Dear Eleanor Laing,
As you may be aware the City of London Open Spaces Committee has awarded a contract to the Capreolus Club, a private club for blood sports enthusiasts, to hunt deer in Epping Forest.
I don’t feel that this contract is appropriate for several reasons, including:
1) The club says that the license has been granted for deer management reasons but the deer are already managed by wardens who have great knowledge and experience of our forest and its deer. I believe that this is currently done on a voluntary basis.
2) Other forest users are already reporting that they feel unsafe knowing that huntspeople are roaming the forest. It’s a particular concern among our horse riding and off-road cycling communities.
3) The contract with the Capreolus Club is hidden behind commercial confidentiality, limiting public scrutiny and the club’s accountability.
4) To the best of my knowledge there is no agreed number of deer which should be killed or, if there is a limit, no effective process for monitoring numbers or obligation on the club to withdraw once that limit is reached.
5) There was little or no consultation with local people before this contract was agreed and it’s only come to the public’s attention via posts on social media.
Over and above all of these practical considerations there is the underlying principle that people hunting deer in our forest for fun is abhorrent. They’re stunning animals, much more beautiful alive than dead. If this was about controlling numbers it could be easier to justify but, as mentioned above, there is no need for the Capreolus Club, or any other external organisation, to do that.
This is purely about hunting our deer for pleasure.
Please do what you can to help remove Capreolus Club from our forest and secure funding for properly trained, professional wardens to carry out deer population management as deemed necessary.
Read the Epping Forest Green Party statement about deer hunting in Epping Forest here: Stop deer hunting in Epping Forest.
Sign the petition here: change.org.
Email your MP here: writetothem.org