Scottish Raptor Study Group letter in response to estate licensing scaremongering claims

Earlier this month we blogged about two articles that were published in the Scottish Mail on Sunday about so-called ‘draconian’ proposals to introduce a licensing scheme for game shooting estates (see here).

One piece was just a review of various organisations’ positions and the other one was a fairly lengthy comment piece written by Carrieanne Conaghan, a gamekeeper’s wife and coordinator of the Speyside Moorland Group. Carrieanne claimed that the introduction of estate licensing would ‘penalise‘ law-abiding estates, although she didn’t explain how she thought this would work.

Logan Steele, the estate licensing petitioner (on behalf of the Scottish Raptor Study Group) contacted the Mail on Sunday and asked for the opportunity to provide a comment piece in response, especially as Carrieanne had made a number of unsubstantiated (and inaccurate) claims about his motivation for launching the petition. The Mail on Sunday refused (surprise!) but did say he could write a 150-word letter, an option Logan described in a comment on this blog as “a pretty second rate alternative“.

Nevertheless, Logan did submit a letter and it appeared at the weekend. He says it’s been “butchered” (the published version is only 89 words) and they couldn’t even spell his name correctly. Even so, he makes his points well:

A quick bit of background research has led us to believe that Carrieanne’s husband is employed as a gamekeeper at Glenlochy, near Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. This estate is no stranger to police investigations into alleged raptor persecution (e.g. see here) although nobody has ever been prosecuted. This history, perhaps well before her husband’s employment, might help explain Carrieanne’s concerns about the introduction of an estate licensing scheme.

9 Responses to “Scottish Raptor Study Group letter in response to estate licensing scaremongering claims”

  1. 1 Al Woodcock
    July 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    ‘What’s wrong with asking for the law to be upheld’ were the words of Chris Packham when he won the argument against Ian Botham on Radio4 last year.

    It really isn’t much to ask is it?

    • 2 nirofo
      July 25, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Apparently it is for the grouse shooting fraternity and their gamekeepers, they obviously believe breaking the wildlife protection laws is just part of the job and nothing to worry about.

  2. July 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    How is a gamekeeper allowed to operate in a national park – isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

    • 4 Paul V Irving
      July 25, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Almost all land in national parks is privately owned, what happens on that land is down to what the owner wants. Not what you and might prefer, national parks are essentially planning designations.

  3. 5 I C T
    July 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    When the industrial shooters are frightened of an open debate it’s quite obvious they have plenty to hide.

  4. 6 Chris T
    July 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Says it all about the position and views of the Mail that they wouldn’t allow an equivalent piece setting out the argument. At least they aren’t on the fence and we know whose side they’re on! Two articles versus 89 words, at least one makes sense.

  5. 7 SOG
    July 25, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Would Logan consider publishing his original text on here, so that we might assess the objectivity of MoS? Thanks

  6. 8 Marco McGinty
    July 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Perhaps, instead of attacking the true law-abiding citizens, it would have been better if Carrieanne Conaghan had targeted the criminal element with the shooting industry, especially those within her husband’s chosen profession.

    Only those involved in criminal activity should be worried about a licensing system, so if Carrieanne Conaghan’s husband, and the estate he works on, complies with the law, then they have nothing to worry about whatsoever.

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