Saturday, 24 September 2016
Saturday, 10 September 2016
So, in January 2016, after years of deliberation, the U.K. government instated a six-point, $2.2 million Joint Action Plan on Hen Harriers as a last-ditch effort to protect the species. But just months after signing on, the country’s largest avian conservation group, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), publicly withdrew from the plan. “To be honest, we felt we were in a pretty untenable position,” says Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland. The society argues that the middle-of-the-ground strategy fails in one of its central goals: to change the culture around harriers and protect them from illegal actions.
The RSPB’s exit in July came after a flurry of alleged raptor killings and dubious disappearances. Already this year, three satellite-tracked harriers have gone dark under suspicious circumstances, illegal traps have been discovered on hunting estates, and several birds have been shot. (Hen Harriers are the typical targets, but Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and Red Kites are victimized as well.) Recently, the rising death toll inspired a petition to ban certain methods of grouse hunting; it crossed the 100,000 signature-mark this month, qualifying it for debate in Parliament, which could ultimately result in new policies being passed. The grassroots push is being led by Mark Avery, an author and prominent environmental campaigner, who’s expressed his doubts since the plan’s inception.
For the RSPB, the biggest measure of success will be when the birds can nest on the grouse moors unmolested. But so far, the opposite has happened under the government initiative. Although England’s uplands can accommodate 300 nesting harrier pairs, only three were found breeding there this year. It’s what the RSPB sees as a case of too little being done too slowly.
The group has already shifted its focus to what it thinks is a better alternative: licensing estates. A permit system would penalize estates that allow infractions, such as harrier murders, to happen on their property. “We’re not asking for the Earth here,” Housden says. “Just about every other country in the world with large sport shooting communities has regulations that cover the sorts of things we’re talking about.” Penalties could also encourage improvements in harrier habitat by discouraging destruction of wetlands and scrub, practices commonly used on intensively managed moorlands.
Avery, meanwhile, is looking to take things even further. His petition calls for a blanket ban on driven grouse shooting, which is controversial in its own right. Estates that host these massive hunts are more likely to be linked to raptor harassment due to a dependence on high gamebird stocks. Avery’s next step is to start a letter-writing campaign on the issue that's directed at Members of Parliament (MPs).
The RSPB also plans to work with MPs to spur some action on estate licensing. “Voluntary regulation isn’t working,” Housden says; the fight needs to go to the legal level. If the estates and grouse hunters can’t play nice, conservationists are more than happy to change the rules of the game entirely.
Posted by Backsbottom Farm at 10:59
Saturday, 13 August 2016
This is a letter I have sent to friends who I thought might be interested in the ‘Conflict in the Uplands‘.Going into details:
Please feel free to copy and paste and send to as many UK citizens as possible before 20th September.
Without going into details:
The UK petition to ban driven grouse moors can be signed here (UK citizens or residents only). It needs you to click on the e-mail you will then receive to confirm your ‘vote.’
Please feel free to copy and paste and send to as many UK citizens as possible before 20th September.
Without going into details:
The UK petition to ban driven grouse moors can be signed here (UK citizens or residents only). It needs you to click on the e-mail you will then receive to confirm your ‘vote.’
As I write the petition is approaching 75% of the 6 month time limit but only 70% of the necessary signatures to get a government debate, so it needs a boost. If this is passed around it could easily reach the 100,000 target. If everyone who signs can get one more person to sign it will happen.
It can be signed for the obvious reason, to support a ban on driven grouse shooting, but also as a way to get a parliamentary debate on this issue because to be realistic it isn’t going to happen any time soon. A debate would raise the possibility of a compromise such as licensing of grouse moors or all game shooting. The problem with licensing is that it would be as hard to police as the law is now, which is clearly not working but it would be a start.
There is another non-government petition asking for licensing in Scotland. Everyone can sign no matter where you live. Sign both if you care about birds of prey.
What is the problem?
The illegal killing of birds of prey on driven grouse moors is preventing the spread of re-introduced raptors (Red Kites and White-tailed Eagles) and is creating black holes where species such as Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and Peregrines are virtually absent. This is restricting the overall population of Golden Eagles and decreasing the numbers of Hen Harriers to the point of near extinction in England. The only reason they haven’t been made extinct in England is because of the attempt at re-colonisation every year by Scottish birds. Peregrines are only doing well away from grouse moors.
