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Brixham farmer Richard Haddock removes RSPCA boxes from his shop after badger cull comments

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

Richard Haddock and anti-traveller ditch

Richard Haddock

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Farm-shop owner Richard Haddock has withdrawn RSPCA collecting boxes from the counters of his Devon store because of the charity's stance on badger culling.

He says the move – prompted by his customers – will leave the society hundreds of pounds out of pocket. But he is handing the boxes back – and calling on all other farm-related businesses to do the same.

Mr Haddock's decision to remove the boxes from the Churston Farm Shop, near Brixham, follows a series of outspoken attacks on farmers involved in the postponed trial badger culls by the charity and its chief executive Gavin Grant.

In recent weeks the RSPCA has called on supermarkets to boycott the milk from farms in Somerset and Gloucestershire where pilot culling is due to take place in the spring, and threatened to "name and shame" farmers involved in or supporting the cull operation.

Mr Haddock, a former regional chairman of the National Farmers' Union, said the tone of the statements "demonstrates how the RSPCA has been hijacked by political interests".

He said: "It is supposed to be a charity which concerns itself with the welfare of animals. All farmers are doing is taking part in an entirely legal operation whose terms of reference have been set and approved by the Government.

"There is no shame in trying to rid the countryside of unhealthy badgers which are not only spreading TB among their own population but are doing untold damage to the livestock farming economy." Mr Haddock said he had been a long-term supporter of the RSPCA, like many farmers, and had even agreed to rescued wild animals being released on his land. But he could no longer ignore public opinion.

"It was my customers who really objected to the boxes being there, because they genuinely felt farmers were being stabbed in the back by an organisation which ostensibly stands for animal welfare," he said.

"My customers realise that so long as diseased badgers are allowed to roam freely in the countryside, the welfare of other badgers and of cattle, alpacas, even cats and dogs, will be severely compromised.

"Until the RSPCA comes to its senses and stops aligning itself with the animal rights extremists ... no farm-related business should be supporting it in any way at all."

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "We rely entirely on public donations and it is a shame if Mr Haddock feels this way, but of course we respect his views. We are very sorry to lose his support and we hope he will change his views."

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  • Rogerout  |  November 15 2013, 5:43PM

    Mr Haddock irrational rantings. It is the Cull which is political. But your past NFU membership explains a lot. The NFU have been the organising body for this latest cull having its headquarters in NFU office //shop premises. The NFU represents only about 18% of farmers and mainly the large landowning shooting estates. how many badgers are TB infected - a small number probably less than 5%. what is the main source of cattle infection-- Cattle to cattle transmission. Have you any knowledge of the people involved in the current protests or who support a science based humane solution to the problem ? well they represent a cross section of Middle England, including Vets, surveyors and nurses. yes Mr haddock everyone wants a solution to Bovine TB in cattle and wildlife, but most want a humane science based solution and it is only England in the UK under Owen Paterson MP that has a political agenda and is authorising this slaughter of wildlife. You have not read enough of the scientific data concerning the advances of Veterinary Medicine , but keep talking about diseased badgers, not even diseased cattle. After all we have had BSE, Foot & mouth, Blue tongue and contaminated meat products from the farming Industry. Now lets try a science way forward and solve it. You are very vociferous for a shopkeeper, do you have any customers left ?

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  • Syrrets  |  November 30 2012, 10:43PM

    It is highly disingenuous of Mr Haddock to state, "There is no shame in trying to rid the countryside of unhealthy badgers" when the proposed badger cull will make no effort to target only "unhealthy" badgers and, as a consequence, will kill far more healthy badgers than unhealthy badgers. The badger cull strategy, as supported by Mr Haddock, is a nonsense and is recognised as such by virtually every animal disease scientist in the country. Similarly, Mr Haddock and his "customers" are wrong to attack the RSPCA, which is doing exactly what it should be doing - vigorously defending the welfare of wild animals against an irrational, vindictive and callous government working hand-in-glove with the appallingly regressive NFU. From now on I will only buy produce from farm shops that DO HAVE RSPCA collecting boxes on their counters!

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  • Oscar-Parrot  |  November 30 2012, 10:23PM

    I use farm shops because their general ethos is about animal welfare. I stopped using farmer Haddock's shop sometime ago after hearing about he's attitude to animal welfare, not just the badger cull. So this R.S.P.C.A thing comes as no surprise to me. It's quite amazing that a farm shop owner would remove RSPCA boxes from he's shop, it also shows himself up for what he is. This must be the only farm shop owner in the country to be anti RSPCA - customer beware.

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  November 30 2012, 4:10PM

    Othursty1 For your enlightenment; I am definitely not a lady I am in full time employment that has a significant impact on the lives of many disadvantaged people - the nature of the work means this is today's 'lunch' break. i have been employed pretty much my whole adult life. The actions of the RSPCA are hardly communist as the aim is to disrupt a process. This is a different political order (or, more correctly, disorder). Unfortunately, those who sit just to the left of Adolf think everyone further up the bench a Communist. Perhaps Mr Haddock should have opened up a debate with the RSPCA in an adult and mature manner rather than throwing a tantrum and, oh yes, the one main reason for all this, getting his mug in the paper and some free publicity for his business If you are going to admonish me for 'not reading', please have the grace to learn how to spell first - a failure normally demonstrated by those who rarely read anything more challenging than the Sun. I think I'lll increase my monthly donation.

