30
Aug
16

“Bird activists” killing satellite-tagged raptors, says gamekeeper

It’s ok everybody, the mystery of the vanishing satellite-tagged raptors has finally been solved. It wasn’t the (non-existent) wind farms (see here). And it wasn’t the unreliable satellite tags with a dodgy salt water switch attached to Olive Ridley Turtles off the coast of India (see here).

No, the real reason, according to a Scottish gamekeeper, is that “bird activists” have been killing off the raptors as part of a smear campaign against those who manage grouse moors.

Phew. Glad that’s all been cleared up.

Have a listen to gamekeeper Donald McBeath, interviewed on Good Morning Scotland earlier today (here – starts at 02:51:37, available for 29 days).

gamekeepers prosecuted - Copy

UPDATE 31 Aug 2016: The name of this gamekeeper is Donald McBeath, not Donald Macbeth.

UPDATE 31 Aug 2016: Mr McBeath was on the telly last night. Watch the video here

UPDATE 1 September 2016: PAW Scotland dismisses gamekeeper’s claims as ridiculous here

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52 Responses to ““Bird activists” killing satellite-tagged raptors, says gamekeeper”


  1. August 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Hooray solved at last – now I can sleep easy!

  2. 2 crypticmirror
    August 30, 2016 at 10:55 am

    That is a rather extra-ordinary claim, I expect he has extraordinary proof of this? Or is he just running on the discredited 1970s meme of all activists being bolshevik saboteurs?

  3. 3 michael gill
    August 30, 2016 at 10:56 am

    He did say that “we” (the bird activists) are “so close to winning” [the grouse shooting ban]. That’s go to be progress coming from the Gamekeepers’ side?

  4. 4 doh!
    August 30, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Do they go into the woods at night with shotguns? I can only think of one group of armed bird activists, can anyone guess? Answers on a postcard to the National Gamekeepers Organisation

  5. 5 Chris Roberts
    August 30, 2016 at 11:12 am

    It is more than obvious that gamekeepers are by far the biggest killers of all our wildlife.

  6. August 30, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Which particular bit of sand has that gamekeeper had his head in!
    Incredible clutch at straws by what is fast becoming a discredited occupation. Situation brought upon themselves.

  7. 8 Ken Brown
    August 30, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I don’t know how he can discount alien abductions!

  8. 9 Alan Tilmouth
    August 30, 2016 at 11:35 am

    clearly deluded and no irony whatsoever in trying to smear conservation workers wthout a shred of evidence for a smear campaign that doesn’t exist nor need to.

  9. 10 alan
    August 30, 2016 at 11:37 am

    A bit disingenuous here.
    The guy might be talking crap, but your still using a graph of only how many crimes.
    I don’t know of any wind farms convicted of killing a raptor, but they do.
    And there is an actual wind farm on the site where all 8 went missing.
    Not that im claiming it killed them all.
    What about the bowland over enthusiastic nest disturbances.
    Not crimes, but less raptors
    But if all raptor deaths are of equal value, why are we only looking at grouse moors.
    Why is there no appetite to establish just how many are killed by turbines, even its was just to dispel a myth.
    Why are we not making nest studying more open and accountable.
    I don’t disagree with attacking the criminal estates.
    But they are not the only factor.

    • 11 Pete Hoffmann
      August 30, 2016 at 11:54 am

      How many corpses or tags where found around wind farm sites…the tags would continue transmitting and would be found…what is really suspicious is that the satellite tags stop working and can not be found …they have been deactivated…with a hammer… and buried with the carcasses…

      • 12 crypticmirror
        August 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        Perhaps it is windmills with disintegration ray beams stolen from UFOs whose flying saucers also suck eagles into their turbines?

      • 13 Sandra B
        August 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm

        You are absolutely correct. The tag would be transmitting and the bird not moving which usually means it has died. To stop transmitting suddenly it has to be damaged. Some do fail but no way all the missing birds.

