A few days ago we blogged about an attack on the campaign group Birders Against Wildlife Crime that had appeared in this month’s edition of Modern Gamekeeping (see here).
We also said we’d be blogging about another article that had been published in this industry rag. It’s a full-page spread on page 18, written by Mike Wood. Here’s the bio that accompanies this piece:
“Michael Wood is a partner at Westfield Farms in Pickering, North Yorkshire. Founded in 1953, the farm has 59 years of experience breeding game birds, including pheasant, mallard, red-leg partridge and grey partridge“.
What the bio doesn’t say is ‘Michael Wood is a criminal with eight wildlife crime convictions to his name’.
Interesting, eh? How many times are we told not to tar all gamekeepers with the same brush? But why should we distinguish between lawful and criminal gamekeepers when the game-shooting industry itself doesn’t seem to bother? We already know that the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation doesn’t mind that Wood has wildlife crime convictions – they’ll still accept fund-raising donations from him and Charles Nodder from the NGO will still work with the Game Farmers’ Association, even though convicted wildlife criminal Wood is the GFA’s current Chairman (see here).
So we know that Noddy and the NGO don’t shun convicted wildlife criminals. But what about BASC? Surely they’ve got standards? Hmm. Take a look at this header from the front of Modern Gamekeeping:
It’s hard to read from this image so here’s what it says:
“Modern Gamekeeping is proud to be in partnership with The British Association for Shooting and Conservation”.
Does that mean that BASC (a member of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW UK)) endorses the idea that a wildlife criminal with multiple convictions should be given column inches in an industry publication to discuss the ‘management’ of his game-rearing farm? Surely not.
All in it together…?