It has been illegal, since 1954, to kill birds of prey but today it is still happening on a huge scale and if anything, is getting worse. Decades of talks and committees involving groups of conflicting parties have achieved nothing (this summary was written in 2010 – a flash of deja vu).
The fact is that birds of prey, particularly Hen Harriers which have large broods, will without persecution multiply and take the ‘surplus’ Red Grouse which the intensively managed grouse moor owners want for their shooting clients. Birds of prey and intensive grouse moors i.e. driven grouse moors can not co-exist. Non-intense i.e. walked up grouse shooting, especially with the aid of diversionary feeding, could but the grouse lobby are opposed to diversionary feeding. Their solution is to move Hen Harrier nests off the moors onto the lowlands. They don’t want any Hen Harriers on ‘their’ moors at all and the threat is implicit ‘let us move Hen Harriers off the moors or we will continue killing them’. This blackmail is working and is included in the hidden agenda of the government’s recently Hen Harrier Action Plan. That and introducing European Hen Harriers to the English lowlands even though we have a perfectly viable, although falling (due to persecution) population in Scotland which is constantly trying unsuccessfully to spread to England. How the Hen Harrier Action Plan is going to protect what remains of Peregrines, Goshawks, Red Kites, Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles in the uplands is ignored completely.
There is a multitude of evidence of the persecution on grouse moors. You only have to compare the Red Kite re-introduction scheme in the Chilterns with the one near the Black Isle. One is thriving and the other has not increased in numbers even though the breeding productivity of the Black Isle birds is high when they manage to breed.
The Black Isle is near driven grouse moors the Chilterns isn’t. It is the same in north-east England which is close to grouse shooting country and the population near Leeds/ Harrogate has had 10 Red Kites killed just this spring. The grouse moors in the Pennines and the North Yorkshire moors will not allow expansion. Presumably the same is happening with the introduced birds from Central Scotland, judging by these poisoning incidents here, here, here, here and here and those re-introduced in Dumfries and Galloway, judging by these poisoning incidents here, here and here.
Another proof is the Langholm experiment the most bizarre legally arranged experiment conducted. The object of the experiment was for gamekeepers on Langholm to stop killing raptors.
I still think I am Beelzebub’s grandson (or to be more contemporary, The Man Who Fell To Earth) when I even think about it but that is what happened and Hen Harrier numbers exploded.
Why ban driven grouse shooting, we have laws don’t we?
The criminals are almost impossible to catch as the killing and poisoning occurs in remote places and when the culprits are caught it is almost impossible to prosecute as the level of proof is extreme, e.g. video evidence can be deemed inadmissible. In Scotland the incident has to have been seen by two witnesses and even then a prosecution is not certain. If you have heard about the shooting of two Hen Harriers at Sandringham when a certain Mr. Windsor Jnr. was out shooting , you will see what I mean. It wasn’t even as though being a Windsor was any different to your average gamekeeper, it is almost impossible to get a prosecution. Behind every gamekeeper is a rich and powerful landowner. [Incidentally that Guardian article mentions Mr. Windsor’s shooting partner Van Cutsem. To peak down the rabbit hole search for that name and Glanusk estate in the search engine on Raptor Persecution UK or Mark Avery’s blog].
Even after a successful prosecution the penalties can be little more than a pat on the wrist (or may only result in warning), gamekeepers are unlikely to lose their jobs, whilst the real villains, the managers and landowners get off scot free (no pun).
Scotland is finding ways of hitting the negligent landowners in the purse by cutting the tax-payer funded subsidies and by new laws to prosecute the landowners where gamekeepers have been persecuted (Vicarious Liability) but even in Scotland the killing continues and for example Hen Harriers are in decline.
It can’t be all bad can it?
There are three arguments which the shooting lobby fall back on to justify driven grouse shooting.
1. Money and employment in the rural economy.
2. Grouse moors are good for other birds and even use the word biodiversity.
3. Grouse moors are a special habitat.
These might be valid points but, I would argue, need closer scrutiny.
1. The facts brandied around about the money involved and the employment generated are from the grouse lobby themselves and as far as I know there has been no independent research. I have never seen any research done to compare driven grouse shooting moors with other moors which have walked up grouse shooting which is far less intense or with moors which mix walked up shooting with genuine wildlife tourism or the tourism from moors managed purely for wildlife. The grouse lobby likes to think in binary, either-or without examining all the other possible forms of income from eco-tourism. The National Trust who own lots of moorland could set up an experimental moorland to demonstrate other alternatives.