    • 14 George M
      August 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Alan, how on earth can wind farms be convicted of anything given the absence of free will? Where is the evidence that these nest disturbances are A) frequent and B) involved in nest failures. You sound a little like Donald McBeth in making those types of unsubstantiated claims. I, personally, have only witnessed, and filmed, A couple of these incidents but the person involved is now batting for the grouse lobby. Grouse moors are being looked at because of A) the long and detailed history of crimes against raptors B) the current continuing evidence and research findings which lead to the conclusion that they are the primary culprit. Many, if not all, raptor groups, and most rational folk, are not against making nest study more accountable but are very dubious about giving their exact location of nests to anyone connected with gamekeepers. The reason for this is because in 1998 RSPB fieldworkers in the NE who were engaged in the Hen Harrier Survey were obliged to inform estates about their visits. In some cases they were accompanied to hen harrier nesting sites be the estate’s gamekeepers. Subsequently many of the hen harrier sites that were recorded that year mysteriously failed (this was pre wind farm) and the number of sites found the following year dropped significantly from previous years. Simple huh? Now if you can suggest another method of accountability which omits gamekeepers and land managers from the equation you might be on to something.
      A lot of research does go into exactly where wind turbines are situated and try to ensure that they are not on migration paths, where serious damage can be done.
      Now the trouble with simply focusing on “criminal estates” is that most everyone interested in this subject know who they are, including neighbouring estates. However the neighbouring estates just appear to let them get on with it without getting their own hands dirty, so to speak. I say this because, to the best of my knowledge, no grouse estate owner or employee has ever given witness against anyone accused of raptor crimes who is working in the grouse industry even though they are the best placed to do so. Why? Well it would be quite easy to believe this is because they, too, see themselves as benefiting from less raptors as these birds roam all over the UK and do not simply remain on the “bad” estates. That given, trying to divide grouse estates into “good” and “bad” ones is simply a non starter. Both benefit, they simply play different roles I.e. one commits the crimes and the others remain silent and benefit from that crime in the long run. Until owners and employees begin to take an active part in wiping out raptor crime … like giving evidence in a court of law when appropriate … then the distinction is meaningless. It only serves the purpose of confusing the casual observer i.e. propaganda.
      Finally, Alan, no one said that raptor deaths only occurred by persecution on grouse or shooting estates. What is claimed, and with much evidence to support it, is that they are the main cause of the lack of healthy populations of birds of prey throughout the UK .. a claim that I thoroughly agree with.

      • 15 alan
        August 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        George, Im not talking about convicting wind farms (though I think they should be held to account on their planning applications of number of birds killed). Im making a point that there are no records for this and seemingly no interest in establishing any.
        In relation to the disturbances, im basing that on Bowlands recent statement and other anecdotal evidence including from a friend who has nothing to do with keepering but was aware of a harrier nest south of the border, visited legally whilst with egg and subsequently abandoned.
        I don’t disagree on with-holding locations, but all other details should be available, and failure to comply should result in loss of license.
        With respect to grouse moors, yes they were the biggest factor, but are getting better. (this doesn’t mean all is rosy in the garden, but significantly better) look at the trends.
        Now that they have set up their moorland groups, the last thing they want is bad publicity and they do seem to be doing their best to avoid it.
        I find it strange that as they seem to improve (if they don’t, they will regret it) the press against them increases.
        And I live close to what in my opinion was one of the worst estates.
        I do think attitudes south of the border are totally different.
        Ive always thought you should encourage people.
        I do agree with your point, in that everyone seems to turn a blind eye, but I do think there is probably peer pressure applied in the background to stop now.
        On Saturday I saw at least 5, possibly 6 different species of raptor within 1 square mile in glen esk, you never hear about these positives here.

