03
Feb
21

Songbird Survival charity continues to call for licences to kill birds of prey

It’s usually the Scottish Gamekeepers Association making complete fools of themselves with wildly hysterical claims about the ‘damage’ that raptors might do to babies and toddlers, but never far behind is the massively ecologically-illiterate charity, Songbird Survival (SS).

The SS Chairman, Colin Strang Steel, is no stranger to these blog pages (e.g. see here and here). And here he is again, this time on the letters page of the Scottish Farmer (30 January 2021), calling, again, for licences to kill birds of prey (buzzards and sparrowhawks) in response to an earlier editorial about killing sea eagles (here).

His latest clamouring for licences is reproduced here:

Sir, – Your Editorial in The Scottish Farmer, January 16, made some eminently sensible proposals for dealing with rogue sea eagles.

The net needs to be widened, though, to include other avian and mammalian species which are largely responsible for the natural balance in this country having become so out of kilter, in favour of predators.

It is all very well for armchair conservationists to howl with protest at the mention of ‘control’ and trot out the usual platitude that nature will find its own balance. This, of course, is never going to happen while we are around, since man has controlled nature since Neolithic times.

At the top end of the apex predator lists are badgers, buzzards, foxes, and sparrowhawks, to mention just a few. They have no natural enemies and so it is hardly surprising that with the added benefit of protected status (except foxes) their numbers have just gone on multiplying, while their prey, like songbirds and waders, have gone in totally the opposite direction.

This has, not surprisingly, resulted in nature being out of balance and unless man is allowed to intervene more than current legislation permits, it is almost certain that we will not only see the demise of some of our best known and loved bird and small animal species, but attacks on livestock will only increase.

In an article about the threat posed by growing deer populations in The Scotsman on January 19, Duncan Orr-Ewing, of the RSPB, stated: “Nature seeks balance to thrive and by managing our deer populations, we can help nature to flourish.” It is not just deer populations which need managing for nature to thrive.

The idea of introducing even more apex predators, like lynx and wolves, should be treated with extreme caution as they can only contribute to the balance of nature going even further in the wrong direction once they become established and allowed to multiply unchecked.

Colin Strang Steel

Chairman of SongBird Survival,

Threepwood, Galashiels.

ENDS

I can’t think of anyone within the conservation community who takes SS seriously – whenever its name is raised, eyes roll, there are a few chortles and the conversation moves swiftly on. The SS is largely seen as an irrelevance and its Chair’s ill-informed views, made so frequently in publications like the above, do nothing to change anyone’s views.

The SS has recently announced a new CEO, Susan Morgan, who appears to be an experienced administrator but by her own admission is inexperienced in the field of conservation. She’ll fit right in at the good ship SS then. Perhaps her first project could be to fundraise for some much-needed training for SS trustees on the ecology of predator – prey relationships.


44 Responses to “Songbird Survival charity continues to call for licences to kill birds of prey”


  1. 1 Secret Squirrel
    February 3, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    “!hey have no natural enemies and so it is hardly surprising that with the added benefit of protected status (except foxes) their numbers have just gone on multiplying, while their prey, like songbirds and waders, have gone in totally the opposite direction.”

    A 5 year old would spot the obvious flaw in that argument

  2. February 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I used to work for rspb and in the early days of working for them, nobody warned me! I received a tirade of abuse from them at a country event, didnt endear me to their plight, especially refusing to have an adult conversation!

    • 4 Les Wallace
      February 4, 2021 at 7:58 am

      Years ago when I was a volunteer for WWF Scotland, they told me they’d given up running stalls at game fairs because of the utter dogs abuse those manning them received from the punters. No chance for civilised debate then. It must have been very, very bad. Mark Avery tells of a RSPB staffer on their stall having a shotgun pointed at them at the big game fair.

      • February 12, 2021 at 5:43 pm

        Yeah ive certainly met some characters. On my first day out recruiting in Norwich this guy comes up to me and says “im into conservation” so I say “ah ok” he then says “im a gamekeeper” i remain poker faced and give him a chance as not all gamekeepers are bad lol ive met some good ones. When he sees he isnt getting a reaction he then says “I kill buzzards” my colleague catches her breath, I look at him and ask if I can ask him a question.. “do you like british wildlife Sir?” his condescending reply “im a gamekeeper of course I do you stupid girl”. My very calm and controlled response “well can you tell me why you are breeding french wildlife to release and shoot, and also why you are killing british wildlife to allow french wildlife to live for your fun?” he huffed and puffed called me some unsavoury names and stomped off. My colleague bought coffee for the rest of the day. Im a northerner I have an answer for everything 😂😂

  3. 6 Douglas Malpus
    February 3, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    The things these folk will come up with to kill raptors should ridiculed very loudly. Previously it was wader protection. Protecting babies and pets from eagles. What next? All to save a few red grouse or other game birds for gun fodder.

