SGA attacks RSPB on false premise

Annie Langholm harrier shot April 2015Never ones to miss an opportunity to stick the boot in on the RSPB, those wildlife crime-fighting heroes at the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association have mis-kicked, again.

They’ve been whining in the media (Scottish Farmer, see here) about the timing of the RSPB’s press release relating to the discovery of a shot hen harrier called ‘Annie’ (see here).

As you’ll recall, Annie was a young satellite-tagged hen harrier from the Langholm project whose tag indicated she’d stopped moving in March this year (see here). Her corpse was discovered on a grouse moor in late April after several weeks of intensive moorland searches (by the RSPB) and the news of her death was published on 11th August, the day before the start of the grouse-shooting season, when everyone associated with driven grouse shooting is doing their level best to promote it as a sustainable, conservation-friendly tradition (ahem).

How inconsiderate of the RSPB to break this news on the day before the Inglorious 12th. How dare they inconvenience the grouse-shooting lobby like that. Shame on the RSPB for telling the world about another illegally killed raptor found on a grouse moor.

The thing is, the RSPB wasn’t in control of when the news was released.

When Annie’s body had been found (late April), it was submitted the very next day to the SAC Veterinary lab for post mortem. The post mortem results were not released to the RSPB until early August. The RSPB passed on the results to Police Scotland on 5th August. It was then Police Scotland’s call as to when the news was released. According to the article in Scottish Farmer (see here), the police asked the RSPB to sit on the news so that they (Police Scotland) could “crime” the incident, whatever that means. It was then decided, apparently after discussion with the Scottish Government (since when do they get involved with when crime details are released?!) that the news would be published on 11th August.

Instead of trying to smear and discredit the RSPB for publicising this crime, surely the SGA, as a co- member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, should be (a) praising the RSPB for putting in the time and effort, at their own expense, in extreme weather conditions, to retrieve Annie’s corpse; (b) asking the SAC vet lab why it took over three months for the post mortem results to be made available; (c) praising the RSPB for preparing and publishing the press release; (d) focusing their condemnation on the criminal(s) responsible for killing this bird, who, with all probability, are members of the game-shooting industry; and (e) asking the RSPB and other members of PAW Scotland how they (SGA) can usefully contribute to help stop these killings?

Is that really too much to ask?


5 Responses to “SGA attacks RSPB on false premise”

  1. 1 jason
    September 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    the members of the game shooting industry could reduce raptor crimes by around 90% immediately simply by not comitting the crimes. yet their representatives outwardly appear to concentrate the entirety of their effors on villifying the people whoare actually trying to root out the casues of the crimes. i wonder why that could be

  2. 2 Mike
    September 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Is that too much to ask? Seems like ‘fraud so, and that’s the measure of the SGA ! Even with the detailed account of events leading to the press release we’ll never see their accusation retracted nor an apology.

  3. 3 Nigel Raby
    September 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    WOW, I had no idea that the SGA was populated by such fine upstanding fellows that would never latch on to an opportunity such as bad publicity on the eve of the annual great murder. C’mon RSPB, how could you do such a thing ;) It gives me such a feeling of warmth towards the SGA’s humanity to know they would never do such a thing!

    • 4 Douglas Malpus
      September 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      SGA’s humanity? Are they really capable?

      They have never demonstrated any humanity, common sense or conservation.

      • 5 nirofo
        September 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        Douglas, you ask “are they really capable”, I would have to describe these stalworts of country life, these protectors of the countryside as more like culpable !!!

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