Local Hero To Receive School Bell Auction Funds To Help Forest Of Dean Boar

For Immediate Release:

9 October 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

PETA Founder’s Family Heirloom Sold to Help Fight Cull and Prevent Wild Population’s Extinction

Coleford, Gloucestershire – Today, proceeds from the auction of a 100-year-old school bell from a grammar school in Coleford will be given to Drew Pratten, the recipient of The Citizen‘s Readers’ Choice Award. Pratten and his group, Sab the Wild Boar Cull, will receive the full £190 raised from the auction to help end the controversial cull that would kill dozens of wild boar in the Forest of Dean.

“Our fight to help save the boar is greatly helped by the support of a large group such as PETA, and we’re particularly touched that PETA’s founder would part with a family heirloom”, Pratten says. “The money will be used to fund our continuing battle with the forestry commission and poachers to save our precious wild boar. We will continue to be out disrupting the cull through legal means for as long as they continue to kill treasured wildlife.”

Pratten won The Citizen‘s Readers’ Choice Award at the Pride of the Forest Awards this year. Decided through a readers’ poll, the award honours the person who has benefited the Forest of Dean the most. Pratten was nominated for campaigning against the cull of badgers in Gloucestershire and working for their protection. He helped organise the group Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, which sought to raise awareness about the badger cull and campaign for alternative measures to control bovine tuberculosis.

Boar became extinct in England 300 years ago but were reintroduced to the Forest of Dean in the 1990s, and their rooting has helped insects and plants flourish in the freshly turned soil. In 2012, the boar cull was suspended because of concerns that the number of boar had dropped too low and the species could be eradicated. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that the number of wild boar estimated by the forestry commission is, in many experts’ views, grossly overstated and should the cull achieve its target, there is a real danger that there will not be a viable population of boar left in the Forest of Dean. The cull could also cause a spike in the food supply, which would prompt surviving animals to breed at an accelerated rate, leading to a continuous and pointless killing cycle.

Pictures of the bell are available to download here and here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.