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Songbird swansong?

Please compare and contrast the latest report on declining bird numbers from the RSPB BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Farming 'killing Europe's birds' calling for more money and interference from the EU with this site which seems to be more connected with the real world: SongBird Survival.

"SongBird Survival believes that there must be sensitive control of selective predator populations to aid the recovery of songbirds while habitat improvements are taking place.
The RSPB has been singularly successful in attracting over one million members. However, it cannot claim that its actions have in any way proved effective in preventing the decline in the songbird populations. It has been successful in re-introducing some raptor species, but certainly does not find it convenient to tell its members that these predatory birds will add to the killing of literally millions of songbirds every year."

(But then as a subsidy junkie farmer I can't complain with my "arable reversion" payment, and my "retention of overwintered stubbles followed by a spring and summer fallow" payment and my "creation and management of a conservation headland without any fertiliser application" payment and my "establishment and maintenance of wildlife seed mixtures providing a food source and cover for a range of wild birds, mammals and invertebrates" payment.)


Bug Rights?

The folks who are fighting for animal rights don't seem to be concerned about the slaughter of mosquitoes. Insect rights should not be ignored. Then too, there are vegetable rights. Those plants are living things. Of course, one supposes it all has to stop somewhere.

PETA should work to persuade the lions and tigers not to eat meat. If they can do that, they have a chance to persuade humans to do the same. Eating meat, among other foods, is our natural inclination. Nor is there anything wrong with our wearing leather or furs. We do use humans in medical research and it is OK to use animals as well.

Where they have the right idea is how we should go about raising and slaughtering animals. There is no excuse for inflicting pain or misery that can be avoided, even though it may raise the cost of the product somewhat. Legislation to prevent unnecessary suffering is appropriate, as is the funding of research directed toward improving the lot of the animals we use.

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