Gamekeepers “the doctors & nurses of the countryside”

Alex & Kyle HoggAh, Alex Hogg, the SGA Chairman – he’s the gift that just keeps giving.

He and his son Kyle featured in an ITV Border Life programme that aired on Monday and Alex gave us another one of his classic quotes:

We kill animals because probably we’re the doctors and nurses of the countryside. Animals don’t have an old folks home to go to; when their teeth fall out they’ll starve to death so we’ll probably shoot that animal before that happens“.

What a deluded analogy. Doctors and nurses heal the sick; gamekeepers kill most species that might threaten the number of gamebirds available, er, to be killed. Where’s the similarity between these two professions?!

He also says he’s proud that things haven’t changed in 150 years of gamekeeping: “It’s part of our natural heritage, almost“.

What he meant of course was 150 years of gamekeeping has had a devastating impact on our natural heritage, wiping out several species (some of which have since been reintroduced by conservation organisations) and reducing others to a fraction of their former range and abundance.

If you want a laugh, you can watch the programme here (look for programme aired Jan 12th).


32 Responses to “Gamekeepers “the doctors & nurses of the countryside””

  1. January 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Correctio. Gamekeepers are generally the scum of the earth and borderline psychopaths.

  2. 2 jason fisher
    January 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    yes the doctor crippin and harold shipmans of the countryside certainly

  3. 3 michael gill
    January 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    “proud that things haven’t changed in 150 years”? Ha ha ha. Someone please tell you can go to prison for bludgeoning a Goshawk

  4. 4 Keith Brockie
    January 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Aye, if ye see a bird whi a neb bent doon it must be auld, gie it a blast o’ lead tae pit it oot o’ its misery!

  5. January 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Yep – the same way Harold Shipman was a doctor and Beverley Allitt was a nurse?

  6. 6 BlueSkyBirding
    January 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    This man is obviously seriously ill and surely the time has come for him to be given a taste of his own medicine. :-)

  7. 8 Chris Roberts
    January 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    As an alternate career Alex Hogg could become a stand up comedian. In 150 years of game keeping things haven’t changed eh! Well, he has just confirmed what most of us already new, they are still all living in the Victorian era where the motto was “If it moves shoot it”.

  8. 9 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    January 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    These are the sorts deciding what is to live and die in the countryside. More like doctor Mengele, father and son, having power of life and death. What turned me off watching some TV stuff on the countryside was the appearance of certain farmers and hunting sorts, who made me writhe in anger at their conceit that they are guardians of the landscape, and are somehow noble for doing so. To my mind, all part of baggage that should day be rounded up, along with their fellow complicit ones in high places, and turfed into the most deprived housing scheme possible, and let them real life. May I call for those who share the views RPS to form the group that will set our countryside free of such people, and to manage the land better than hitherto.

  9. January 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    To come out with statements like that (“doctors and nurses of the countryside”) you would either need to be spectacularly stupid yourself, or else assume that you were addressing a spectacularly stupid audience.

  10. 11 Olwen Badziak
    January 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    His face says it all. Cruel.

  11. 12 Guardians of Biodiversity
    January 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    These are the views of a blatant biodiversity terrorist whose sole yet universal management tool is a shotgun. The misguided and allegedly often illegal activities of these neanderthals are denying over 60 million people in Britain the health and enjoyment offered by a rich biodiversity heritage. We must work tirelessly to rid the British countryside of people with such deluded and outdated views, and replace them with enlightened land managers who possess at least a basic understanding of ecology and conservation.

    • January 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Don’t forget to add trap and poison to the tool list.

    • January 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      I concur entirely, however replacing them will be nigh on impossible while the owners of the land and their employers gain our tax subsidies and huge income from the industry of killing game. Take away the shooting industry and the land becomes worthless to them and the Gamekeeper is assigned to history. But here’s a thought, re-wild these areas, get back the biodiversity and reintroduce species which are long gone and gain the income from ecotourism. Look at the Isle of Mull, it’s largest income is from people who go there to watch Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles and Hen Harriers.

  12. 15 Dave Dick
    January 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Not a lot of support for poor old Alex then!….some splendid comments here…may I add Nurse Ratchett [One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest] and Doctor Jekyll to the list?….The more pressure they are under [and keep it up everyone] the madder they are becoming.

  13. 16 Jeff
    January 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Have I woken up on April Fool’s Day!? First Monro’s blog on Mark Avery’s site and now this!

  14. 17 Les Wallace
    January 15, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I wonder how many gamekeepers, former and apprentice, have been done for involvement in badger baiting, dog fighting and even dodgy handguns? I know there have been a few – having a silly hat, and parroting ‘tradition’, ‘culture’ etc won’t change that the whole principle of gamekeeping is crap and if there are any genuinely decent gamekkepers they are in the minority. Alex Hogg really is the face of Gamekeeping, inevitably depressing when you finally stop laughing.

  15. 18 Marco McGinty
    January 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    So, if things haven’t changed in 150 years, is he admitting that raptors are still routinely killed in large numbers on game estates throughout the country?

