Wild Justice secures another Westminster debate on banning driven grouse shooting

Six months after Wild Justice’s petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting passed the requisite 100,000 signatures, a decision has finally been made to have a parliamentary debate in Westminster.

The date has not yet been decided but is expected to be within the next month.

Of course, this won’t be the first time this subject has been debated at Westminster. The first time was back in 2016, and what a sham that was, but many of those dishonourable members, some with clear vested interests, have since left the building.

Will it be any better, four years on? Wild Justice has some thoughts on that here.

5 Responses to “Wild Justice secures another Westminster debate on banning driven grouse shooting”

  1. 1 TaddyOfKentoo
    March 9, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Of course, this won’t be the first time this subject has been debated at Westminster. The first time was back in 2016, and what a sham that was, but many of those dishonourable members, some with clear vested interests, have since left the building???

    Unfortunately, there is a multitude still occupying the benches @ Westminster & Scottish Parliament all with clear vested interests ..Nasty hypocritical individuals..Corruption is rife, rearing its ugly head, the same scenario for the shooting fraternity within National Police Forces many deployed as Wildlife Crimes Officers..

  2. March 9, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    In depth briefings for MP’s now required!

    The CA will be issuing the “good chaps” with a briefing note with a paragraphs highlighted for each one to read….

    ….. if they dont, they wont get their invite to an expenses paid day in Lord Blinkinsop’s butt.

  3. 3 Nimby
    March 9, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Let’s hope that amongst the none vested interest there is a realisation that the practices employed by the grouse industry are not in the best interests of the public who have suffered immeasurable losses as a consequence of flooding which has been exacerbated by muirburn, drainage of upland moors etc.

    All speaking (especially the advocates for the grouse industry) need to address accurately points made in submissions, statistics need to be current and evidence based otherwise they should be dismissed?

    I would also like to see (but won’t be holding my breath) claims made by the grouse industry advocates actually evidenced and an accountability for erroneous spin. Anecdotal spin should not be allowed to hide behind ‘Parliamentary Privilege.

    Good luck to all giving evidence ‘

  4. 4 John L
    March 10, 2020 at 11:58 am

    It would be good if everyone reading this blog wrote to their MP prior to this debate, and encouraged them to attend and participate.
    It will be very difficult for the Secretary of State of the dept of Environment, Food and Rural affairs to ignore a majority of “educated” MPs who participate in this debate, and demand change.

    A well crafted letter covering the evidence of the number of incidents of raptor persecution over or near to grouse moors (RSPB Raptor persecution map) is a good place to start.
    The fact that the majority of prosecutions for illegal persecution of raptors have been made against gamekeepers. (67%)

    That despite the voluntary ban many estates have continued to burn heather, releasing pollutants and damaging emissions into the atmosphere.. In the process often damaging the underlying blanket bog- and this practice is undermining to the government climate emissions targets.

    That whilst predator control is sometimes necessary to help the recovery of certain ground nesting birds- when this descends into “predator persecution”- the entire eco system becomes unbalanced.

    The on going abuse of General Licences – with birds being killed without the perpetrators carrying out all the necessary steps of the licence prior to killing birds- the GL only offers a defence to the unlawful act of killing a wild bird, and only in very specific circumstances!

    The fact that many grouse moors are in receipt of Natural England stewardship payments for conservation, yet despite these payments and the Govt support for Hen Harriers -we are not seeing the increasing Hen harrier numbers over the grouse moors- how does this fit in with the Govts notion of public money for public good??

    That there is currently no proper regulations covering how the shooting industry operates, and this is perpetuating criminal activity and allowing criminals to get away with illegal acts.

    The College of Policing advocates the Problem Analysis triangle when dealing with criminal offences- Victim, Location, Offender.
    To date the government has spent a lot of public money on the:
    Victim( various bird of breeding prey schemes, etc ),
    Location ( stewardship grants habitat restoration projects),
    but very limited effort on dealing with the offender.
    As such the public money being spent is not seeing the results anticipated for such expenditure.

    The Routine Activity Theory (Cohen &Felson 1979) suggests that a person may choose to offend if they have:
    • the motivation to attack a target
    • the right kind of target to attack
    • a potential target without adequate protection.

    At the moment the regulations governing the shooting industry are inadequate to offer birds of prey adequate protection.

    That Gvt has identified raptor persecution as a national wildlife crime priority for police forces, yet has failed to acknowledge the difficulty in securing and gathering evidence of these crimes being committed in remote moorland locations away from the gaze of the public and potential witnesses.

    If the Govt truly believe that raptor persecution is such national wildlife crime priority then why have they failed to introduce meaningful regulations to support the activity being taken by the police?

    What incentives are the Govt giving the shooting estates which do operate totally within the law, and where the landowner, and gamekeepers are genuinely working at proper conservation targets?
    Without regulations there can’t be a “level playing field”, and without regulations it makes the application of the law difficult to stop the “rogue” shooting estates operating.

    (There is previous evidence that the introduction of proper regulations will have a positive effect- this was the position taken by the government to deal with the scrap metal industry and the illegal activity associated waste metal collectors.)

    I am sure that readers will have lots further ideas and evidence that can be contributed to “educating” MPs as to exactly what is taking place on our grouse moors, the public anger that this evokes, and the failure of the Govt to take proper effective action.

    And lets not forget- the illegal persecution of raptors is a criminal act committed by criminals. The public don’t tolerate drug dealers or burglars in their neighbourhood; so why should we tolerate bad gamekeepers who engage in criminal activity and persecute birds of prey in our countryside?
    A countryside the Govt claim should be for the enjoyment of the public!

    Don’t forget the CA and others with vested interests in maintaining the status quo will be hard at work lobbying their MP’s.
    Often with fanciful claims and misleading information.

    It’s up to us to provide MP’s with the truth!!……and hopefully use this debate to start some meaningful change??

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