Call for wildlife boss to go over hunting
Campaigners are calling for the resignation of a wildlife boss who ran a hare hunt for more than 30 years, because he still allows hunting on his land.
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for Michael Bax to step down as chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust after it emerged he was joint Master of the Blean Beagles until 2005.
It has also been revealed the animal protection chief allows pheasant shooting on his farm.
Tom Fitton, who set up the petition and is a member of the Wildlife Trust, said Mr Bax was not a “fit and proper person” to be running the organisation.
He said: “The brown hare is an endangered species across the UK and Mr Bax does not represent the views of the trust’s membership who pay their fees to protect wildlife, not slaughter it for pleasure. Mr Bax is damaging the reputation of not just Kent Wildlife Trust but the trusts in general. He is not a fit and proper person to be running a wildlife conservation charity and we call for Kent Wildlife Trust to cut their ties with him immediately.
“I am a member of the trust and I saw a few rumours going round on social media about Mr Bax’s past and I did a bit of digging.
“I felt a mixture of shock and disbelief when I found out.’’
Of the 100,000 petition signatories, 30,000 are UK-based. Responding to the petition, Mr Bax said he understood hare hunting was an “emotive issue”.
He said: ‘’Having lived all my life in the Kent countryside I grew up with beagling, actively involved until 1995 and one of seven joint masters of the Blean Beagles until 2005.
“While hunting hares with beagles is now consigned to history, there are still many who participate in managed field sports and hunt within the Act.
“We need to work together if we are to reverse the crisis for wildlife in the countryside.
“I have a daily involvement in countryside management. I recognised years ago that the trust was an organisation which was working well with all rural stakeholders, and I’m able to make a significant contribution in enabling that approach to continue.”
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Michael Bax to step down from the Kent Wildlife Trust