Stop slaughtering sports field bunnies, says wildlife enthusiast

A wild rabbit
A wild rabbit
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AN ANIMAL lover is calling for an end to what he considers “the unnecessary slaughter” of rabbits on a local sports field.

Ray Ingram, who sits on Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council, owns a plot of land with neighbours Jevington Recreation Ground, and says he has reached the end of his tether regarding the regular culling of bunnies.

Mr Ingram, who used his acres to house rescued horses, is now urging the local authority, which owns the land, to stop killing the animals.

He told the Gazette, “On and off over the past 15 years I have had many altercations with people shooting, and ferreting the rabbits. I believe it is totally unnecessary to slaughter these animals for the sake of a game of cricket.

“Besides, if we can put up with them digging little holes in our field, I am sure that their groundsman can do as we do. “Simply fill them in.”

Fuming Mr Ingram said his various attempts to have the issues discussed by the council have been always been rebuffed. “Last Monday evening I tried to get a debate going. What I asked for was that the ethical, and moral issues as well as the health and safety issues of killing these rabbits to play sport be placed before the full council.

“Four councilllors voted for this issue not to be put to full council, while two of us voted for it to be. I now have one option left, that is get as much publicity as I can, and for local people let the council know how they feel about this practise.”

An online petition has already gathered 584 names and Mr Ingram is hopeful as many people as possible now back his campaign.

The sports club could not be contacted for a comment, but a spokesman for the parish council said the authority was more than happy with the way things were being done.

They said, “The matter of rabbit control was most recently discussed at the Recreation committee meeting. We are satisfied that the occupiers of the land, Jevington Sports Club, are meeting their statutory obligations as defined in the Pests Act 1954.”

Mr Ingram however, remained unconvinced. “I do not think that I can stand listening to these creatures screaming in terror while being hunted by ferrets any more,” he said. “It’s just not cricket.”

To sign the petition, visit www.thepetitionsite.com/57/please-stop-killing-rabbits-in-the-name-of-sport or alternatively contact your local councillor.