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  • Incredulous2  |  November 30 2012, 10:30AM

    Cruey - you say "this will affect the care of the animals in the care of the RSPCA needing to be re-homed". I applaud the RSPCA for the care they provide, and their fund-raising activities to be able to provide that care. If, however, the RSPCA (or 'representatives' of the charity) chose to make such inflammatory statements, they should expect certain sections of the community to react against it - as has happened. The RSPCA are not stupid people - they would (or should) have considered the fall-out from the statements they made, and balanced this against the needs of the animals in their care (and the money they need to generate). Perhaps their 'extreme' stance is to make them more attractive to the anti-cull lobby, hoping to generate more in donations from this sector than they will lose from the farming community. There are people who disagree with Mr Haddocks viewpoints and comments - and as such refuse to spend money in his shops, which they are entitled to do - as Mr Haddock is entitled to remove collecting boxes from his shop. If his customers are so keen to support the RSPCA, they can either find other collection boxes, or some other method of donating.

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  • Cruey  |  November 30 2012, 12:34AM

    Ok Haddock is entitled to his views .....but this will affect the care of the animals in the care of the RSPCA needing to be rehomed ....... shame on you Haddock. it is not the top brass of the RSPCA that will be affected but the animals ..... I will say that I do not support his hunting etc ... perhaps he does not care about any animal ......

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  • eyeopener  |  November 29 2012, 9:53PM

    Othursty1 your remarks ignore the fact that Richard Haddock is a former regional chairman of the National Farmers' Union. In other words he is not a disinterested bystander. You say "his actions now are prompted by the shamful acts of the RSPCA and by public opinion of the RSPCAs disgraceful actions - the RSPCA having decided to take matters into their own hands and want to resort to a communist style country. Now, get a job and do something useful with your time." First public opinion is not on the side of the Pro-Cull arguement even in the south west many more leave comments in these columns against the cull, look at any article about culling badgers and do the counting yourself! Second YOU may regard RSPCA as having "decided to take matters into their own hands." I am sure they would plead guilty to that. Time and time again the RSPCA has intervened to try and prevent animal cruelty. Then you make reference to want to resort to "a communist style country." This is just a silly perjorative remark. It smacks of the Macarthyite era and the House of Un-American Activities Committe. Your about sixty years to late! Finally you state "Now, get a job and do something useful with your time." Lord Krebs, Dr. Rosie Woodroffe the principal badger ecologist involved in the RBCT trials, and Professor Diana Williams of Liverpool University from Liverpool University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, did. They exposed the poor science behind the cull. "Chris Rundle writing in the Western Daily Press today said in an article about Brian May "The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Dorset this morning." You said "You make unfounded accusations, don't research your 'facts' and think everyone should be brainwashed with your opinions." Who is being hypocritical now?

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  • eyeopener  |  November 29 2012, 9:37PM

    Chris Rundle writing in the Western Daily Press today said in an article about Brian May "The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Dorset this morning." Wouldn't it have been more apposite to have said "The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Brixham this morning?" Richard Haddock a former regional chairman of the National Farmers' Union, said the tone of the statements ""demonstrates how the RSPCA has been hijacked by political interests". Would it not have been more accurate to talk of Conservative politicians being hijacked by a wealthy industry body? Those who support the cull know that they have lost the scientific argument and so they attack first Lord Krebs, then Brian May and now the RSPCA. Who is to be attacked next, Dr. Rosie Woodroffe the principal badger ecologist involved in the RBCT trials? It is poor bio-security and lax cattle controls that have contributed to the Bovine TB disaster. So what's the solution? Avoid any meaningful expense, and massacre the badger population instead? The South West NFU Livestock Board gave the game away when it called "for changes to TB testing and movement controls to be delayed until a wildlife cull is under way." "As the cull has been postponed it is only fair that these other changes are postponed as well," said Alex Stevens, south-west food and farming adviser at the NFU. "Only fair?" What do the South West NFU Livestock Board imagine cattle controls are for? They are to prevent the entry of infected cattle onto disease free farms. The above just confirms what many have believed about the farming industry. It's about making money, skimping on common sense measures to reduce the spread of Bovine TB, and shifting any costs that arise shifting the costs onto the tax payer. The NFU do their members no service by pursuing such a cynical agenda. http://tinyurl.com/cylr58j

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  • Nippie  |  November 29 2012, 8:14PM

    It must be quite nice living in Haddock land, where you are the only one who matters and where you can ride roughshod over everyone. How this man does any business I will never know. I wonder does he know how the majority of the general public feel about him?

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  • Othursty1  |  November 29 2012, 7:28PM

    Ladies, AKA E_Badger, Jungle_Jim and dodge102, did none of you read the article? These three persons partly represent all that is wholy wrong with today's society. You make unfounded accusations, don't research your 'facts' and think everyone should be brainwashed with your opinions. In the report Mr. Haddock neither indorses the government nore RSPCAs stance. What he does say is that something should be done regarding badgers infected with TB. He also says his actions now are prompted by the shamful acts of the RSPCA and by public opinion of the RSPCAs disgraceful actions - the RSPCA having decided to take matters into their own hands and want to resort to a communist style country. Now, get a job and do something useful with your time.

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