PETA Founder Rings the Bell for Wild Boar
The wild boar population of the Forest of Dean is under threat from a controversial and cruel cull plan.
Animal activists around the world are speaking out against the planned killing, and PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has also chimed in. To help support activists fighting the cull, Ingrid has put up for auction a hundred-year-old family heirloom – the bell that her great-uncle, who was the headmaster of a grammar school in Coleford in the Forest of Dean, rang from his school’s steps each morning.
“My great-uncle Sidney and my father, who spent his boyhood in Coleford, loved the Forest of Dean – they knew its paths and peculiarities well and, as amateur ethologists and hobby botanists, appreciated the trees, plants, birds and other wildlife in it”, Ingrid says. “Both would be whirling in their graves at the thought that the wild boars were being cavalierly dismissed as ‘pests’ and would say that the real pests are the human interlopers who appreciate nothing natural, only artificial constructs and pleasures. I am glad to sell this bell if the proceeds might be used to preserve the boars who call the forest home.”
Boars became extinct in England about 300 years ago but were reintroduced to the Forest of Dean in the 1990s, and their rooting has helped insects and plants to flourish in the freshly turned soil. Killing the boars is cruel and misguided. In 2012, a cull was suspended because of concerns that the number of boars had dropped too low and the species could be eradicated. A 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.
Bidding on Ingrid’s family heirloom closes on 20 September, and the proceeds from the auction will help the activists’ fight against the cull.