Clare Balding not upset by Daily Mail’s Liz Jones


  1. Liz Jones is widely disliked, even by Mail readers, her target audience. When she wrote a recent sob piece on why she was all alone in January, the reader-response was not sympathetic

  2. Dear Liz
    Thank you for once again bringing the subject of animal welfare to the forefront In your recent article.
    I worked or rather endured twenty two years as a welfare officer for a local council in Hampshire and saw, day by day, man’s inhumanity. Ms Balding’s high profile could be of much benefit if she would speak up and condemn the inappropriate use of aversives in the racing world. Just as race horses endure constant ill treatment, so to do greyhounds that are used and abused on a daily basis in the name of sport – we know it better as money making. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to deliberately cause suffering to any animal. It is an offence to kick, beat or terrify an animal. Why then does not Ms Balding condemn the use of the whip? If cruelty is the conscious and deliberate causation of pain why is it left to you ( a powerful) but nevertheless isolated voice, to rage against the plight of animals.
    During my years in Animal welfare I achieved much that I considered well done i.e the rehoming of hundreds of abandoned dogs, the rehabilitation of huge numbers of traumatised animals, education in schools and the creation of a council subsidised spay/neuter scheme. However I also achieved as much, if not more satisfaction from the results of a seemingly much humbler goal when through The Animal Welfare Act I was able to serve improvement notices on owners of rabbits whose cages did not allow sufficient height or space for their “pets” to exhibit natural behaviour, that is, amongst other behaviours, to sit up on their hind quarters to observe their surroundings, and do what rabbits do – jump, run, play. This provoked accusations of officialdom, but this is what the Act is for and it must be used to help both the high profile cases and those considered of less importance. Why should so called “pet” rabbits, most of them kept without companions, live their lives in tiny boxes? To return after a period of time to see these rabbits with space, light and an amount of freedom was a joy I shall not easily forget.
    It is a natural behaviour for a horse or dog to run, but it becomes unnatural and an act of cruelty when this running is induced by the application of pain, or, as we know in the training of greyhounds, dubious methods and callous disposal of the less fleet. Why are not the trainers and jockeys served with similar improvement notices, as their crimes are equally, if not more inhumane.
    Thank you Liz for what you do and for what you try to do.
    PS. next year we will make sure you get a Christmas card from the creatures whose lives you have endeavoured to improve. One more to put on the piano.
    Pam Macdonald

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