I would like to see how much of the profit goes into the local community or even Scotland. One vicarious liability case could not be prosecuted because the owners were hidden in off-shore businesses. That wouldn’t be for tax purposes would it?
I would also like to know if those so called profits included all the costs to the tax-payer in the form of subsidies and lack of licensing of guns and shooting etc. I would also like to see the hidden costs to the public in the form of increase in carbon emissions from muirburn, increase in flooding, purification of water and the loss of re-introduced raptors and habitats. More important to me is not the monetary loss but the loss to ourselves, to which I can’t find a proper word. Spiritual comes as close as I can think of.
I am also not sure if the employment of gamekeepers, a certain percentage of whom are criminals, is high on my list of human rights priorities.
2. There has been good evidence that grouse moors are beneficial for certain wader species (Golden Plover and Lapwings) but it is by no means all waders. Again the grouse lobby is thinking or rather trying to get the public to think in binary. Their statistics compare keepered grouse moorland with non-keepered moorland. They have not taken into account moorland specially managed for wildlife, including waders, which would be the case on some moorland if shooting was banned. There is nothing to stop a non-grouse moor hiring a keeper. They haven’t taken into account the possibility of new legislation to protect waders. They have not taken into account the fact that Golden Plovers are actually a game bird and are shot. They have not considered all the other ways that waders can be protected. These birds are not exclusive to grouse moorland. Lapwings are mowed down during silage cutting in the valleys below the Forest of Bowland so excuse me, grouse lobby, if I don’t get too upset if a fox takes some on the moorland above.
Personally I would prefer to see Stoats, Foxes, Mountain Hares, Ravens, Hooded Crows and birds of prey flying freely on the uplands even if the population of waders and even Hen Harriers does have to find a new more natural balance rather than a sterile heather monoculture.
When the grouse lobby talk about biodiversity for some reason that does not include any predators and that is surely not going to include Lynx.
3. Grouse moors are not a special habitat. They are special for grouse, yes but this is not a natural habitat by any means. We spent 10 days walking from nut to hut on Hardangervidda, Norway, which was so beautiful it made me realise how brain-washed we are about our so called wilderness, I was ashamed of Scotland. True we did only see one brace of Willow Grouse but this was real nature not grouse farming…. and Norwegians are really very pro hunting.
The beauty of the moors is also used as a pro-shooting argument but since visiting similar habitats in Norway I realized there is very little beautiful or biodiverse about a driven grouse moor. If you look at photos of the patchwork of muirburn you will see what I mean. I have seen some beautiful spots of what appear to be un-burnt heather monoculture. I presume they still exist but I admit I don’t fully understand why some areas are like war zones and some have real charm. One of the places that used to be beautiful is on the north side of The Forest of Bowland but now I see there is a new tarmac road from Roeburndale right across to the west of the Forest of Bowland with car parks in the middle of the moor for shooters visiting the grouse butts. Then of course there are the grouse butts themselves, the new idea of hare-proof fences and ditches. No sorry definite beauty-fail on that one.
Another aspect which needs investigating is a comparison with other countries. The UK is one of the most lax (if not the most) country as regards licensing of hunting. No other country has our level of moorland game-keepering (if they have any at all) or monocultural moor management and our penalties are paltry and here compared with the Spanish deterrent.
All in all, the only thing unique about the UK moorlands is in their level of crime, lack of biodiversity, lack of effective law enforcement and complete mismanagement. Nothing to by proud of.
There has been a catastrophic decline of Hen Harriers on grouse-moors in north-east Scotland
There have been no breeding Hen Harriers on Angus Glens since 2006
In 2016 in England there are only 3 pairs of breeding Hen Harriers (none of which were on grouse moors) and which is on the brink of extinction there. Whereas in Wales, which has virtually no grouse shooting, the population is increasing and was, at the last survey, 57 pairs.
The path to extinction is shown in this graph from the government’s Natural England report The Hen Harrier in England
It is only the recruitment of Scottish Hen Harriers to the non grouse moors in England which is giving the ‘English’ Hen Harriers a very precarious life-line and, so far, preventing total extinction in England.
