, it's the basic reason for the majority who attack foxhunting.


I've spoken to a lot of people about f/h & if you listen for their unguarded comments it's nearly always to do 'red coated snobs looking down on us working lads' & when it gets there it's delivered with venom. I know thats not everybody but it's most of the people I know.


I also dislike this holier than thou attitude that crops up when showing the difference between fishing & hunting, there's not much to choose between them. They both have area's to applaud & area's to criticise, & if you think you're a saint because you don't kill fish then ponder on the fish kills caused by some of the Trout fishers, match anglers, pike men & not to mention pleasure anglers who would rather see pike & eels 'dealt' with than risk those teeth & all that slime. It may not be you, but it's the sport you're involved in.


Someone posted that the countryside & wildlife we know has been created & protected by hunters, how true that is & as anglers we should know that truth because without us how many fish filled lakes, ponds, streams & rivers with all their attendant flora & fauna would we have..not many I'd warrant.


After all that you would expect me to support angling & hunting joining forces, but I don't & it's for selfish reasons. The public perception of hunting, which I don't agree with, is that of cruel unfeeling people of a general upper class status pulling apart innocent little foxes. As far as anglers are concerned we are viewed by most as slightly unhinged ie 'what, you catch them & then put them back, so whats the point?'.


I don't want to see that perception of us change, it keeps us out of the firing line. Align us with fox hunting etc & we'll get tarred with the same brush, not a good situation when your enemy deals mainly in emotion rather than facts.


Toleration is a forgotten word when this subject crops up.

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Guest Chris Burt

I’d like to throw a few more points into the arena for you to consider!


Firstly, just for the record, here is the text of the actual joint statement from the NAA on the subject.





The National Angling Alliance and the Countryside Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding providing a framework within which the two organisations will collaborate closely on angling issues. That framework is based on the concept that the National Angling Alliance is the principal organisation representing and promoting angling and the interests of anglers and that the Countryside Alliance is the principal organisation defending all country sports in the context of rural livelihood and liberty.


Tony Bird, Chairman of the National Angling Alliance, will join the board of the Countryside Alliance immediately and Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, will attend the meetings of the National Angling Alliance.



This Forum has illustrated very well how anglers are split on whether fishing should ally itself with hunting or not. By definition then quite a number of anglers believe we should, others not, and from experience to date I would guess that about 30/40% at least support or are neutral to hunting. Whatever the percentage, nothing is more guaranteed to provoke fierce debate, but it still leaves the CA in existence, with a large body of anglers who are CA members.

The CA can then act in concert with the NAA and its member groups, or separately, when overlap, duplication or a conflict of interests are all likely to occur at times. Note the CA are not members of the NAA, the Press Statement states the two organisations will collaborate, no more. The arrangement reflects the current reality and makes the best of the situation, no more, no less.



Secondly, the question is posed of “where the NFA gets its mandate”. Well, it is actually the NAA as a whole who have come to this arrangement, and you may recall Leon Roskilly gave a very impassioned statement angling representation (16th Nov, SAA debate if you want to look it up), which to paraphrase said we could only try to bring together as best we could, the members we represented, and to try to amalgamate all the widely differing views we are faced with. He also pointed out the very, very low level of support anglers in general give to those organisations who try quite hard to protect and promote angling. It begs the question that IF the NAA were large, financially sound, with the sort of staff and resource that say the RSPB can boast, we would be far more secure and self sufficient. All the organisations need far more help, whether you give it or merely observe and comment as an individual will have the ultimate say on that.



Lastly the point is made that “anglers,(especially us coarse anglers ) should stand up and be proud of our sport where we return all we catch, not aligning ourselves to …….(hunting etc)”

Well, the NAA is an amalgamation of ALL anglers, and that includes sea fishermen and trout fishermen, who all sometimes kill their catch for food. Opponents of fishing would like nothing better than to divide and rule, the Campaign for the Abolition of Angling (CAA) for instance view it as a major success to see us banned on even one water (remember Clapham Common?), and they would love us to split from the other branches of fishing. Remember though the CAA also came out with these gems such as;

“Violence on the (football) terraces, violence on the waterways. What is the difference? Like the soccer yob’s innocent victims, fish are also victims of thuggery and violence...”

“If child battering is considered wrong then there is no logical reason why the same moral code should not be applied” (to fishing).

These are the same people who gleefully reported in their magazine the death of an angler from electrocution, and one even stated he would lay down his life to defend maggots.

