Alliance calls for stronger Government action on activists

The Countryside Alliance has called on the Government to take a stronger line against animal activists following the release of thousands of small trout into the nationally-renowed Bewl Water trout fishery.

According to the Alliance, 50,000 small trout were released from pens at Bewl Water causing an estimated £100,000 loss to the fishery.

Countryside Alliance angling spokesman Charles Jardine said: "This mindless act will have grave financial and sporting repercussions at Bewl and its surrounding area. In releasing these small fish, those responsible are damaging the local economy through harming the angling interests of the area. Bewl attracts anglers not just from the local area but increasingly from throughout Europe."

He added: "Animal rights activists are decreasing in numbers, but those still involved are becoming more extreme and their actions more desperate. We call on the Government to take this sabotage as seriously as the actions of animal rights organisations against other businesses and institutions. The Alliance will continue to monitor this activity and liaise with the police at national and local level."

Run by Southern Water, Bewl Water reservoir is the largest stretch of open water in south east England and is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the heart of the High Weald on the Kent and Sussex border. The reservoir is host to a huge variety of wildlife and one of the region's most popular attractions.

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