    Sickening.

    Doug

  4. 7 Circus maxima
    February 3, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    An argument distilled from a shrinking gene pool in a drought…..

  5. 8 David
    February 3, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    I agree that the demise of many songbirds can be laid at the door of man and his ‘control’ of nature just like his cat lays the mutilated remains of a songbird at the door of his owner. So, if you really want to help songbirds Colin I suggest you call for a ban on domestic cats.

    On reading Colin’s piece I can’t help hearing another voice coming through the claimed concerns for songbirds: that of the shooting lobby. Is this, in fact, nothing more than a subtle ploy to call for the repression of the same wildlife that threaten their precious ‘game’ birds but now presented in the name of compassion?

    Call me cynical but ….

    • 9 R Stuart Craig
      February 3, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      David If you open their web site you will find they are very critical of cats. Still a darn stupid site.

      • 10 David
        February 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm

        And so are shooters. More than a few country cats have failed to return from a night out in the woods thanks to the local Game Keeper’s activities.

    • February 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      Have to say I thought the same thing . . . any links with the shooting industry wouldn’t come as a surprise. I am however astounded how fundamentally flawed their arguments are and should rightly be treated with contempt.

  6. 12 Simon Tucker
    February 3, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Unfortunately their ignorance is prevalent on Facebook, for example. If you look at the British Birds group, intended to be for serious birders who know what the periodical is about, but hijacked by photographers (not a bad thing), but every photograph of a Sparrowhawk or Magpie leads to a torrent of hate against these two species.

    One idiot yesterday labelled a Sparrowhawk as an exterminator of red-listed birds in our gardens. I pointed out that the only genuinely “garden birds” that are red-listed are House Sparrow and Starling (you might include Song Thrush, but they are so uncommon in gardens these days that I don’t) but every other red-listed species is one that has specialist habitat requirements (uplands, farmlands, woodlands) and that it is the destruction of these habitats that is the key issue.

    Might just as well have not bothered because, like too many in the the shooting industry, farming etc their anecdotes always carry more weight than peer-reviewed scientific studies. They just know! Even if they haven’t a clue which species are red-listed! Songbird Survival has a lot to answer for.

  7. 13 Pip.
    February 3, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Yes, eyes may roll and chortles may erupt but this joker has a platform for spreading such nonsense and perhaps as far as the uninformed (and I use that term without disparagement) he has a point. Birds of prey do take their prey therefore in the eyes of the less well informed (better discription) they must be a bad thing or perhaps even diabolical. I bet a pound to a pinch of sh1t there’s no rebuttal in the Scottish Farmer from any competent naturalist.

  8. 14 R Stuart Craig
    February 3, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    How the hell can this qualify as a registered charity????

  9. 15 EricH
    February 3, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I suspect there are many reasons for song bird decline, most of which relate to lost of habitat due to urbanisation, and farming practices, and possibility some predation by cats, Grey Squirrels and Corvids (I frequently see Magpies hassling my local Blackbirds – but we need strong science to place any blame there) but apex predators numbers are only supported by sufficient prey, something conveniently forgotten.
    Songbird Survival seems to be much more a cover for the pheasant and partridge shooting industry to justify persecuting raptors. Just take a look at Mr Strang Steel’s pad at Threepwood, Galashiels; if they are not shoots I don’t what is, rather than an area with lots of wildlife corridors that would encourage song birds to thrive.
    ps the lead shot won’t be helping his local song bird population either.

    • 16 steve macsweeney
      February 3, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      I wonder how the” Save our Snails” and “Conserve our Caterpillars”charities feel about all this……
      Good allies if the going gets rough.