        • 16 George M
          August 30, 2016 at 7:10 pm

          I don’t know where to start Alan, but ALL hen harrier nests whose locations are known and only some with an egg or eggs in it are abandoned. The reasons vary but personally I doubt very much whether an experienced raptor worker visiting a nest would initiate such a response by the birds. Lack of food, or the disappearance of a male, as is what happened on a few occasions last year in the Bowland area, might spark a desertion, but, to the uninitiated or casual visitor it would be quite easy to assume that a visit was the cause. If the game keeping fraternity are the only witnesses to such behaviour then, given the history, it would take more than their word that this was the cause to convince the vast majority of folk. No street cred I am afraid, they squandered it and are continuing to do so when keepers like Donald McBeth make such outrageous public accusations.
          You say grouse moors are getting better, but when a series of golden eagles and hen harriers go missing with their tags vanishing the grouse moor fraternity make astonishing claims about non existing wind farms most probably being the reason. This wasn’t one incident Alan, but a series of incidents, including goshawks and buzzards, in the same area. Sometimes when it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a duck. The blow up dummy that wails and the shotgun cartridge banger string found in the Glens doesn’t do a lot for confidence either. They are used to “move on” nesting birds like hen harriers, which, in itself is an offence. In short, Alan, I see no improvement in the Glens at all and I make that assertion by the numbers of hen harriers nesting there i.e, none.
          What has improved, if you like, is the ability to cover up such crimes now that the heat is on. I might add that the Moorland Group Site is the only Internet site that I have some of my comments erased because, it seems, there are some subjects that the only light they wish shed on them is the light they provide. Naturally this only fuels my suspicions. A healthy site is a non censored site, with the proviso that no bad language and personal insults are employed.
          The constant publication of articles in the P&J and the Courier illustrating how much gamekeepers tend and care to injured raptors is an own goal too, Alan. (I fear thou doth protesteth too much) People who have little interest in birds are continually making sarcastic remarks to me about this “change of heart.” It’s OTT and obvious to all. Honesty still seems to be a million miles away and producing propaganda like that which everyone knows is simply a blind only loses these folk more street cred. It underlines the fact that most folk see them now as liars. No one likes to be patronised or thought of as a fool.
          Though there may well be more raptors in the Glen Esk area at this moment in time it is still seriously underpopulated in regards to hen harriers, peregrine falcons and golden eagles. The vast majority of those not involved in shooting believe this to be because of illegal persecution.
          Think of it this way. If a defined group of professionals who had been committing the same crimes for over a hundred years made a promise that it would not happen again, (something they had also been saying for many years), what would it take for you to believe them when the evidence of the crimes was still present i.e. in this instance the underpopulation of harriers, eagles and peregrines in the Angus Glens. They then proceeded to continue to give reasons why it couldn’t be them and offering in the media outrageous explanations as to why (think Donald McBeth and non existant wind farms) The same professionals are up in arms trying to stop the SSPCA from getting investigatory powers too while supporting the same powers for privately appointed water bailiffs. They also employ, as previously said, blow up dummies and shotgun cartridge scarers at nesting time.Their credibility is shot, Alan.
          This is why it will take a lot more than a few NON NESTING birds flying over territory during the dispersion period to convince any rationally minded person that anything meaningful has changed .. or will change .. without new legislation

    • 17 Marco McGinty
      August 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      “The guy might be talking crap, but your still using a graph of only how many crimes.”

      What is the problem with the graph?

      “I don’t know of any wind farms convicted of killing a raptor, but they do.”

      And just how would you go about prosecuting a wind turbine?

      “And there is an actual wind farm on the site where all 8 went missing. Not that im claiming it killed them all.”

      Yet, you keep mentioning this wind farm, which as far as I am aware, is not the exact location of the final transmissions, so why do you keep bringing it up?

      “What about the bowland over enthusiastic nest disturbances.”

      What “over enthusiastic nest disturbances” would that be?

      “But if all raptor deaths are of equal value, why are we only looking at grouse moors.
      Why is there no appetite to establish just how many are killed by turbines, even its was just to dispel a myth.”

      Because the major differences are that deaths caused by wind turbines are accidental, whereas those caused by the shooting industry are wholly deliberate.

      “Why are we not making nest studying more open and accountable.”

      You see, although i am not a membet of any of the Raptor Study Groups, I have faith in them, and I trust them to carry out their duties in a responsible manner. I have no need to be informed of specific nest details or locations, and I’m quite happy with the levels of information that are available to the general public. As far as I am concerned, this is as open and accountable as it needs to be. These species are under enough pressure at present, yet here you are suggesting that all wildlife criminals should be given access to nesting locations. Why do you consider this to be a sensible option?

      “I don’t disagree with attacking the criminal estates. But they are not the only factor.”

      No, but as far as persecution goes, they are, by far, the major problem.

      • 18 alan
        August 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        o “Yet, you keep mentioning this wind farm, which as far as I am aware, is not the exact location of the final transmissions, so why do you keep bringing it up?

        o Because 3 of them all dissapeared at the exact same spot, close to the actual windfarm. The last location is not necessarily the final location of the birds.

        “What about the bowland over enthusiastic nest disturbances.”
        What “over enthusiastic nest disturbances” would that be?

        “Bowland’s only two Peregrine nesting attempts destroyed by disturbance this year

        From bowland raptor facebook site [Ed: this section deleted]

        “But if all raptor deaths are of equal value, why are we only looking at grouse moors.
        Why is there no appetite to establish just how many are killed by turbines, even its was just to dispel a myth.”
        Because the major differences are that deaths caused by wind turbines are accidental, whereas those caused by the shooting industry are wholly deliberate.

