Gamekeepers rattled by Birders Against Wildlife Crime

bawc logo - CopyThis month’s edition of Modern Gamekeeping (“Britain’s only independent industry publication“) reveals that the gamekeeping industry is definitely rattled by the campaign group Birders Against Wildlife Crime.

There’s a regular article at the back written by someone calling himself ‘Predator’. This month, ‘Predator’ writes about “a motley group of soap-dodging, benefits-scrounging parasites” (the badger cull protesters), the “disingenuous” RSPB (referring to the RSPB’s claim that video evidence in the George Mutch case was a by-product of a scientific study), and an attack on Birders Against Wildlife Crime:

It’s said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and boy – do we need to be vigilant nowadays. It’s only going to get worse. A bunch of antis calling themselves Birders Against Wildlife Crime are holding a conference in Buxton, Derbys, in March [see here]. They’ll be calling on all birdwatchers, hikers and dog-walkers to turn amateur crimespotters, poking about looking for trouble where none exists, and reporting the slightest suspicion to the police. 

It has the potential to cause all sorts of bother for the police, farmers, landowners and keepers, who could quickly become bogged down by well-intentioned reports about anything and everything. But then, perhaps that’s the idea. This may be a good time to invite your local wildlife crime officer round and establish a good working relationship before it all gets out of hand“.

It’s an interesting view. You’d think that the law-abiding gamekeeping industry, with nothing to hide, would welcome well-informed members of the public keeping an eye out for wildlife crime, wouldn’t you? It’ll be far easier for the police to catch those balaclava-clad, gun-toting District Nurses if everyone’s on the look out for them.

Well done, BAWC – you’ve got the criminals looking over their shoulders.

We’ll be blogging again about Modern Gamekeeping very soon….they’ve got an article in this edition written by someone with eight wildlife crime convictions to his name…


24 Responses to “Gamekeepers rattled by Birders Against Wildlife Crime”

  1. March 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I’m going to a subscribe to “Modern Gamekeeping”. It sounds like a laugh.

  2. 2 Andrew
    March 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    “and boy – do we need to be vigilant nowadays”
    Now that’s a statement to ponder on coming from such a self proclaimed law abiding group.
    The writer is obviously so far up his own backside that he didn’t spot the glaring admission that it makes.
    Maybe he did know and still thinks they are above the law.

  3. 3 Dave Dick
    March 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Ah yes – “benefits scrounging parasites” – time for a closer look at the “tips” and fringe benefits these people get on estates after shoots?…and lets not even think about their employers with their money locked away in offshore tax havens?..

    • 4 nirofo
      March 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Do you think there may be a slight case of tax evasion linked to these sometimes quite large “fringe benefits and tips” many of the gamekeepers receive after the shoots, or do you think their bosses etc will make sure they declare them to the tax collector ???

    • 5 Marco McGinty
      March 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      As for the “benefits scrounging parasites”, that most certainly could relate to the shooting estates of this land, not to mention the biggest scrounging parasites of them all, the royal family.

      Well done, BAWC! Good work!

  4. March 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    A classic example of a writer so deep into a warped mindset that they reveal more than they could possibly have meant.

    • 7 sallygutteridge
      March 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Yes indeed modern gamekeeping, how to make yourself look like exactly what you are in a few paragraphs.

  5. 8 nirofo
    March 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I’m pleased they’re rattled, they deserve to be, I don’t think they’re nearly as rattled as they should be. I just hope they become so rattled it shakes some of the sheer arrogance and wildlife brutality out of them, and as they say at the start of boxing matches, “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE”, bring it on !!!

    • 9 Andrew
      March 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      I’m afraid they will not change their actions yet. They will just be more careful not to get caught.

      If the amnesty on poisons is followed by a hard line that starts removing subsidies if ANY poison or poisoned bait is found it may hit them hard enough in the pocket to start a change

  6. March 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Excellent admission of guilt. Was there also an admission that the Wildlife Crime Officers are there to be bought? Criminals through and through.

    I do hope they get a crick in their necks from looking over their shoulders.

  7. March 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks as ever RPS for finding gems like this, and thanks for your support. We’re really only following where incredibly well-informed and knowledgeable people like yourselves have gone first. More power to ALL OF US in the fight against wildlife crime!

  8. 12 Chris Roberts
    March 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    ‘Modern Gamekeeping’ That title in itself is very misleading – they are all mostly still living and acting as if it is still the 19th. century! I am very pleased that they are getting rattled – well done to BAWC whom together with RPS are at last making inroads with regard to wildlife crime and letting the general public know about it.

  9. 13 Stewart Abbott
    March 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I’ll be at the conference in Buxton, I will have to make sure I listen really carefully so I don’t report things that aren’t crimes. I’ll also make sure I have a good relationship with my local wildlife crimes officer so he will like me and believe me when I tell him what I’ve seen. Patronising fool.

  10. March 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    ‘calling on all xxxxxxxxxx to turn amateur crimespotters’.

    That is exactly what Crimestoppers, Drink Drive Hot lines, Neighbourhood Watch, Inland Revenue, the Police etc etc expect the general public to do.

