The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973

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Otters Under Threat

This summer we are helping to protect otters and all manner of other flora and fauna found along the beautiful riverbanks of England and Wales. The Otter Survey of 2000 -2002 demonstrates that this wonderful resident of our countryside is slowly making a comeback after a period that saw numbers drop to a record low.

The Dangers
To ensure the otters' revival it is imperative that riverbanks remain hospitable places. Between the months of April and September mink hound packs operate on rivers throughout England and Wales and the League believes this activity could pose a serious threat to the otter population.

The Law
These hunts were formerly interested in terrorising otters until protective legislation in 1975 prompted the switch to the mink.

The Hunting Act 2004 has further complicated matters for these hunts by outlawing the hunting of mink with dogs for sport; effectively taking away their reason for being along the riverbanks with a pack of trained hounds. More information can be found here.

Unfortunately, we now find that the hunters, determined in their cruel pursuit of any quarry, claim to be hunting rats as a justification for their presence.

However there is a solution in law. The Widlife and Countryside Act 1981 prevents damage and disturbance to the otter and its habitat.

What Can I Do?
Contact us if you know of any mink hunts in your area. A list of mink hound packs can be found here. Report anyone you see disturbing otter habitats to the police. Be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog on a lead near rivers where otters are known to reside.

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