This study proved that ‘On average, 55-74 females were killed each year, 11-15% of the total population of breeding females in Scotland, excluding Orkney’ and that does not include males or immatures. According to this government report the population of Hen Harriers should be about 2,600 pairs, it is actually about 580. Even the grouse lobby in their own paper (Potts 1998) calculate ‘If all potential habitats were occupied, present numbers could more than double, to an estimated 1660 nesting females’.
There is no doubt that is loss is due to persecution and it is not just a few ‘bad apples’ perpetuating these crimes. Here is a list of estates where crimes have occurred.
Maps of these crimes can be found on RSPB and PAWS Scottish crime reports.
This situation is the same with Golden Eagles and Peregrines.
This Scottish government SNH study on Golden Eagles states ‘A number of lines of evidence indicated that illegal persecution of eagles, principally associated with grouse moor management in the central and eastern Highlands, is the most severe constraint on Scottish golden eagles….Records of illegal persecution of golden eagles (including poisoning, trapping, shooting) were also more common in those regions where grouse moor management predominated…There was no consistent or strong evidence of associations between territory vacancies and constraints other than persecution in these regions’.
And for the most recent data on Peregrines ‘Illegal persecution continues to restrict numbers and productivity of breeding Peregrines in some regions, particularly where pigeon racing is practiced and where there is intensive management for red grouse shooting‘
and ‘Low occupancy of nesting ranges, with more singletons than pairs, was associated with intensive management for driven grouse shooting.’
and ‘The illegal killing of birds of prey is an important form of wildlife crime, which in the UK, is often associated with land managed for the recreational shooting of red grouse….Population models [of Peregrines] suggested source-sink dynamics, with populations on grouse moors unable to sustain themselves without immigration. Population data confirmed that growth rates were indeed lower on grouse moors than on non-grouse moor sites‘
Unbelievably, although the persecution of birds of prey has been illegal since 1954 and continues, the driven grouse moor owners and managers have found loopholes with which to persecute raptors within the law. So far the law hasn’t caught up with these methods and it is doubtful that they will in the near future given the amount of trust and self-regulation given to the grouse lobby. The only thing that can change this situation is public awareness.
Disturbing or preventing raptors from breeding is illegal. But if gamekeepers can prevent the birds from even attempting to breed it is very difficult to prove. The methods with which the driven grouse moors ‘legally’ persecute raptors includes a staggering array of weaponry.
1. Inflatable screaming and bowing scare-men
2. gas guns
3. delayed fire-crackers
4. What’s next?
If the illegal persecution is not enough there is also the damage to the ecosystem in the form of drainage, burning, lead poisoning, veterinary drugs, flood damage, the ‘self-regulated’ slaughter of mammalian predators and Mountain Hares. These are all subjects which go beyond a single e-mail and with more information daily, more can be found on Raptor Persecution UK, Mark Avery’s blog and the updated edition of Inglorious by Mark Avery.
Potts, G.R., 1998: Global dispersion of nesting hen harriers Circus cyaneus; implications for grouse moors in the UK. Ibis, 1998. 140(1): p. 76-88.
August 2, 2016
Posted by Backsbottom Farm at 10:11
Friday, 5 August 2016
Hen Harrier Day: Sunday August 10th 2014
Hen Harrier Day was initiated by Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC), and organised and coordinated by a coalition of BAWC, former RSPB Conservation Director and leading activist Mark Avery, broadcaster and conservationist Chris Packham, the country’s leading wildlife charity the RSPB, and the North West Raptor Protection Group.
Hen Harrier Day attracted support from a wide selection of organisations and activists, including the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, the Hawk and Owl Trust, the League Against Cruel Sports, the Peak District National Park, South West Peregrine Group, Birdwatch magazine, Rare Bird Alert, Bird Information, Birdguides, Welsh Ornithological Society and Quaker Concern for Animals.
And of course we can also add a huge following of supporters on Twitter and Facebook. Our thanks go to everyone who – like us – wants to see an end to the illegal persecution of this beautiful bird
Background:Just a few hundred years ago the Hen Harrier was a common and widespread bird of prey. Massive changes in land use meant they lost many lowland breeding sites, and they retreated to breed on upland moorland. Relentless persecution by gamekeepers employed on shooting estates followed. Numbers have declined markedly in recent years as intensification of grouse moors has stepped up, and Hen Harriers have been identified as a priority species by the UK Government in terms of combating wildlife crime.
