01
Sep
16

PAW Scotland rejects gamekeeper’s claims as ridiculous

Donald McBeathFurther to the claims of Scottish gamekeeper Donald McBeath that ‘bird activists’ are killing golden eagles and hen harriers as part of a smear campaign against grouse shooting (see here and here), the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) has dismissed his claims as ridiculous.

PAW Scotland statement:

The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland is calling for a cool-headed discussion about the disappearance of birds of prey in the Scottish highlands.

The call comes following unsubstantiated claims by a gamekeeper who believes ‘bird activists’ might be to blame. Louise Batchelor, a spokesperson for PAW Scotland, says that there appeared to be no evidence to back the claims. There were reports that the gamekeeper said: “I certainly would imagine that there would be a few activists who would take a chance of doing something and I wouldn’t put it past them.’’

Reports also said that some pressure groups had called for grouse shooting to be outlawed and they reported the gamekeeper as saying that call ‘might give activists a motive for sacrificing a few birds of prey’. Louise Batchelor said: “The idea that ‘bird activists’ were responsible for the disappearance of golden eagles and hen harriers as part of some conspiracy theory, to smear gamekeepers, is ridiculous. This kind of claim, made without foundation, cannot go unchallenged and PAW Scotland will continue to take the lead in any serious debate about what is happening to Scotland’s birds of prey. ”

It’s understood that the gamekeeper behind the claims does not belong to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, who are members of PAW Scotland. A spokesman for the SGA said: “As has always been the case since these reports have emerged, our sole focus is the investigation.  The SGA will do anything we can to assist Police Scotland and the Scottish Government in their investigations and we do not comment on the opinion of private individuals.”

END

Well done, PAW Scotland!

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10 Responses to “PAW Scotland rejects gamekeeper’s claims as ridiculous”


  1. 1 Northern Diver
    September 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Rather worried about the health of Mr McBeath. Suggest his GP does a blood test for lead-poisoning.

  2. 2 Northern Diver
    September 1, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    With regard to my previous post, adults with lead poisoning can experience delirium and hallucinations – amongst other symptoms.

  3. 3 Bimbling
    September 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    “…and we do not comment on the opinion of private individuals” – SGA Sept 1 2016.

    Got to be worth putting that in the back pocket for when they next do.

  4. September 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Oh, and any chance of the PAW statement being covered on the telly/radio?

  5. 5 IDC
    September 1, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Scotland’s gamekeepers continue to perpetuate Scotland’s shame. The only areas where raptors flourish are those with no gamekeepers, except on the Black Isle where gamekeepers are employed by xxxxx xxxxx to lay down poison, covered up by having the police in the shooting syndicate.

  6. 6 Marco McGinty
    September 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    A wee bit of digging and I’ve found this other recent quote from McBeath, on the SACS Facebook page;

    “look up YOU TUBE search windmill kills bird.
    someone possibly baited the bird to its death.
    1 fact is windmills can kill birds.
    it is possible some of the 8 missing eagles had a similar fate.
    who would do such a terrible thing – possibly rspb activists
    why – to make the headlines the day before the glorious 12th to bring shooting into disrepute.
    the chief rspb investigation officer must be on a hidden agenda if he didn’t see the windmills or acknowledge it could be a possibility that some of the birds died because of windmills.
    an activist can bait the birds close to the turbine. get rid of the bait and dead bird and they would also known how to disable the tracking transmitter”

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, this was followed by David Paterson’s extraordinary assessment;

    “The RSPB, SSPCA,and ALL other so called animal protection/rights groups cry wolf more often than the snp cry for in dependance!!!!!!
    I wouldn’t believe a word that they say now even if they had tangible proof. These organisations have no right to try to dis credit anyone and its high time field sports participants took legal action against the incessant slurs and blatant lies we are accused of.”

    So, even if the RSPB (or other “so-called animal protection/rights groups) had actual proof of criminal behaviour, he would refuse to believe it! This one would appear to be a proud and dedicated flat-earther.

    And in the same chain of insightful commentary, we had a Robert Smith, who offered the following appraisal;

    “So why was the rspb not taken to court over the red kites that were poisoned north or Inverness? As it was the rspb that put the poisoned meat out killing many more birds. As stated there is no evidence the eagles have been shot by anyone so don’t blame the shooting people for it without proof”

    Here we have an example of someone demanding that blame should not be apportioned without proof, yet he is perfectly content to falsely accuse the RSPB for poisoning protected raptors! Ah, smell the irony!

    Again, we have a considerable number of people showing the traits of sociopathic behaviour. Thankfully, in that conversation, there was one person, namely Steven Blackley, who appeared to offer something constructive and positive. Sadly, his lone voice of sensibility will be drowned in the vast mire of filth, lies and misinformation.

  7. September 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I would be interested to know which estate Mr McBeth was speaking for? Members of SLE….represented in PAW?

  8. 8 Jack Snipe
    September 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    What shocked me most of all in this story was the fact that the SGA is a member of PAW Scotland! What are we doing sitting around a table with an organisation which is in persistent denial about the criminal activities of its members? Just as the RSPB pulled out of the Hen Harrier Action Plan due to lack of faith, it’s time that PAW cleaned up its act and expelled the defendants of the law breakers. Otherwise I’ll find it harder to take them 100% seriously in future. Compromise with the countryside mafia is inappropriate and unworkable.

  9. 9 Nimby
    September 1, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    By not commenting on such tripe by media courting individual gamekeepers then they risk credibility and potentially folk thinking they are encouraging him by not speaking against such statements by one of ‘theirs’ (by default, as a gamekeeper)?

    SGA membership of PAW, bit like the hapless HH Plan now flapping lifelessly but never mind G[WC]T and H&OT to the rescue (assumes they are not challenged for the tender / funding)?

  10. 10 Peter Martin
    September 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    30th Aug BBC Scotland broadcast an interview with gamekeeper Donald McBeath on radio and TV during which he made an unfounded suggestion that ‘bird activists’ instead of gamekeepers were responsible for a series of illegal raptor deaths on grouse moors.

    Whilst the piece did feature a conservationist pointing out that these killings were suspicious the assertion from the gamekeeper was not challenged by the presenter or offered to the conservationist for comment. I feel this is a serious error of judgement based on the fact that the gamekeeper’s suggestion was so highly improbable as to be effectively a lie or deliberate propaganda designed to deflect attention from the truth.

    The BBC has recently spent a great deal of time and resource reviewing it’s presentation of facts and opinions, and is clearly (and rightly) concerned. I feel the BBC has become trapped in a culture of providing ‘balance’ at the expense of fact or probable likelihood. That is to say that the ‘truth’ is being sacrificed for ‘balance’ even where no rational balance is possible.

    On this occasion the presenters failed to understand that the likelihood of ‘bird activists’ killing birds of prey was so low as to be preposterous. Mr McBeath’s assertion should have been challenged immediately, especially as his comments were highly contentious and potentially defamatory. At the very least the conservationist should have had a chance to respond to such a serious allegation.

    The consequence of failing to address this oversight is that the BBC becomes an unwitting outlet for propaganda for various ‘lobbies’. In this instance there was strong evidence that gamekeepers are responsible for these deaths and yet the BBC has allowed the pro-killing lobby to introduce a false element of doubt into the discussion in order to obscure this. There is documented evidence based on CPS convictions that the BBC could have used to demonstrate the truth. Instead they have allowed the truth to be camouflaged by a false flag.


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