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BISHOP JOINS WAR ON OTTER HUNTS

 
By J. Mason Milligan  

From the Sunday Telegraph dated August 29th 1976:

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt. Rev. Maurice Wood, has promised to support angry residents in the Isle of Mull in their campaign against an English businessman who hunts otters there.

The Englishman, Mr. Michael Farrow, a property developer, who has a business address in Jameson Street, Kensington, and his wife, have taken a pack of otter hounds to Mull every year for the past four years.

The Bishop, who is seeking to have otter hunting banned, heard of the Mull situation when he attended a theatre in the island.

Plea to land owners

Before the show, Mrs. Marian Hesketh, wife of the director of Mull Little Theatre, appealed to the audience to do nothing to assist the English otter hunters. She asked landowners to refuse them permission to use their land.

The Bishop was “deeply concerned” and promised he would speak on the matter in the House of Lords as soon as possible. He is now in Italy and not available for comment.

Mr. and Mrs. Farrow left Mull a few days ago. They are believed to be still in Scotland on holiday.

Mrs. Elizabeth Shields, of Salen, one of the island’s leading conservationists, said yesterday that hotels and restaurants had refused to serve Mr. and Mrs. Farrow and their party of four friends. Landowners she had contacted had refused permission to use their land.

Cruelty denied

She said the otter was a shy, courageous little beast that met a “disgusting and cruel death” by the hounds. “There are few otters left on the island. If hunting continues they will be lost to us for good.”

Capt. John Bell-Irving of Dumfriesshire, president of the Master of Otter Hounds Association, the governing body on Otter-hunting in Britain, said to me: “In my view, there is no cruelty in the sport. If there were it would have been banned years ago.”

There are 14 organised packs of otter hounds in Britain. One is in Scotland.

With thanks to Mike Huskisson. 

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