        The wind turbine deaths are not necessarily accidental. If you install it based on a planning application to kill 2 eagles and 10 kites over 20 years and you kill double that, its not accidental in my opinion.
        A lot of these turbines are to the benefit of the same landowner who has the grouse shooting.
        There is a potential application coming up in my area that could kill more raptors that all the estates in Angus.

        “Why are we not making nest studying more open and accountable.”
        You see, although i am not a membet of any of the Raptor Study Groups, I have faith in them, and I trust them to carry out their duties in a responsible manner. I have no need to be informed of specific nest details or locations, and I’m quite happy with the levels of information that are available to the general public. As far as I am concerned, this is as open and accountable as it needs to be. These species are under enough pressure at present, yet here you are suggesting that all wildlife criminals should be given access to nesting locations. Why do you consider this to be a sensible option?

        I specifically stated “not location” why have blind faith in anyone

        • 19 Marco McGinty
          August 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

          “Because 3 of them all dissapeared at the exact same spot, close to the actual windfarm. The last location is not necessarily the final location of the birds.”

          How close to the windfarm did these birds disappear? This a very conveniently situated windfarm for the shooting lobby, as it is now going to be used as an excuse for any missing raptor in this area. However, don’t you think it strange that windfarms away from grouse moors don’t seem to kill raptors and other species to such an extent? And what is so particular about this windfarm that it can magically make the birds and their transmitters disappear completely?

          “Bowland’s only two Peregrine nesting attempts destroyed by disturbance this year”

          And would that have anything to do with the NWRSG having their licences revoked all those years ago? You know, the people that voluntarily spend their time monitoring and protecting these nesting locations. Sadly, as a result of licence revocation and limited/no monitoring being carried out, this year’s disturbances could have been carried out by absolutely anyone.

          “The wind turbine deaths are not necessarily accidental. If you install it based on a planning application to kill 2 eagles and 10 kites over 20 years and you kill double that, its not accidental in my opinion.”

          Irrespective of what you believe, any turbine-related death is accidental. You do realise that windfarms are not specifically designed or “planned” to kill raptors? During the planning process, there may well be considerations that deaths could result, but there is no certainty in this. As a result of your belief, I take you will be strongly opposed to all forms of transport, and you firmly believe that the road, rail and aviation services should be held accountable for any casualties?

          “A lot of these turbines are to the benefit of the same landowner who has the grouse shooting. There is a potential application coming up in my area that could kill more raptors that all the estates in Angus.”

          Or at least that will be the excuse used whenever raptors go missing. I take it you will be actively campaigning against this application, and you will be submitting a strong objection to the planning authorities?

          “I specifically stated “not location” why have blind faith in anyone”

          No you didn’t. Your statement was “Why are we not making nest studying more open and accountable.”, nothing more, nothing less. Please explain how open and accountable you would like to see the process, and what types of information you would like to relay to the criminal fraternity? As for your assertion on “blind faith”, it’s not as you imply. I know some raptor workers (and have known some of them for a number of years), so it’s more of an evidence-based approach on their characters and history, knowing that they would immediately stop any unprofessional acts or inappropriate behaviour within their ranks.

          • 20 Jack Snipe
            August 31, 2016 at 3:27 am

            It seems to require pointing out what all raptor workers know, and that is for Schedule 1 species like Hen Harrier or Peregrine, not only is a licence to disturb required, but a return has to be submitted providing the sort of detail Alan wishes to see. If a nest fails due to “disturbance” this does not imply disturbance by the ringer was responsible. It is far more likely to have been by an unknown person, or even a known person who cannot be named due to lack of evidence. In many cases, circumstances suggest that disturbance by a gamekeeper, egg collector or pigeon fancier may be suspected, but that cannot be scientifically proven without clear evidence. It is almost unknown for a careful visit to ring chicks or inspect active nests to cause breeding failure. Personally I have monitored over 100 harrier nests, and have the utmost confidence that none of the failures was due to my inspections. which were carried out with great caution and the minimum number of visits required to record the various stages. My colleagues in the Raptor Study Group have similar experience, amounting to somewhere in excess of 500 nests. Apart from cause unknown, the commonest reasons for failure, following careful consideration of circumstances and visible evidence at or near the nest itself, is either down to natural predation (in the case of harriers, usually by foxes), or human intervention. The fact that 74% of successful prosecutions were against individuals involved in game management, is statistically significant enough to conclude that gamekeepers are primarily responsible. It would be ridiculous to argue otherwise.