    But anyway, we heard the usual guff about the perceived benefits to other wildlife, alongside the equally guff statement about predators, so I made a point of tallying the wildlife seen on Hogg’s estate during the programme. I was fully expecting to see tens, if not hundreds of raptors (as it has been suggested on numerous occasions that their numbers are out of control), alongside marauding hordes of corvids killing everything in their paths. So, on my first viewing, I noted Pheasant, Fallow Deer and a dead Grey Squirrel.

    That couldn’t possibly be correct. Could it?

    I then assumed that the corvids (and foxes) had been exterminated in a zero-tolerance approach to predators, and did wonder if raptors and other protected species had suffered a similar fate. In shock and disbelief that I didn’t note huge finch flocks taking advantage of a free feed, or huge roving tit flocks blissfully flitting from tree to tree, in a predator-free environment, or large thrush flocks also gaining from the wholesale eradication of predators, I had to have a second viewing of the Portmore Estate clip.

    So, I did, and my tally of species equalled that of my first count – Pheasant, Fallow Deer and a dead Grey Squirrel – each and every one of them an introduced species!

  16. January 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Hi I’ve just posted on the GWCT site, ref. 20 years at Langholm – what have we learnt?

    The most efficient predator that needs control is man with gun, trap and poison. Nature does not need help in natural predator control.
    Profit is the driving factor that sustains the shooting estates argument, to kill all predators (except man). I know that protected species status upsets the estate management but we all need to obey the laws of this country, don’t we?
    Then what do you do? Go out and have jolly good shoot (for fun) and of course fat profits. Decimate the population of the “precious” game birds! Then intensive grouse/ pheasant breeding to produce more gun fodder to waste.
    It is time that the shooting industry especially the archaic driven game shoots, grew up and joined the 21 century.

    Also in response to another posting: The game shooting industry should go the same way as the Dodo, the sooner the better.
    It is amazing how the shooting and angling industry can conjure up such figures. They did it with cormorants some years ago. The figures from angling and RSPB meant that the average cormorant weighed in at a mere 5 tonne.
    So, I conclude that the raptors in this argument must be in the same category as the mutant cormorants.

  17. 20 Een Historicus
    January 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Agree with you all, just want to stand up for the Neanderthals: They had bigger brains than those guys on the photograph.

  18. 21 crypticmirror
    January 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Paging Doctor Hannibal Lecter and Nurse Ratched, Doctor Lecter, and Nurse Ratched, please report to the animal enclosure, paitent waiting…

  19. 22 crypticmirror
    January 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Is Iain Duncan Smith a shooter? I’ve suddenly worked out the logic behind his reforms all of a sudden.

  20. 23 Tony Warburton MBE
    January 15, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    You have all missed the most terrifying thing of all – the great unwashed are breeding! I never realised the Hogg had produced an obviously brainwashed Hogglet! And having watched this film, I am getting really nervous. I am now at the age when I only have a few of my own teeth left, so am I in danger of being put out of my misery and starvation by the kindly doctors and nurses currently defiling the Scottish (and alas, the English) countryside? Last thought – what do the Hoggins clan do when their gundogs get old and unable to work? Answer please doctor.

  21. 26 Pete Woodruff
    January 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    The photograph at the head of this publication says it all for me….I worry more each time I look at it, a pair of highly dangerous lunatics, with an army who support and listen to them which makes matters even worse.

  22. 28 Bimbliing
    January 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Is this not grounds for having Cops Caledonia (sorry, stole that from a contributor to Andy Whitemans’s blog and thought it needed greater use) review his firearms certificate and shotgun licence on the evidence of him being rather bonkers?

    Really, and I mean really, how much support does he have from his constituents? How long is his term, when does the indefatigable Bert Burnett take the reins?

    Perhaps we should be grateful that this is the quality of the opposition.

  23. 29 Bimbliing
    January 15, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Apologies to Andy Wightman of course.

  24. 30 kevin moore
    January 15, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Just when i thought i had everything ,Hogg opens his big mouth again .

  25. January 16, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    If the Hogg and baby were dressed differently (think more – bib fronted dirty denims and lumberjack type shirt) then they would fit the imagined stereotype of inbred hillbilly.

    Being a canoeist I can’t help thinking of the film, “Deliverance”…………………….

    And whoever described them as neanderthal, they are not in anyway that advanced. Or maybe retrograded.

    What great ambassadors for the custodians of the country. Also, on the old and ailing dogs question, I think we all know what they would do!

    • 32 sallygutteridge
      January 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

      He does look inbred. I think they all look the same though these countryside killers. The rich with their single gene pool and the gamekeepers with almost vacant eyes hanging onto the tail feathers of the poncing, prancing and strutting idiots that want to be royalty. So this morning I watched three male pheasants sparring outside my window, their own lives and agenda’s all they have. A few minutes later a trail of brand new landrovers filled with floppy faced bullies pretending that it is an achivement to blast heavy, clumsy, almost tame birds out of the sky with spread fire. It disgusts me beyond belief.

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