Christopher Loder, MP was invited by Broadwindsor.org to comment on this article prior to publication. Having given him his requested nine days, he declined to reply…
Christopher Lionel John Loder, MP representing West Dorset made national news at the end of last month for unfavourable reasons after his recent comments on Twitter:
This is surprising as he is a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, whose aim is to help advance farm animal welfare. He did indeed introduce his Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in the House of Commons on 5th February 2020 and it was passed on 29th April 2020.
In his own defence, he tweeted again the following day directing people to an article in The Scotsman, quoting Domnhall Macsween, who works on a community-run estate on the Isle of Lewis, who stated “Shows like Countryfile and Chris Packham have romanticised the idea of rewilding for an urban audience.”
However, Duncan Orr-Ewing, head of species and land management at the RSPB, stated “Lambs die for many reasons and the sea eagles should not be treated as the scapegoat,” he said, claiming that they feed mainly on fish and seagulls. “What’s being said about them attacking livestock is inflammatory and people are basing their opinions on what they perceive to be the case rather than reality.”
There were 137 cases of confirmed raptor persecution in 2020, according to the RSPB.
The eagle went extinct in the UK in the early 20th century after they were continually poisoned and shot by gamekeepers. It was one reintroduced on the Isle of Wight, where a successful programme has been taking place since summer 2019. The Guardian newspaper then published his comments disclosing that Chris Loder’s 2019 election campaign benefited from a £14,000 donation from the Ilchester Estates, which runs shoots in West Dorset. The estates are run by the honourable Mrs. Charlotte Townshend, an aristocrat worth almost £500m who has both farming and shooting interests. including Chesil Beach, the Fleet and Abbotsbury Swannery. Mrs. Townshend also declares that she is the only person other than the Queen who is allowed to own swans.
Chris Loder told Guardian reporter, Helena Horton, “Any suggestion that I have been unduly influenced in this view is completely wrong.”
White-tailed eagles are coastal birds that feed primarily on fish, and occasionally on carrion (dead flesh). It is highly unlikely that white-tailed eagles would be guilty of killing lambs, as he falsely claimed. However, it is even more embarrassing than you might imagine. The photographer who took the photos illustrating the article that Chris Loder tweeted, Peter Cairns, got in touch with the MP to explain that the photos had been staged: “As the photographer behind two of these images, I’d recommend you establish the circumstances before using them as evidence. Both are staged for an editorial story using a captive eagle and a dead lamb. Just so you know.”
- Jan. ’22 – Chris Loder MP – Highest expenses again – Read more HERE.
- Oct. ’21 – Chris Loder MP voted against the Amendment 45 to the Environment Bill allowing Raw Sewage Dumping into our rivers – Read more HERE.
- Jan ’21 – Chris Loder MP – Highest expenses – Read more HERE.
- Oct ’20 – Chris Loder MP – voted against the Free Meals For School Children In Need – Read more HERE.
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