    • 21 Eco-worrier
      August 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Its just that if all do their jobs right, getting the criminal keepers nailed would be the most effective at reducing overall loses – of all the wonderful birds and animals those desensitized brutes label as ‘vermin’. The morons really should be excluded from the countryside – and those who pay them.

    • 22 Dave J
      August 30, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      ‘You’re’. You’re welcome.

    • 23 kevin moore
      August 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      There might be a few over zealous raptor workers but they are certainly not shooting them or setting pole traps and poison baits etc and certainly not removing and destroying satellite receivers.

    • August 31, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Judging by poison baits found in and around the areas of grouse moors it’s a pretty safe bet to put your money on it being mostly game keepers😱

    • 25 Eco-worrier
      August 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      I think this a pointless distraction from the deliberate and relentless killing by the vicious morons. But on the bigger picture – if we limit windfarms and other clean alternatives there may be little wildlife at all; if we could limit the foul acts by keepers however, there would be a flourishing of wild nature. PS. I realise there are decent keepers, but they are colluding in the foul deeds of others by their silence – so will continue to be ‘tarred with same brush’.

  10. 26 steve macsweeney
    August 30, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Sorry but I couldn’t bear to listen, there’s enough crap on the radio as it is.The problem with people like this is that they assume they are smart and we are thick.Their assertions prove just the opposite.

  11. 27 Les Wallace
    August 30, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Talk about desperation it gets even worse. Good ole Bert Burnett has just posted an article on his fb page about predator control in New Zealand and how it helps kiwis. The thing is the kiwi is obviously flightless because it evolved in an environment without mammalian predators and it’s under threat from..introduced stoats and possums (the latter have a deleterious effect on native forests, not sure if they directly predate kiwi young and eggs). The control of stoats and possum has been very successful in aiding kiwi as you’d expect – the same principle when the RSPB wiped out black rats on the Shiants and manx shearwater are moving back already. Trouble is Bert is using this as an example of what we should do to native predators that have co-existed and co-evolved with capercaillie etc for millenia. Ludicrous comparison, but does he know this and hope the people who read his page don’t or does he not truly understand how silly it is? The recent reports of how capercaillie have recovered in parts of Starthspey because of habitat management and without any form of ‘predator control’ has not pleased some people at all – really pissed them off in fact. Mind you serves you right when your occupation is killing so others can kill for fun.

  12. 28 Doug Malpus
    August 30, 2016 at 11:47 am

    The shooting industry has no need to worry about the loss of jobs. They would all make excellent pulp fiction writers!

  13. 30 Secret Squirrel
    August 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    They have been hinting this for years, I can’t beleive one of them has been so stupid as to come out and say it.

    Goes along with the nest cameras to catch birds being disturbed by walkers

    • August 30, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Yes Alan..and lets all cheer ourselves up by remembering that this is the section of society who we [through our law enforcement and monitoring] allow to have guns. Makes you feel nice and safe out there doesnt it?

  14. 33 ALISON Scott
    August 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I think we should applaud this latest theory. What a fool he has made of himself and persons of like mind. This just Beggars Believe.

    • 34 Secret Squirrel
      August 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      The thing is, there is a certain section that actually believe it to be true. These are generally the ones who are itching to shoot raptors, but are held back for fear of being caught (and the occasional one that respects the law)

  15. 35 Jim Clarke
    August 30, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Zikes! The old swami at the end of the pier did it. And he would have got away with it it hadn’t been for those pesky kids. Scooby dooby do!

  16. 36 Jonathan Wallace
    August 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    So:
    On the one hand there is a continuing list of gamekeepers being caught in the act of keeping illegal poisons, bashing live-trapped raptors on the head, setting pole traps, possessing sack-fulls of dead poisoned buzzards, etc, etc. All this in spite of the tremendous difficulty of caching someone red-handed in the act of illegal raptor persecution.
    On the other hand there are no instances I am aware of of a conservationist being caught carrying out any of these things.

    They are obviously devilishly crafty these conservationists if there is a shred of truth in Donald MacBeth’s assertion!!!! Or perhaps the more reasonable conclusion is that he is talking b*ll*cks!

  17. August 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I was on my way down to Dundee when this came on and I was laughing so much I nearly left the road! However despite the crazy accusation I really did enjoy the statement that they were on the verge of loosing the argument!

    Poor Mr McBeth didnt want to make the tsatement…his wife put him up to it!

