I think this is good news for animal advocates, nature lovers and conservationists. Elizabeth Bonnin has been elected the first female president of Wildlife Trusts. Gillian Burke, another presenter from the BBC, has been appointed vice-president.
Liz Bonnin presented a controversial BBC One programme last year entitled, Meet: A Threat to Our Planet? She visited factory farms in the US and South America and stopped eating red meat afterwards. The National Farmers Union complained because the program apparently gave the impression that meat production in those countries (and I presume other countries) is carried out in the same way as in the UK. This is not the case apparently.
The BBC’s executive complaints unit said that the documentary fell below the broadcaster’s impartiality standards. It’s been removed from iPlayer.
Bonnin has also presented other shows such as the BBC’s Drowning in Plastic and Blue Planet Live. She is well-qualified with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Trinity College, Dublin and a Masters degree in wild animal biology and conservation from the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. She works on big cat conservation programs at the Zoological Society.
She appears to have good animal advocate credentials which is important for people like me and the world’s animal advocates who want to see genuine improvements in animal welfare both domestic and wild. It’s overdue. I sense that her appointment will help drive these improvements.
The Wildlife Trusts will probably play a role in the UK government’s policy on the replacement of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy which makes payments to farmers for green schemes. I would hope that the government introduces a better scheme than that which has dominated European Union farming which I understand leads to unused mountains of food because it ignores the rules of supply and demand resulting in gross oversupply in protecting farmers’ livelihoods. Farming can damage nature and wildlife with pesticides et cetera. There needs to be change.
Bonnin has said that she is looking forward to championing Wildlife Trusts’ vision “to restore nature in the UK. It is a critical time for the natural world..to secure a brighter future for our wild places”. Well said.