    Even Rural Crime watch groups run in part by gamekeepers would like the general public to report crime, poachers, hare coursers etc

  11. 15 Grouseman
    March 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    It’s not a case of people being worried about members of the public reporting ACTUAL wildlife crime it’s the fact that many members of the public are unaware or uneducated about wildlife legislation and its totally unproductive for people to be reported left right and centre for carrying out legitimate and legal pest control. Let’s be honest this blog itself has highlighted that there is several/many police officers that could do with some training regarding legislation/species identifiation!

    • March 5, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Grouseman. Most people are untrained in the details of criminal law but they are still allowed to report incidents they believe to be wrong. That is.not toitally unprductive but how our crime reporting operates. I totally agree with police officers being trained but it might help keepers if they were also involved in training locals in areas where they fear unnecessary reports

    • 17 crypticmirror
      March 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Sounds like good reason to report everything, and sort it out later what was legal and not. That way no one has gotten away with it. That is what the Government encourages on benefits reporting, spy on your neighbours for fun and profit, is there some reason that gamekeepers and shooters should not bear the same scrutiny as the poor and disabled? One law for them…? Nope, sorry me old Grouser, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the keeper too.

    • March 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Grouseman, you may be surprised to discover that BAWC actually thought about this when we set up. One of the issues we recognised is that very few of us understand wildlife laws and know exactly what is or isn’t legal. Which is why we always follow what we call the Three Rs when we post information: Recognise, Record, Report. So Recognise what is and what isn’t a wildlife crime, how to Record that information properly and in a way it can be used by the police/investigators, and who to Report the incident to. And why we asked a senior WCO to make sure we’d got that information right. If you’d like to help us spread awareness of the Three Rs please feel free…

    • 19 Marco McGinty
      March 19, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Grouseman, judging by the varied, widespread and regular reports of illegal activities reported, it would appear that many gamekeepers are “unsure” of the laws themselves, so by unearthing all of these “innocent mistakes”, then it could be seen as a very productive move, with BAWC helping to educate the public in an advisory capacity. I mean, imagine if some poor gamekeeper “accidentally” killed a protected species through a lack of awareness? How would he/she be able to live with that guilt?

      As for the police, I disagree that many could do with some training in legislation or identification. I think many should be sacked for being corrupt.

  12. 20 Pip
    March 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    “This may be a good time to invite your local wildlife crime officer round and establish a good working relationship before it all gets out of hand“. hmmm……….even more of a necessity for the SSPA one would have thought. Or rotate existing WCO’s to different areas randomly – I’ve always thought a locally based officer (and their families) are, or could be, subject to local pressures. Perhaps some of the redundant RTO’s (now the A9 is infested with average speed cameras) could be thus utilised as well…………

  13. 22 Owen Foley
    March 5, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I do wonder sometimes, if we ourselves stop to think about the things we say and do in our zeal to stop wildlife crime. The phrase “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” has in the past been attributed to Goebbels…(as well as Orwell).
    We should indeed be vigilant for wildlife crime.
    By all means encourage people to report crime, and record it, IF they see it. But let us not crow and jeer at what may be legitimate concerns about a potential barrage of nuisance complaints against people who may actually be law abiding citizens. In Ireland, not too long ago, I saw the same phrasing used of “If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear” put forward in distinctly racist tones, as police removed children from the homes of their families because “concerned members of the public” reported that said children looked “different” from their parents. (http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/0701/627629-childrens-ombudsman/).
    If any individual on here, was falsely accused of a crime of any sort, we would all take it badly. No one would take the stance of “Well I have nothing to hide.”. That is basic human nature.
    We cannot go down the road of some sort of “Wildlife McCarthyism”. We cannot stoop to low tactics of nuisance complaints and interference. We get the criminals by being honest and within the law, or we don’t get them at all. So we educate. We inform the public what is illegal, and what to look out for, in detail, and lobby for the laws and regulation to eliminate criminal activity.

  14. 23 Pip
    March 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    The above is all very well – personally I prefer the Arnaud Amalrie solution of “Kill them all, God will know his own”. when applied to any hint, suspicion, rumour, gossip or idea of wildlife crime – in this secular world the CPS fulfilling rather poorly the hand of God (or the scales of justice if you will) Homilies like the one above give carte blanche to the hooded and armed criminal gangs now apparently roaming the Caingorms N.P.
    The example of Ireland is poorly put – perhaps some concerned members of the public might have stopped some of the awful proceedings in both Rotherham and Oxford. The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of proof positive for convictions in wildlife crime – “We get the criminals by being honest and within the law, or we don’t get them at all” Pah!. And I suppose the illegal activities of hunt saboteurs had nothing to do with the demise of that “sport”…………….
    I also note that the BBC carried in their report about the mountain hare culling disgrace a quite charming picture of a fluffy bunny – but not a picture of the rotting, stinking ziggurat of corpses that graced this site once – strange or what?

  15. 24 Bill
    February 11, 2017 at 8:09 am

    ‘Modern Gamekeeping’ ? Well there’s an oxymoron !

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