NATIONAL WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION (N.W.T.F.)
N.W.T.F. Written Submission to Scottish Rural Affairs Committee (part 1):
PROTECTION OF WILD MAMMALS’ (SCOTLAND) BILL
A SUBMISSION TO
THE SCOTTISH RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
ON BEHALF OF THE
NATIONAL WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION
1. THE NATIONAL WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION
1 .I. INTRODUCTION
1.2. N.W.T.F. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1.3. N.W.T.F. MEMBERSHIP
1.4. N.W.T.F. CODE OF CONDUCT
1.5. WORKING TERRIER CLUBS
1.6. WORKING TERRIER SHOWS
1.7. ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS
2. THE N.W.T.F. ACCREDITED MEMBERSHIP SCHEME
2.2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
2.3. PROCEDURES FOR ACCREDITATION
3. THE WORKING TERRIER
3.1. ITS HISTORY
3.2. IT’S NATURAL INSTINCTS
4. PEST CONTROL WITH TERRIERS.
4.2. THE NEED TO CONTROL PESTS
4.3. RECENT CHANGES IN PRACTICES AND THE LAW
4.4. TERRIER WORK
4.5. THE WELFARE ASPECT
4.6. THE AFFECT OF A BAN
I THE NEED FOR PEST CONTROL.
II TERRIER CLUB RESCUE SERVICES.
III TERRIER WORK INFORMATION VIDEO (By Post)
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1. THE NATIONAL WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION (N.W.T.F.)
1.1. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE N.W.T.F.
1 .l.l. In 1984, all the major working terrier clubs in England, Scotland and Wales joined together to form the National Working Terrier Federation (N.W.T.F.). Their main aim being to promote and advance the humane and efficient use of working terriers.
I, 1.2. Together they drew up the N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct (see 1.4.4. below). This details the legal requirements for those engaged in terrier work to follow and identifies the best practices to be adhered to in order to provide a pest control service which is humane, efficient and selective and which ensures the welfare of both the working terrier and its quarry.
1.1.3. Adherence to this code at all times is a condition of membership of each N.W.T.F. member club.
1.1.4. The Federation supplies terrier men/women with free advice on terrier work and maintains a register of Accredited Members.
1.1.5. North of the Border in Scotland, the N.W.T.F. and it’s objectives are well represented by Member Clubs such as the Brig O’Lea, Fell and Moorland (Scotland), Fife and Kinross, Kelvin Valley, Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain (Scotland), Parson Russell Club (Scotland), Scottish Border Terrier Clubs, Scottish Jack Russell Terrier Club, Scottish W.T.C. and the Strathclyde and District W.T.C.
1.2. N.W.T.F. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES.
1.2.1. In accordance with its constitution, the N.W.T.F.‘s primary aims and objectives are:
To promote the best, most humane and efficient practices in relation to the use of working terriers for pest control purposes.
To improve public awareness of the manner in which properly conducted terrier work is carried out.
To encourage new participants to join a recognised working terrier club and to learn from more experienced members.
To assist, advise and educate the newcomer or less experienced person.
To unify the working terrier clubs under one umbrella organisation and provide a single reference point and centre of excellence on matters relating to terrier work,
To counter the activities of those who by their actions, or intent, would bring terrier work into disrepute.
1.3. N.W.T.F. MEMBERSHIP.
1.3.1. The N.W.T.F. is comprised of Member Working Terrier Clubs, other Affiliated Organisations (non-voting members) and Individual Supporters (non-voting supporters). Member Clubs and Affiliated Organisations are invited by the Chairman to join on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
1.32. The N.W.T.F. retains the right to expel any individual or organisation which fails to uphold its rules and codes of conduct, or that it is felt may have brought terrier work into disrepute.
1.3.3. The N.W.T.F. represents more practising terrier men than any other organisation. Its membership consists of a wide cross section of both professional and voluntary pest controllers, game keepers and hunt terrier men.
1.3.4. It consists of 26 member terrier clubs and represents around 3000-4,000 individual members, plus other affiliated organisations.
1.3.5. The N.W.T.F. fully supports and is subject to the jurisdiction of I.S.A.H. Ltd.
1.4. N.W.T.F. CODE OF CONDUCT.
1.4.1. In 1994 the N.W.T.F. drew up, published and implemented the N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct for Terrier Work (see 1.4.4. below). This code is now accepted internationally as a measure of good practice and is recognised by practising terrier men as being the most comprehensive of its kind.
1.4.2. The N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct has been adopted by the Scottish Member Terrier Clubs, the Scottish Working Dogs Association, the Scottish Hill Packs Association, the the Federation of Welsh Packs, the English Farmers Fox Destruction Society, the Central Committee of Fell Packs and the Masters of Mink Hounds Association.
