League Against Cruel Sports plans air surveillance drones to monitor hunt activity
A new frontier will be opened in the ongoing battle between the West’s hunts and those vehemently opposed to everything they do.
A major animal welfare charity is to use surveillance drones to catch people illegally hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports will use cameras mounted on remote-controlled aircraft to monitor land previously off-limits.
The charity said it was targeting people hunting illegally, hare coursing, badger baiting and other wildlife crimes.
Chief executive Joe Duckworth said: “There is a war in the countryside and while there are still individuals determined to flout the law and seek new ways to avoid detection, the league will continue to explore safe, tested and innovative technology to further our charitable aim of ending cruelty to animals in the name of sport.”
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The charity said the use of drones would support its teams on the ground already gathering intelligence and evidence of illegal activity.
It maintained that all its operations were “proportionate, necessary and justified” and were only carried out when there was a “strong possibility of cruel criminality taking place”.
Mr Duckworth added: “We are excited to be the first animal welfare charity in Great Britain to be exploring drone technology.”
The charity is working with non-profit aerial surveillance and monitoring organisation ShadowView to use the drones.
Tim Bonner, of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said the League Against Cruel Sports was becoming "increasingly desperate" and was living in "cloud cuckoo land”.
“We think this is completely impractical and the League Against Cruel Sports has spent the last three years talking about the investment in what it calls ‘surveillance’,” he said.
Mr Bonner said there were also civil liberty questions to answer on drones flying over private property while filming.