As my regular blog readers know I have been making my city garden more wildlife friendly ,I had toyed with releasing butterfly larvae of the comma butterfly ,once common here but now absent .It was at this point my paths crossed with that of Devon butterflies.
They seemed reputable and I assumed wrongly they must have links to two more reputable and respected Devon butterfly organisations .I first started to be concerned when I heard of how unpleasant they were to clients,answering even simple enquiries with sarcastic and abusive emails ,that would have been enough to deter me from buying from them but after doing a little research worse was to come . I had not realised that there were such unethical ,cruel and ignorant people still running businesses.
The owner has clearly and enthusiastically advocated killing song birds and protected species,by laying mouse traps or catching them and wringing their necks .He explained on his business site how best to do this using mousetraps.
(photo is not related to the incident but is part of an excellent post advising against using the same traps were they can be a danger to birds http://earthfriendlygardener.net/2012/02/24/garden-bird-winter-peanut-caught-trapped-feeder-friendly-making-mousetrap-wildlife-killed/).
heres a few quotes from the companies site.
” if you have trouble with birds pecking holes into the sleeves usually blue tits or great tits,these birds must be killed or they will keep returning and teach their young the same practice ,just catch them and wring their necks ”
Robins ,wrens and blackbirds which despite being some of our most beautiful songbirds he called “pest species “They are in fact legally protected species but also far from being in any way pests they are hugely beneficial to gardeners by eating pests and their beautiful song brightens up even the most urban areas .He suggests laying mousetraps to kill Wrens
Blackbirds and robins
They company’s response when told that this was illegal was not an apology or even a retraction of the advice”
“A company spokesman said the information “should have been labelled a tip” rather than as advice.
Devon butterflies also tell customers not to listen to conservation groups or local butterfly recording groups and to ignore the law
This site states
All species listed on this site are suitable for release into the wild to increase numbers and to introduce new genes into existing populations, except those not on the British List marked*. Take no notice of Butterfly Conservation and Moth recording groups who say this is wrong or against the law, which it is not.
Yet again and rather shockingly for someone who is in business breeding animals Devon butterflies are wrong
It is illegal to release into the wild any non uk native species or any species that is not a UK visitant ,the fine is £1000 (or more) and possible prison sentence
Its also incredibly cruel as the site sells several rare species who would ordinarily live specialised niche environments such as the rainforest and which will clearly die if released .
He calls the UK butterfly conservation organisations idiots and liars
Butterfly Conservation have just released a publication, The State of the UK’s Butterflies 2015 and the verdict again is more lies and propaganda from a bunch of idiots who don’t know what they are talking about.
Despite the evidence of every other organisation ,group or government body Devon butterflies claims that butterfly species are not declining.
“don’t know what they are talking about claiming most species are in decline when they are clearly not.
The truth is most species are increasing but they do not want to admit it.”
I was at a loss to understand why someone who makes a great deal of money from selling butterflies at least a third of which is to people who want to release them into the wild ,would want to claim that theres no need to help boost butterflies numbers,,but then it occurred to me that unless you have a huge breeding stock of all the British butterflies and can control when they are laying eggs ,turning into pupae ,emerging then you will need to “import” stock from the wild or at the very least provide outside areas which you can persuade wild butterflies to lay eggs in so you can then harvest those eggs
Again from the devon butterflies sites guidelines to buyers .
“The following species are protected from sale, this means you cannot capture a wild specimen to sell alive or dead but you can legally capture it for yourself as a set specimen or to breed from. Any resulting specimens or livestock from breeding is then classed as Captive Bred
Adonis Blue, Black Hairstreak, Brown Hairstreak, Chalkhill Blue, Duke of Burgundy, Glanville Fritillary, Large Heath, Lulworth Skipper, Mountain Ringlet, Northern Brown Argus, Purple Emperor, Silver Studded Blue, Small Blue, White Letter Hairstreak, Wood White, Chequered Skipper, Pearl Bordered Fritillary and Silver Spotted Skipper. The Large Tortoiseshell is extinct and cannot be added to this list.
By coincidence Devon butterflies sells several of these species and judging by his diatribe against butterfly conservationists it seems at least possible that there has been to have a disagreement about collecting eggs or capturing wild butterflies,,
Again from the Devon butterflies site
“Have you ever read such a load of rubbish and bullshit as stated by Dr.Martin Warren of Butterfly Conservation.
His Statement is below and is the words of a total prat who knows nothing at all.
Collection and release weakens wild populations. Collecting eggs, larvae and adults from the wild may reduce natural populations. Captive-bred stock lacks genetic diversity and is weakened through adaptation to an indoor environment. Release of captive-bred stock can introduce disease and may reduce the vigour of natural populations.
The above statement is just a load of bullshit issued by a parasitic charity consisting of a bunch of know nothing scumbags.
Lets all release more and more butterflies and moths and to hell with the Butterfly Conservation idiots.”
I now deeply regret considering releasing butterflies as despite providing the correct food stuffs and despite the area having previously had colonies and other colonies existing close by ,it clear that this supplier has no regard for wildlife or for any animals so I cant imagine that he is kind to his own stock and I cant escape the impression that buying butterflies from Devon butterflies will be “robbing Peter to pay Paul ” and Yorkshires gain would be Devons loss . I do not want to fund directly or indirectly the capture of wild butterflies or the depletion of local numbers because butterflies are trapped or eggs are collected to sell to me .
Likewise neither could I bare the thought that I had given money to someone who can cheerfully advocate trapping wrens in mousetraps or wringing blackbirds ,robins and blue tits necks .
The Devon butterflies site claims that they supply schools, universities and re introduction programs ,assuming that this is indeed true perhaps blog readers who are involved in any of these organisations would spread the word and find other more reputable suppliers .