• Badger Trust Staff Team

Join thousands this weekend in Birmingham for Birmingham Wildlife Festival!

Thousands of people will come together in Victoria Square in central Birmingham within days of the General Election on Saturday 10 June, for the fourth annual Birmingham Wildlife Festival.

The Festival which is aimed at celebrating the importance of British wildlife and the need for its for protection, is organised by the Badger Trust and sponsored by the League Against Cruel Sports with the support of other leading wildlife protection charities including the Born Free Foundation, International Federation for Animal Welfare and Animal Aid. 

The festival will see Victoria Square filled with stalls and exhibition stands for wildlife protection and animal welfare organisations, producers of vegan foods and other ethical products.

The leading folk rock band Fairport Convention will headline the music acts at this years Festival, speakers will include the actor and animal rights campaigner Peter Egan, CEO of Badger Trust and Policy Adviser Born Free Foundation, Dominic Dyer, wildlife campaigner and broadcaster Anneka Svenka and the CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports Eduardo Gonçalves.

The festival will also include a family parade through the centre of Birmingham to celebrate the importance of wildlife and our natural environment and the need for its protection. 

Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust and Born Free Foundation said:

"I am very pleased to be able to speak at the Birmingham Wildlife Festival which is a unique opportunity to bring thousands of caring compassionate people together to celebrate the importance of wildlife protection. 

“Today wildlife is under greater threat than ever before, since 1970, 56% of over 4000 land and fresh water species in Britain have significantly declined. From intensive agriculture to building development and wildlife crime, species ranging from badgers to buzzards and hedgehogs to hen harriers are under pressure like never before.

“Over 5,000 people marched to Downing Street on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May against the possible repeal of the Hunting Act, this was the largest public protest of the General Election campaign which shows the huge level of public concern on wildlife protection in this nation today. 

“After a General Election which has been dominated by discussions on social, economic and security issues, the Birmingham Wildlife Festival is an important opportunity to bring the focus back to the need to protect wildlife and the natural world which brings so much benefit to us all" 

Peter Egan, actor and animal rights campaigner said:

"I am delighted to be speaking at the Birmingham Wildlife Festival. There is no question in my mind that animal welfare is the issue of this century. Our commitment to how we co-exist, creatively, compassionately and with continued understanding as to how we share our wonderful planet with the breathtaking collection of non human species who have, owned and helped our planet evolve, is what will define us in the future. We have waged war on our fellow creatures for too long, for pleasure, for our own physical comfort and to feed our bellies. We must make peace with ourselves, we must make peace with all other species on this planet, we must have the confidence to coexist with the natural order of things and allow its bio diversity to enrich both our lives and the life of our planet. If we do not..we are doomed."

Eduardo Gonçalves, League Against Cruel Sports CEO said:

“Britain is supposed to be a nation of animal lovers but unfortunately right now that is not the case. There have been moves to legalise the hunting of foxes, deer, hares and mink, despite the nation recognising that it is nothing but a cruel sport. Dog fighting is happening right here on our streets; and individuals responsible for inflicting cruelty on animals including wildlife receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

“A new League study estimates that the Hunting Act 2004 has so far helped over 100,000 animals – the weakening or repeal of the Act is likely to reduce this number to zero.

“I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to speak at such an important event which both celebrates and promotes the well-being of wildlife in the UK. Only by acting together can we give wildlife a voice and provide our animals the protection they deserve, which is why the League is calling for; any repeal, weakening or substitution of the Hunting Act to be ruled out - but instead for the Act to be strengthened and enforced; tougher animal cruelty sentencing from six months to five years and the implementation of a national database of individuals banned from owning animals to prevent further animals failing victim.” Anneka Svenska wildlife presenter and conservationist said: "The world's wildlife has never needed us more than how they need us now. Since my birth in the 70's, 50% of all life on earth has gone. Still wildlife is persecuted via hunting, industrialisation and is falling sick from climate change. This challenge of saving the planets wildlife will fall to our children and I intend to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and compassion to know just how to do this." Footnotes  The Wildlife Festival will take place in Victoria Square in Central Birmingham from 10.00am to 5pm  The wildlife parade will leave at 2pm for a march down New Street and back up to Victoria Square  For all media questions contact Dominic Dyer on 07876 596233 or domincdyer@aol.com

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