Gamekeeper accusing ‘bird activists’ of killing raptors was on TV last night

Following yesterday’s blog about that Scottish gamekeeper who was interviewed on BBC Scotland radio, accusing “bird activists” of killing satellite-tagged golden eagles and hen harriers (see here), he was also on the telly last night.

The TV piece was a shortened version of the radio interview. Here’s the transcript they left out:

I now have very strong reason to believe that we’ve got some bird activists in the area. I now have strong suspicions it’s a bird activist. They’re so close to winning this case against the grouse moors. I don’t know if any of the gamekeeper lads over this side of the hill would like to be responsible for going down in history for getting the grouse shooting banned but I certainly would imagine there’d be a few activists who’d take a chance of doing something and I wouldn’t put it past them“.

The TV version focuses on him denying any gamekeeper involvement because there’s ‘no evidence’. Unfortunately, the presenter didn’t do a very good job as he failed to challenge Mr McBeath’s views. He could have discussed the 30+ years worth of overwhelming evidence that all points to the grouse shooting industry, but he didn’t. Or if he did it was edited out.

Ah well, the video is still very funny. Here’s the clip from BBC Reporting Scotland (evening news, 30 Aug 2016).


28 Responses to “Gamekeeper accusing ‘bird activists’ of killing raptors was on TV last night”

  1. 1 S TUCKER
    August 31, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Can the entire birding and conservation community sue him for defamation?

  2. 2 Chris Roberts
    August 31, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    They say that the best method of defence is to attack !!

  3. 3 nirofo
    August 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder when if ever the BBC will do a real unbiased in depth documentary about the true facts of raptor and wildlife persecution on the grouse moors, using unbiased presenters and well sourced proven documentation to back it up. It would be interesting to get some of the mouthpieces for the stalwart gamekeepers involved, together with a few clued up ornithologists with proven track records who know what they’re talking about. I don’t suppose the BBC has the balls to go on air and let the true facts come out about what really happens on these grouse shooting estates, after all it wouldn’t be cricket would it.

    • 4 Michael Naylor
      August 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      By unbiased presenters I’m guessing that you mean the kind that apoear on Countryfile, rather than the ones that have spent many years achieving a high level of qualification and henceforth talk wifh authority about things that you don’t agree with. Mmmm….thought so 😀

    • August 31, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      The BBC doesn’t have the balls to present an unbiased report on raptor persecution because they always back down to threats of legal action by the shooting community – who have several QCs on tap…what is needed are those decent supporters of conservation and the rule of law with regards to wildlife crime, within the legal establishment [there must be some!] to stand up and be counted.

    • 7 Secret Squirrel
      August 31, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Not on BBC Scotland, nor Countryfile nor any of the other parts that have ties to landowners.

  4. August 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder what the difference is between hikers with binoculars, birdwatchers, birders and ‘bird activists’ and whether they can be reliably distinguished in the field. Given the source of the information for their sake, I hope that trapping’s not the only reliable method ….

  5. August 31, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

  6. 11 Peter Shearer
    August 31, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Well I guess the more desperate their explanations the more we are hitting home .And the RSPB wiped out the 5 Hen Harriers on their reserves last year? Yes, it could be a very clever inside job, but there is of course a much more plausible explanation,which many more people are now beginning to see.

  7. 12 Caro McAdam
    August 31, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Well I’m quite encouraged by him saying “they’re so close to winning the war..” Keep up the pressure everybody!

  8. 13 Brian bull
    August 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    What an outlandish statement , surely no honest person would believe this

    Maybe in a fit of depression the birds committed suicide…………………

    I wonder how many birds and animals breathed their last looking into his eyes

  9. August 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    You have to remember two basic facts…
    1. They have low standards when it comes to basic communication and
    2. They think the Edwardian period is a new breaking trend…

    Therefore, when they talk about “bird activists” they are clearly talking about the Suffragette movement. They think it is just part of a campaign to get women the vote…. better not tell them that one is over, they couldn’t cope with society being out of the “right balance”.