Peer-reviewed research suggests that good habitat remains for Hen Harriers, but there are 962-1285 breeding pairs of Hen Harrier ‘missing’ from Scotland and 322-339 pairs ‘missing’ from England. A 2011 report clearly stated that in England illegal persecution is “such a constraint that the Hen Harrier is threatened with extinction as a breeding species”.
In 2013 – for the first time since records began – no Hen Harriers fledged young in England.
In 2014 just three pairs have bred – all have required 24 hour protection. No-one knows what might happen to their young when they leave the natal areas.
On the 10th of August – when the media’s attention was turning towards grouse moors and the start of the ‘Inglorious 12th’ – we highlighted the scandal of the widespread illegal persecution of Hen Harriers on upland grouse moors and celebrated one of our most iconic birds of prey.
For BAWC, Hen Harrier Day was primarily about raising awareness of wildlife crime – the persecution of a protected bird of prey. We felt then (and still do) that to move on from the current situation, there has to first be a full and clear acknowledgement from the shooting industry that illegal persecution has been widespread and is a limiting factor on Hen Harrier populations. Next there needs to be a commitment from the industry to ensure that all legislation protecting our wildlife is rigorously enforced, and that lawbreakers – current and historic – are reported to the proper authorities immediately.
A selection of external news/posts published in the run-up to Hen Harrier Day
- The Reservoir Cats are back! http://reservoircatz.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/open-season-for-harriers.html
- BOU blog post by Dr Arjun Amar: Hen Harriers: going, going…
- BirdGuides article :Hen Harriers: in the line of fire
- Mark Cocker calls Hen Harrier Day “a radical departure in the story of nature conservation” in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/03/claxton-norfolk-raptors-survival-grouse-shoots
- Great post by Raptor Persecution Scotland on Hen Harrier Day: http://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/standing-in-solidarity-for-hen-harrier-day-10th-august-2014/
- Jersey (Channel Islands) announces ‘Raptor Day’ in partnership with Hen Harrier Day: http://www.birdsontheedge.org/2014/07/30/raptor-day-sunday-10th-august/
- RSPB response to the proposed Defra Hen Harrier Action Plan
- Article in The Times after Marks and Spencer ‘takes grouse off shelves after boycott threat‘
- Post by Steve Mills on his ‘Natural Eyes’ blog: The ‘tipping point‘
- Our response (and the comments that followed) on Facebook to a Sunday Times article exposing the wishlist of the driven grouse industry contained in Defra’s ‘Hen Harrier Action Plan': https://www.facebook.com/BAWCUK/posts/268508356688785
- Mark Avery blog post Does driven grouse shooting rely on criminal activity?
- Alan Stewart, former Wildlife Crime Officer and member of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, blog post Crime against hen harriers – a discussion
Posted by Backsbottom Farm at 02:43
Sunday, 17 July 2016
The campaign to ban driven grouse shooting began because the pastime is incompatible with the salvation of hen harriers in particular and the protection of raptors in general. Driven grouse shooting requires intensive land use to maximise the grouse available for shooting. The grouse are ‘driven’ at the guns – beaters flush them toward the shooters, a form of ‘canned hunting’. Despite legal protection, these birds of prey keep disappearing from our skies and often turn up poisoned or shot. There is sufficient suitable habitat for over 300 pairs of hen harriers in England and Wales; the actual number of nesting attempts is in single figures – “a tiny handful“; the number of successful breeding attempts is usually zero.
The justification for seeking this ban has widened to include grouse shooting’s other serious negative consequences.
– Environmental: burning and draining moorland to produce optimum heather for the grouse damages its carbon- and water-retaining ability, thereby contributing to climate change and increasing flood risk downstream, i.e. where more people are. Yet we pay these estates to ‘manage’ the land this way through our taxes which subsidise them.
– Animal cruelty: particularly for those unfortunate wild mammals and birds caught in snares or pole traps and left to suffer a slow, painful death.
– Food safety: the lead shot disperses throughout the grouse meat so its consumption is well above recommended levels.
Why the absolutism? Surely conservationists and animal rights activists should be having dialogue with the proponents of grouse shooting?
They have been, for decades – “decade after decade, initiative after initiative has stumbled and fallen.” Land owners and managers have had opportunity after opportunity to change their ways through negotiation. They seem to be unmotivated while they have their cake and shoot it. Meanwhile raptors continue to be poisoned, shot, or just disappear in the vicinity of grouse moors.
