'We don't want a war' claims RSPB

The RSPB has this week been quick to distance itself from the behaviour of the thug wanted for assaulting Malcolm Rigby, the St Helens AA member who was attacked after legally shooting a cormorant at Carr Mill Dam.

The conservation charity insisted that there is no evidence that the offender, who broke 63-year-old Malcolm’s nose and a number of ribs in a callous attack, is a member of the society, and condemned such violent behaviour.

It also took the opportunity to clarify that, far from being anti-angling, the RSPB has very similar conservation aims to angling, such as opposing the proposed Severn Barrage and pressuring Government into improving the water quality of rivers and lakes nationwide.

“We would much rather be seen to be on the same side as anglers because, apart from the issue of cormorants, we have very similar aims and objectives as the Angling Trust, an organisation that we are delighted to be working in partnership with on important ongoing conservation projects,” explained the RSPB’s director of conservation, Mark Avery.

“We were opposed to Defra’s extension of the cormorant licences, but we have proved ourselves to be good losers where that subject is concerned. Certainly our worst fears about the impact of culling have never been realised,” he added.