  10. 17 Will O the Wisp
    August 31, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    So gamekeepers are calling themselves ‘bird activists’ now?

  11. August 31, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I thought that “activist” meant those who were willing to and break the law to further their aims. Sounds more like gamekeepers & grouse moor owners to me than birdwatchers ….

  12. August 31, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    McBeath is a version of MacBeth and methinks he has been bewitched.

  13. 20 chris lock
    August 31, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    120% pure ballshit

  14. August 31, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Wow. I was expecting it to be just some gamekeeper’s rant but the presenter on the moor and talk-over are actually taking it seriously. Surely the RSPB is going to challenge this bullshit.

    • August 31, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      The item included a clip of Ian Thomson, I wonder if that was done for that item, it sounded like the sound bite that went with the amazing vanishing eagle story? Maybe if Ian’s around he might clear up the background to the story?

    • 23 Peter Martin
      August 31, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Utterly irresponsible reporting by the BBC. This gamekeeper’s opinion is right off the scale in terms of being not only completely unfounded or backed by evidence but also so unlikely that it is ludicrous. It’s like broadcasting a piece about the moon and including an opinion from someone that says it’s made of blue cheese. The BBC must learn to distinguish between qualified opinions and unqualified opinions. They need to make rational judgements about what is likely and what is absurd. The effect of their piece is to insinuate that there is a ‘reasonable’ doubt that gamekeepers are killing raptors by allowing an entirely unreasonable (bordering on preposterous) counter view to be presented.

      This man’s suggestions are typical of the disingenuous propaganda that the countryside lobby is engaged in. The trouble is we all know it and very few people are taken in by it any more. So here’s a suggestion for them. If you claim you aren’t killing raptors then let us send a person to shadow all game keepers 24/7 for a whole year (I’m sure we can find enough volunteers). Give us unlimited free access to the grouse moors, vehicle trackers and any other surveillance we want. If you refuse we know you have something to hide. If you agree then we will see if either you are actually killing raptors or that raptor numbers increase, in which case we prove you were killing raptors. Otherwise, shut up and stop lying.

  15. August 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I wonder why they wheel out these poor sods to represent their twisted view of the world. “Go on Donald, get yourself on TV. It’ll be a bit of a laugh.”
    Reminds me of WW1 when the stuffy old generals sat with their wine and cigars while sending the troops over the top to do the dirty work.

  16. August 31, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Iam just too annoyed to reply to this load of bollocks from a so called gamekeeper.

  17. September 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Seems to me grouse the shooting industry is judging others by its own deplorable standards

  18. 27 Marco McGinty
    September 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve just listened to the clip for the first time, and would like to say that I’m shocked and stunned by the BBC bias in this report, but those that know me, or have read this blog during the past few years, will know that not to be the case.

    Yet again, in utter defiance of their own code on impartiality, and a complete disregard for fact and accuracy, the BBC has been caught out. You would seriously have to question why the BBC would choose to give this falsified tale an airing on national radio, then on national television the same evening. Is the organisation capable of telling the truth?

    Firstly, in both clips (as anandprasad and Peter Martin have highlighted), this piece was designed to give credibility to the idea that gamekeepers are the innocent party and they are not committing these criminal acts, which in itself is wholly corrupt of the BBC. Then we have the report from Craig Anderson, where at 1 minute and 55 seconds into the clip, he says the following;

    “…other pressure groups have called for grouse shooting to be outlawed altogether. The suspicion among many people within the shooting lobby is that this whole controversy about the disappearance and deaths of birds of prey, has been whipped up by conservationists with one aim in mind – and that is the shutting down of grouse shooting altogether.”

    And there it is. A big, magnificent lie. The BBC have used this shooting industry lie, as though it is a factual account, so, would any of the BBC staff that read this blog, have the guts and care to explain which groups are calling for an outright ban on grouse shooting?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 7,380,065 hits


Our recent blog visitors