How wilful blindness facilitates illegal raptor persecution

Earlier this week we were invited to talk at an event in London about illegal raptor persecution in the UK. The event was the LUSH Summit, organised and hosted by LUSH, and was designed to showcase the work of many activists and campaigners from around the world who receive help and support from this extraordinary organisation.

Many of the presentations were filmed and can be watched on the LUSH Player.

We had the privilege of speaking in the Conservation room and our presentation focused on the subject of wilful blindness, how it facilitates the ongoing persecution of birds of prey in the UK and the strategies that we’re using to try to bring this to an end.

This presentation, introduced by Chris Packham, can be watched here (starts at 55.53 mins):



9 Responses to “How wilful blindness facilitates illegal raptor persecution”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    February 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Fantastic presentation, well done to both RPUK and Chris Packham. Within the Scottish administration we still have one big problem in the name of Fergus Ewing, who is very much a friend of driven grouse moors and most certainly not a friend of our wildlife, he is certainly a spanner in the progression that we all want to see.

  2. 2 J .Coogan
    February 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Agree re. Ewing but he is far from the he only MSP. For example I find it hard to believe that Sir Edward Brian Staford Mountain 4th Baronet, and all the other Tory MSP’s ( look them up, not exactly short of bob or two any of them) would be too critical of the shooting lobby. We also have strangely some Labour MSP’s from urban constituencies who would not know the difference between a grouse and a goldfish who crop iup every now and again in support of shooting.
    Then of course we have Kate Forbes MSP who fronted /hosted that propaganda farce at Holyrood -The Gift of Grouse. I contacted her twice asking her to justify her support,eventually I received an e mail from Gordon Bell her communications manager ( Kate was to busy) which was in its own way enlightening. The last paragraph is worth quoting.
    “Kate believes it is important that the Parliament is accessible to individual constituents and that includes farm shop owners, restaurant owners, chefs and local gamekeepers.”
    In my reply I made the observation that her constituents also include many individuals who enjoy outdoor recreation , bird watching etc and would find the actions of shooting estates abhorrent. I also pointed out that her constituents also include some very wealthy and influential land owners (many grouse moor owners). I agreed that accessibility to parliament is important but that her position as an MSP and the Parliament itself should not be used to curry favour with the powerful and influential sections of her voter base .
    As yet I have received no reply. Wilful blindness is alive and well

  3. 5 Homer Simpson
    February 18, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    It will be interesting to see how this is received from those who pretend not to read this blog.

    I have heard whispers of dissent in the ranks, those among them who can see just where this will lead if the criminals are allowed to continue, could it ever be that they will eventually break ranks to protect their interests, sport and livelihoods? I look forwards to seeing such change.

    Far too many have been silent, too many people are worried about rocking the boat (some you would imagine would be at the forefront of the fight against raptor persecution and yet they are nowhere to be seen when it comes to making the case against the wildlife criminals).

    Conservationists are often all too complicit in the problem, often without it being intentional but there are far too many secret meetings where the interests of the landed are put before upholding the law. It is great to see Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and North York Moors National Park Authority standing up against the criminals this weekend alongside the RSPB, the RSPCA and the police. Where might I ask are the Peak District National Park Authority, in light of their recent Initiative failures, they should be at the forefront calling for licensing and an end to the voluntary approach to regulation.

    Those organisations (and the individuals who represent them) whose involvement appears to be purely to lobby for grouse moor owners and gamekeepers whilst pretending that everything is just fine, will be just as much to blame for the demise for grouse shooting as those that are committing the crimes. It seems to me they have tried every trick int he book to maintain the status quo and that is what has led us to where we are right now.

  4. 6 lizzybusy
    February 18, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Once again, outstanding work. Ruth, Chris Packham, Mark Avery – you are a total inspiration. Thank you. And thank you too to the amazing commentators on this and other sites.

  5. 7 Mick
    February 19, 2018 at 2:11 am

    That is a great presentation, as usual. Chris is right with his glowing introduction, it’s well deserved. I think you, Chris and Mark are a fantastic trio and you complement each other perfectly. I think the three of you will be looked at as having been instrumental in doing the most to end raptor persecution in the UK. I look forward to the day when we can all enjoy our birds of prey instead of fighting for their survival. You might be the generals but you lead from the front and get in where lesser people would avoid. I’m sure I can speak for a lot of people when I say thanks for the inspiration. We will win, we just have to reach the tipping point which probably isn’t too far away in Scotland and few years away in England.

  6. 8 Les Wallace
    February 19, 2018 at 11:35 am

    So I’ve finally got to hear the presentation that Ruth gave at Loch Leven Hen Harrier Day (plus the bit about Fred). There was standing room only in the room she gave the presentation in and I had to stand at the door and could only catch fragments, but got the gist even then, now I’ve got the full story. Well done Ruth!

  7. 9 Peter Shearer
    February 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Encouraging and inspiring to see and hear. Gives us the motivation we occasionally need to keep fighting.

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