For example, consider the position of the Hawk & Owl Trust, which exists to conserve birds of prey in the wild.
“If anything this conflict has become more intense in recent years. Harriers pose a threat to grouse stocks and for this reason they are illegally killed, leading to their near disappearance as a breeding bird from England. This naturally angers conservationists, some of whom are now calling for driven grouse shooting to be licensed or banned. …And yet this dismay has fostered a rather tolerant approach.
The [Hawk & Owl] Trust has watched with dismay as an increasingly adversarial and acrimonious argument has raged for almost twenty years between environmental campaigners and grouse moor interests.”
“The Hawk and Owl Trust Board of Trustees thought long and hard about how real and realistic pressure could be put on grouse moor managers and their gamekeepers to immediately stop persecuting Hen Harriers. The Trustees came up with two immoveable conditions that would need to be agreed to before the Trust would talk to Defra:Unfortunately not. Satellite-tagging hen harriers only confirms that they ‘drop off the radar‘ in the vicinity of grouse moors.
“1) All Hen Harriers fledged within a brood management scheme trial would be satellite tagged so that their movements could be tracked. And the knowledge that they were tagged (and the fear that other HHs might be) would prevent any gamekeepers from shooting them in the sky.”
“2) Should any Moorland Association, Game & Wildlife Trust, or National Gamekeepers Organisation member be proved to have illegally interfered with a Hen Harrier nest or to have persecuted a Hen Harrier on their grouse moors, the Hawk & Owl Trust would pull out its expertise from the brood management scheme trial.”Ah, proof: therein lies the problem; the protection of this species has been a legal imperative since 1954. Since then the number of hen harriers has decreased and the ratio of convictions to persecution incidents is miniscule.
And on the rare occasion when a conviction is achieved?
“The criminal gamekeeper who was recently filmed setting illegal pole traps on a grouse moor, in the vicinity of a female hen harrier, is employed by a member of the Moorland Association (see here), can we now expect a statement from the Hawk & Owl Trust saying they’ve pulled out of supporting the brood meddling scheme because one of their ‘immoveable provisos’ has been broken?”No, sadly not. The Hawk & Owl Trust are sticking to their er…principles.
“It would be rank stupidity, if not political suicide, for any moorland manager to continue to persecute problem birds when a way out is being provided.”No, it wouldn’t be, because they are already seemingly impervious to the law. The risk from continuing the status quo is very small. I appreciate the forgiving, pluralist attitude – “behavioural change is seldom achieved by outright adversarial opposition” – but there is currently no incentive for moorland managers to change their behaviour; neither carrot nor stick. There is nothing more that they want. There is no real threat of their lifestyle being at all curtailed. We need to raise the stakes.
Why bother signing a petition?
The petition already has well over 50,000 signatures; 100,000 should trigger a debate in parliament. Perhaps such a debate would focus the lead-dimmed minds of the grouse shooting community. Or perhaps, when it’s the only alternative to an outright ban, the softer option offered by conservation groups will get some traction.
This is not about all shooting, it’s not even about all grouse shooting; this is about a specific activity undertaken by a minority who make no attempt to even explain their actions. Our ethical sense has evolved into the 21st century and we recognise animal cruelty, environmental damage and food safety as issues.
Why are we paying via our taxes to subsidise this activity? Why are we paying again to our water companies for the additional treatment required by water running off those moors? Why are we paying again for increased insurance premiums due to increased flooding risk? Why are we paying again for police investigations of wildlife crimes which are very difficult to resolve? Why are we paying again for government supported study after research study after collaboration after working group after action plan which do nothing to change any of the stakeholders’ perspectives and leave the problem entirely unaffected?
Grouse shooting contributes to the economy? How much? And how much would be contributed by a more sympathetic activity, such as rewilding or ecotourism? Or just by the absence of all the aforementioned costly impacts? Beside the financial cost, what about the moral cost? Why do we allow this minority to indulge militaristic superiority fantasies through inflicting tremendous cruelty on other creatures? What about nature’s intrinsic value? Driven grouse shooting is not sport and it’s not acceptable.
Please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting. Thank you.
If that’s not attractive enough a prospect, it’s an anagram of ‘overburdening hooting ass’.
Plenty more detail from Mark Avery.
Plenty of facts and figures from Raptor Persecution UK.
More ammunition from Chris Packham.
This article is also published at Wildlife Articles.
Posted by Backsbottom Farm at 13:34