    It might be a daft question.. but who did put him up to it?
    I dont recall him being announced as a representative of any organisation- so just an individual? The SGA are not crowing about the coverage (even they would be embarrassed). So how does an individual get on Good Morning Scotland? Just phone up and ask?
    If I phoned up the BBC and said that I would like a platform to talk about my latest theory on keepers killing techniques.. would they invite me in??? Maybe they will create a slot to balance the mad rantings? I doubt it…there is something a wee bit odd about the item….

  18. 38 Lois Turner
    August 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    They will have us all believing in a monster in Loch Ness next! Bird activists killing the very birds they are trying protect – What utter tosh! All this statement reveals is a very warped mindset. Depressing and oh so sad.

  19. 39 Mike Booth
    August 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    This gamekeeper has obviously eaten too much lead ridden Grouse!

    Mick. B.

  20. 40 Derik Palmer
    August 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    “Why are we not making nest studying more open and accountable.”

    Well they are open and accountable. Its against the law (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1988 to be precise) to disturb a Schedule 1 bird at its nest, and I think you’ll find that anybody observing a nest either for scientific study or for protection purposes will either have a licence to do so or be under the close supervision of a licence holder. This notion of manic birdwatchers disturbing wild birds on the nest is the stuff of the grouse lobby’s wet dreams and nothing more.

  21. 41 Jimmy
    August 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    The shooting industry does appear to attract more than its fair share of liars and charlatans

  22. 43 chris lock
    August 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Pure 100 per cent ‘bullshit’

  23. 44 Paul Seligman
    August 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    These theories are all wrong. Raptors are prone to depression and suicide. We gamekeepers know this because we spend hours of unpaid work out on the lonely moors trying to talk them out of self harm. Have you ever listened to the sorrow in a buzzard’s cry? Despite our best counselling endeavours, these birds persistently attempt to self destruct – for example by jumping off high mountain peaks. For some, it’s just a call for attention which sometimes goes tragically wrong. Other birds take an overdose of poison as even the lunatic fringe of bird activists has acknowledged. Depression in raptors can be triggered by something as seemingly trivial as being watched at the nest by people with binoculars and cameras, engendering a justified paranoia based on their privacy being invaded. If the ‘ornithologists’ could just mind their own business and leave these birds alone, we’d look after them just fine.

  24. 45 Andy S
    August 31, 2016 at 1:39 am

    So, as an off site ( SW England ) observer of events, – not been there but got the ( BAWC ) t-shirt – over a long period of time, let me get this straight. We’ve had/got a bunch of people representing ” official ” countryside bodies, gwct, moorland association etc. etc. A few hapless spokespeople for unofficial bodies, Botham, Ridley etc. etc. And now even more hapless individuals all spouting all sorts of what they think is pro-shooting propaganda whilst achieving nothing but doing more and more damage to their own reputations. I wonder who appreciates these people more, the reputable gamekeepers or the others?

  25. 46 against feudalism
    August 31, 2016 at 10:04 am

    This nonsense coming from the very people who slaughter wildlife for a job ? Indiscriminately killing wildlife ‘at a distance’, using medieval spring traps, snares and poisons, often causing lingering deaths.

    Lord Bla Bla, will tell his factor ” Hrrmph, grouse numbers are down again this year” – meaning your job is in danger !

    Cecil double-barrel, the factor, will tell the head keeper ” grouse numbers are down again, sort it out ” – meaning your job is in danger ! kill EVERYTHING.

    The keeper, who has worked since he was 16 or 18, knows nothing else, minimum wage, lives in a tied house, knows if he goes against the estate, will never work as a keeper again, complies…… after all, chances of getting caught are very, very slim, and the local bobby, and judiciary shoot on the estate, and the estate will take care of the solicitors fees, and any fines, and he will likely get a christmas bonus, for doing his job.

    But, says Donald, it is the conservationists, with years of expensive study, degrees and doctorates, who are the problem ?

    Aye, right Donald.

  26. August 31, 2016 at 10:24 am

    don’t tell me, he also seen pink elephants flying..!

  27. 49 Bob Berzins
    August 31, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-moor-management-for-grouse-shooting-on-two-national-trust-estates-in-derbyshire

    Hi All, wonder if you could give this a share or post. We are trying to make sure that no moor shooting tenants taken on here when tenancy is terminated, following decoy hen harrier episode. The tenant is xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx Thanks Bob Berzins 07776188351


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