Over 114,000 Care2 Members Say No to Culling in London’s Parks

When I lived in London’s Kensington district, walking in Kensington Gardens or taking a boat on the Serpentine in Hyde Park were weekly rituals, an escape from my tiny bedsit.

London’s parks are glorious open spaces that breathe life into a densely crowded city.

So when I learned that these open spaces are also killing grounds, I was horrified.

A report from Animal Aid, one of the U.K.’s largest animal rights organizations, has revealed that between January 2013 and January 2017 a whopping 8,400 wild mammals and 3,240 birds were culled in London’s Royal Parks.

That’s over 10,000 innocent creatures killed by the Royal Parks authority in those four years, and the figure is undoubtedly much higher now, as the extermination has continued.

The numbers include 1,734 deer, 2,657 rabbits and 1,221 crows, the majority in the iconic Richmond Park, a 2,500 acre area in west London that is ironically known as a “European Area of Conservation.” You can read the full list of all the creatures that were culled here.

When Urban Squirrels, a London-based animal rights group, learned of these horrific numbers, they decided to create a Care2 petition demanding that the Royal Parks immediately stop killing healthy animals and instead put into practice non-lethal methods for control of the animal population. These are actually mentioned in their own policy statement, although they have not been implemented.

Within just a few weeks the petition had garnered over 60,000 signatures and now, a month later, that number is over 114,000.

There are many angry comments:

“There are too many humans on this planet, will we cull them too?” wrote Matthew P. from the U.K.

Julia G., also from the U.K., added, “We share the planet with other beings, we don’t own it. The deer don’t deserve to be killed, they are beautiful sentient beings.”

And another U.K. resident, Tahlia M. wrote, “Parks should be protecting wildlife and preserving biodiversity. That’s your job. Not killing innocent animals out of ‘convenience’ or for blood money.”

As the Care2 petition points out, the eight Royal Parks — Hyde, The Green, Richmond, Greenwich, St. James, Bushy, and The Regent’s Parks, and Kensington Gardens — are “London’s most iconic open spaces where locals and tourists go to relax and reconnect with nature.”

“5,000 acres of quality green spaces across eight London parks,” reads the Royal Parks website. “Free to visit and open every day of the year, the parks are for everyone. Explore opportunities to get active, connect with nature, enjoy world-class events and learn something new. Or just watch the world go by in landscapes shaped by their unique history.”

And yet, “The very animals whom the visitors admire and photograph are killed in astonishingly high numbers,” writes the petition author.

Signs appeared just the other day in Richmond Park to warn park visitors of night-time closures for the biannual culling of deer.

Many visitors come to the Royal Parks specifically to see and interact with wild animals. But the park authority is in the business of slaughtering these creatures, not cherishing them.

There are more humane ways of controlling animal populations and it’s time for the Royal Parks authority to explore the many non-lethal methods that are available.

Take Action!

Thousands of Care2 activists have already signed up to express their outrage that innocent, healthy animals are being routinely murdered.

You too can take action and sign the Care2 petition demanding an end to this unnecessary slaughter.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

111 comments

KimJ M
KimJ M7 days ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M7 days ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M7 days ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M7 days ago

Already signed

SEND
Angela K
Angela K8 days ago

Petition signed. Thanks for sharing

SEND
Teresa A
Teresa A8 days ago

Signed December last:

SEND
Berenice Guedes de Sá

Petiton signed!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!!

SEND
David F
David F9 days ago

Headlines demonstrate 114,000 highly opinionated, maximum ignorance, urban dwellers.

SEND
Helene L
Helene L9 days ago

Petition signed. Thanks for sharing.

SEND
David F
David F9 days ago

Dr. Peter Smallidge, the State Forester for Cornell Extension, said that at the time of European settlement, it's estimated there were fewer than one deer per two square miles in New York State, about 20,000 in total. Today there are two million, more than enough to destroy the ability of many forests to regrow, as young trees are devoured by deer while they are seedlings.

SEND