In 1935 the Observer admitted that the defenders of blood-sports “are now fighting a losing battle.” Henry Salt, the foremost anti-bloodsport campaigner, writing in the Vegetarian Messenger a few weeks later acknowledged that “Such a forecast, in such a quarter, was very gratifying; but losing battles are often long ones.”

Some of the tactics used by bloodsport apologists are given in Save Our Stags by Ian Pedler. One of the most obvious tactics is hide behind other issues. Janet George, after resigning as the Countryside Alliance’s chief press officer in August 1998, told the Guardian that their idea was simple: “Wrap hunting up in the wider rural fabric. Because everyone loves the countryside and hates hunting.”

In 2002 the Park Beagles changed their name to the Park Beagles Brown Hare Conservation Group to “reflect their respect and care for the welfare of their quarry.”

Shooting groups likewise hide behind ‘conservation’ or in the case of one group, songbirds!

Scratch below the surface of all these groups and same old bloodsporters desperately fighting an ultimately losing battle.