1.4.3. It is also endorsed by the Scottish Gamekeepers Associaton, the National Gamekeepers Association, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Countryside Alliance and the Masters of Fox Hounds Association.
1.4.4. Adherence to the N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct at all times is a condition of membership of the N.W.T.F. and each of it’s Member Clubs and organisations. The purpose of this code is to:
- Establish a common set of standards, which those engaged in terrier work, must follow.
- Provide our peers with an understanding of how properly conducted terrier work is carried out.
- Enable our peers to differentiate between those responsible terrier owners who conduct themselves in a correct and proper manner and other individuals who by their actions would bring terrier work into disrepute.
- Assist and advise the newcomer or less experienced person.
- Improve public awareness in relation to the manner in which properly conducted terrier work is carried out.
- Counteract the activities of those who would seek to ban terrier work through misleading information.
1.4.5. The N.W.T.F. Code is as follows:
1. The prime objective of properly conducted terrier work is to provide a pest control service which is humane, efficient and selective.
2. The conduct of those engaged in terrier work should at all times reflect the above objectives.
3. Particular care should always be taken to minimise any risk of injury to either the quarry or the terrier (see notes a, b and c below).
a. The terrier's role is to locate it's quarry underground, to bark at it continuously, to either cause it to leave the earth or alternatively to indicate where in the earth the quarry is located in order that it can be dug to and despatched.
b. The greatest risk of injury to either animal is normally at the end of a 'dig'. This can be minimised by either digging to the quarry, removing the terrier and despatching the quarry in the hole, or by bolting the quarry into a net for subsequent removal or dispatch, or by bolting the quarry to standing Guns.
c. It is recommended, wherever possible and practical, that only one terrier is entered to ground at a time.
4. Terrier work must always be conducted with the permission of the landowner/agent, whose wishes and property should be respected at all times (see note below).
a. Should a terrier be injured while terrier work is being conducted on ground where permission has not been granted, then the owner may be liable for prosecution under Section 1 subsection 1(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 for causing unnecessary suffering, the penalties for which are quite severe.
5. Quarry should at all times be treated with respect and despatched in a humane and proper manner (see note below).
a. For foxes the recommended method of despatch is either a shotgun or a firearm.
6. In some locations it may not be practicable to despatch the quarry immediately. Therefore if any quarry is taken alive, transported elsewhere and subsequently despatched, due regard should always be paid to its general welfare, safety and comfort (see note below).
a. Familiarity with "The Protection of Animals Act 1911" is considered essential, as a wild animal can become "captive" if restrained in any way and would then be subject to the 1911 Act.
7. Any quarry which is injured should NOT be released, but should always be despatched at the very earliest opportunity.
8. The practice of blocking off all entrance/exit holes while a terrier is below ground is actively discouraged, in certain circumstances it may also be viewed as contrary to the “Protection of Animals Act 1911” and result in prosecution.
9. Upon completion of digging operations, all excavations should be backfilled, the earth and surrounding area reinstated to as close as possible its original condition, particular attention should be paid to the safety of livestock etc. and the earth's future use.
10. Membership of a terrier club which offers a rescue/insurance service and which is a member of the N.W.T.F. is strongly recommended.
11. The use of locator collars to assist in quickly locating the quarry and reducing any likelihood of terriers becoming trapped underground is strongly recommended.
12. Terrier work must be confined to legal quarry species only and must at all times be conducted in a proper legal manner (see note below).
a. Familiarisation with the Protection of Badgers Act (1992) and the "Five Rules for the Terrierman" are considered essential, as is the ability to recognise the signs (as outlined in the "Five Rules") which badgers leave around an active sett. - IF IN DOUBT - KEEP YOUR TERRIERS OUT.
13. The NWTF and its member clubs reserve the right to withdraw membership from any individual or organisation deemed by the relevant committee(s) to have brought terrier work into disrepute.
14. Any individual convicted of an offence under the Wild Mammals Protection Act (1996), the Protection of Badgers Act (1992) or the Protection of Animals Act (1911) will be brought before the relevant committee(s) in accordance with (13).
15. The NWTF, its member clubs, affiliated organisations and individual members, recognise and endorse the above code of conduct, which has been approved by the Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting (ISAH Ltd) and understand that this is a condition of membership.
16. The above code of conduct has been adopted by each NWTF Member Club, Scottish Hill Packs Association, Federation of Welsh Packs, Central Committee of Fell Packs, English Farmers Fox Control Association and the Masters of Minkhounds Association. It is also endorsed by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, National Gamekeepers Organisation, National Pest Technicians Association, Masters of Foxhounds Association and the Countryside Alliance.
1.4.6. The Five Rules for the Terrierman referred to in rule 12, provides guidance on the law relating to badgers and how to recognise their presence (see below).