Still feel good about splitting from other anglers, other branches of the sport? If so I will leave you with one thought. The “shopping list” for the antis (many of whom are also in PETA) reads roughly as follows;

Ban hunting with dogs

Ban the rest of hunting

Ban fishing

Ban the keeping of pets (yes, seriously, ban all pets!)

Ban the use of animal products

Ban meat eating-veganism for all…..


Unity within angling has been achieved through the formation of the NAA, and that represents an enormous step forward. Surely we have lots more common ground with those within our sport than those outside it!


Chris Burt, SAA.

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Guest Peter Waller

Chris, I have no wish to split from other organisations that represent anglers, provided that they do actually represent angling, rather than be puppets for outside interests. Equally, I have no wish to align myself, via the SAA or NAA, with the CA whilst the CA continues to defend fox hunting with dogs. I have a firm moral view on the matter.


As has been mentioned by Mike Heylin (SAA), he has a view on the use of handguns. Now, if I understand Mike correctly, we differ strongly in our views on this matter. Others have mentioned their support for the continuation of fox hunting. These matters should be seen as personal and having no connection whatsoever with angling.


If we let matters from outside angling concern us then it is inevitable that we will become devided, as has clearly happened.


We must be seen to be neutral on matters that don't concern our own sport.


Effectively, by its actions with regard to angling, the CA has scored an effective own goal, division. Had the CA not inflicted itself onto angling then this deviding question would not have arisen.


It would appear by your comments, and those of Mike, that you both support the CA and, therefore, presumably, so does the SAA. Or is that not so? I feel uneasy about the whole matter.


It would appear, by your figures, that less than 50% of anglers actually support the hunting lobby, or are atleast neutral to it. Look a tad more closely and ask yourself how many anglers actually support the Fox Hunting lobby. Half, quarter, one tenth? Either way, I don't believe the CA can ethically stand up and say that anglers now support them. I don't believe that, ethically, the NAA had the moral mandate to offer OUR support for the CA.


Angling is angling. It should not be bullied into supporting a political body that so many of us disagree with.


[This message has been edited by Peter Waller (edited 14 February 2002).]

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Guest waterman1013



I am afraid you have me wrong. I am no longer a member of CA, I left because I did not think their representation of angling was good for angling and I had doubts about their ability in the sport.


My views on handgun ownership are based on my belief in personal freedoms, not drawn from CA but from my own views of a mature society. I also feel I should have the right to defend my home and family against any invader, criminal or foreign.


In a previous post on this thread I gave the SAA policy on CA membership.


You seem to believe that an accord to work together for the betterment of the sport of angling implies support for every other area in which CA work. That is not so and the NAA statement is quite plain on that.


The memorandum of understanding does not bind anglers in any way. It binds two independent bodies into a working method whereby they can co-exist and not keep tripping the other up and duplicating effort.


I do understand that for you, and I am sure many others, this is an emotive isssue. But please don't let your response to hunting with dogs get in the way of the needs of angling to speak with one voice through the NAA. This agreement binds CA to just that, so the number of loose cannons around should now be reduced by one.



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Guest Chris Burt


Just for the record I do not hunt, am not a member of the CA, nor I am not about to reverse my position on either!

I think you are missing the point of my post though. We are all anglers and by banding together we are stronger, unity means we can speak with one voice; your stance means we fragment into very small units, which going by performance to date means we achieve far less than we acn if we function as a group. The Campaign for the Abolition of Angling and PETA would love anglers to be at each others throats, we need unity and that we will only achieve by applying tollerance for each others views. We ALL fish and share a lot in common, ie a love of angling; apply that and see what we can do......

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Guest phil hackett

For the record I am a member of the SAA


I despise hunting with dogs be that for foxes, hare, deer, or any other animal for that matter.


I have no view either way on shooting, although I don’t shoot myself.


I live in the inner city but lived my childhood in the countryside.


I firmly believe that if pests have to be culled, it should be carried out in the most humane way possible. Live trapping and euthanasia would be my preferred option, but practicalities and animal welfare with some animals means this is not always possible. Therefore I would and do accept that shooting by an expert shot is probably the only other viable alternative.


I DO NOT support the CA but can see the logic in the accord between CA and NAA.

That said, I will not stand by and watch angling or the bodies I’m a member of, move one step closer than this accord.


If this happens, I put it on record, that I would leave the SAA and actively campaign form my group to do likewise.


In placing my views here I have no intentions, and will not debate this issue further.

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You are right, as anglers, standing together we are stronger. So why ally ourselves with people who the MAJORITY of the country perceive as morally abhorent?





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