HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED TO PROTECT OUR HOBBY?

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HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED TO PROTECT OUR HOBBY?

Post by jlmp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:29 pm

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED TO PROTECT OUR HOBBY?

There have been numerous posts on several forums, both asking what people can do to help, and also suggesting various ways to help. Whilst all previous efforts are highly commendable and sincerely appreciated, it is vitally important that we come together as a community and present a united front. Our unity and our ability to effectively co-ordinate our efforts into one collective voice will be our greatest asset against those who oppose our hobby.

"Individually, we are one drop... together we are an ocean"
(Ryunosuke Satoro)


SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

(I will commence with the more obvious actions that many of you will already have done)

1) JOIN A CLUB
Join the IHS, which is affiliated to the FBH, and/or join your local FBH affiliated club.
Numbers matter - the more support the FBH has from the herpetological community, the stronger its voice will be in representing us all.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

2) JOIN THE FBH MAILING LIST
A new FBH website is presently being developed, and once it is up and running, a regular electronic email will be distributed to keep everyone up to date.
Send an email to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to be added to the mailing list.

3) DONATE TO THE FBH
Representation costs money, especially whenever expensive court cases are involved.
All donations are appreciated, and even if you can only afford to donate £1, it all adds up.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


(There are other things that you can do, but if you decide to write to anyone, then please read the ‘writing guide’ at the end)

4) WRITE TO YOUR MP AND MEP
It is vital to have our voices heard in the political arena.
We need to let our elected representatives know that we are a large community united in our opposition to any unfair, heavy handed legislation.
It is also possible that some politicians will actually be sympathetic to our cause, and any political support we are able to gain will be invaluable.

5) RESPOND TO ARTICLES IN THE MEDIA
If you see an article in local or national media, then write a letter to the editor.
All newspapers have a section for readers’ letters, and it is possible to have your letter published there.
If you see a positive article, then write a letter of support and encouragement.
If you see a detrimental article, which is misleading, untrue, or portrays our hobby in a bad light, then write a letter to refute its claims, provide more accurate information and
present our side of the argument.
Due to the vast amount of letters that newspapers receive, they will not publish every letter. Try to keep any letters to newspapers under a 250 word limit, so that there is more chance of having it published, and less chance of it being edited to shorten it if it is published.

6) LETTERS TO LOCAL NEWSPAPERS
In addition to responding to articles, you could write a letter to your local newspaper to publicise your local reptile club, perhaps advertising your next meeting and inviting people to come along.
You could also advertise any upcoming events.


If you are ever approached by a journalist, then please contact the FBH for advice.



WRITING GUIDE

• NEVER WRITE ANYTHING IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT
If you write whilst you are feeling angry about something that you have just seen or read, your writing could end up as a poorly thought out rant.

• ALWAYS BE POLITE
A sensible, courteous, well written letter is always much more effective than an antagonizing, defamatory, rant.

• THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE
Think about the aim of your letter and what exactly you want it to achieve. List a series of points that you want to make, and any examples or further information that you can use to back up these points. Take time to collect your ideas and formulate an effective response.

• BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU WRITE
Do not make any statements that you cannot substantiate, and do not exaggerate. If you mention any individual or group/company by name, make sure you stick to the facts and do not say anything that cannot be proven to be the truth.

• CHECK BEFORE YOU SEND
Always use a spell checker and read over your finished correspondence before you send it. Ensure that it is coherent, follows a logical sequence and does not contain any mistakes.

• KEEP TRYING
If you do not receive any response, then resend your letter/email, adding a small note saying that you are disappointed that you have not received a reply, and hope that the person you are writing to will take the time to respond to you soon. If you still receive no reply, then follow up with a phone call to their office and ask to speak to them directly.


Finally, whatever you write, or whoever you speak to, please do not claim to be speaking on behalf of the FBH, or to be representing them in any way. However, you can refer people to them for further information.

Thank you for reading, and good luck.


cc Tony Jones
Head of communications
EU ARK

cc Chris Newman
Chairman
FBH
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jlmp
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Number of posts : 32
Age : 43
Registration date : 2011-10-07

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