  10. February 3, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    It would not take much imagination to see the pro shooting lobby establish something like SBS to give a more acceptable fake face to their fight to eradicate anything that might take an egg or chick of a grouse or pheasant. They capitalise on the horror some misguided bird feeders feel when they see a hawk taking a sparrow from the bird table they have plonked in the middle of their manicured lawn fifty metres from any cover. Sadly the law, via the General Licensing Scheme, panders to these pathetic plonkers. Some years ago a woman in Bearsden gained notoriety by catching corvids in a Larsen trap then killing them by bashing their heads against her garden wall. I tried to take action but because she rendered the birds insentient with one blow she was not breaking any laws. More recently a man on the southside of Glasgow went away for a long weekend leaving an active Larsen trap in his garden. The trap was not registered/police tagged and had not been checked for three days. A young fox got in, ate the decoy bird and could not get out. Two people heard distress calls from the fox, went over the wall, released the fox and called me. I contacted the police who, on his return on the Monday evening, told the owner how to operate his Larsen Trap within the law and then warned me that if “my” people interfered with the trap again they would be arrested for criminal damage! xxxxx xxxxx heavily promoted back garden corvid carnage in his newspaper farming columns prior to the founding of SBS.

  11. 18 Paul V Irving
    February 3, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Ecological illiteracy at is “best” put another way woefully ignorant shite but it is believed, remember HRH is a financial contributor or at least has been in the past. The thing that stands out for me in this tosh is this nonsense
    “It is all very well for armchair conservationists to howl with protest at the mention of ‘control’ and trot out the usual platitude that nature will find its own balance. This, of course, is never going to happen while we are around, since man has controlled nature since Neolithic times.”
    As if us changing the environment has any baring on natures ability to reach a balance, this is the key to understanding their “mindset” We have dominion over nature therefore we must be responsible for maintaining the balance, the man knows best argument that is a patent lie and oft used by the hunting, shooting, fishing and farming lobby. We are crap at it unless it is restoring a few key note species where we have removed them but habitats remain suitable. Thin Red Kite, Crane or White-tailed Eagle and perhaps Beaver. This is of course nonsense from SOS but dangerous nonsense because there are folk out there with little real understanding that are taken in by it. So just as the drivel from other quarters about balance and too many of this or that it needs to be vigorously and quite publicly opposed.

  12. 19 Neil
    February 3, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    And it should be pointed out that SS’s home at Threepwood used to be (and still is?) a meet of the Lauderdale Fox Hunt.

  13. 20 keen birder
    February 3, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I had a phone call last night with an 84 year old, old fisherman he was complaining bitterly about Otters, a relative had seen one swimming down the River Lune with a large fish in its mouth, need a 12 bore, theyre no good what good are they, theyre a bad thing,too many, theyre all over, I said theres always been Otters, not until 10 years ago he said, theres wasnt any here, no no,I said , but before the war there would be Otters all over, they were nearly extinct, to do with ddt and pesticides,, I said its like saying Great Spotted Woodpeckers are bad because they rob nest boxes, or red squirrels are bad because they eat chicks from boxes . Theyre a bad bird as well I was told. After all the trout and Salmon and Sea trout that humans have taken, its a sad way to think.
    So, lets start then, ALL these are bad, Goosander, cormorant, Woodpeckers, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks, im tired already……………..

    • 21 Paul V Irving
      February 3, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      And none of them will admit that the greatest predator of Salmon eggs and young fish are Brown Trout and to a lesser extent Grayling. It is all a very good advert as to why we need some natural history and basic ecology in the school curriculum immediately!

      • 22 Spaghnum Morose
        February 3, 2021 at 8:05 pm

        Agreed, and when the salmon /sea-trout fishing goes quiet for a couple of seasons, or the native browns are deemed too small for sport these days…what do lots of clubs do? They stuff a lorry load of hungry farm-reared stockies into the upper reaches at the beginning of the season, just to hoover everything up as they move downstream. Just like finishing off the wild partridges by releasing red-legs.
        “Keeping the balance” – what a joke!

    • 23 Love our Lepidoptera!
      February 3, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      I keep searching the Butterfly Conservation website hoping that they’ll finally start a campaign to cull blue tits and great tits. Their populations are booming at the same time as butterfly and moth populations are crashing, so that must be the fault of the blue and great tits. But still Butterfly Conservation won’t take action. Bloody armchair conservationists.

    • 24 Douglas Malpus
      February 3, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      The Wye and Use Foundation have put on their website about “requiring an otter culls” this was taken off their site with a week or so.

      They also said that goosander were eating 98% of the salmon smolt.

      Some years ago when fishy folk wanted to cull (eradicate) cormorants, their argument reached BBC Radio 4. In amongst the quotes from fishy side saying how many hundreds of tonnes were eaten and RSPB quoting breeding pair figures, some enlightened listener asked about how to gain permission to borrow a Chieftain Tank and ammo. The listener had calculated that if they could eat so many tonnes of fish per day the average cormorant could decimate their garden pond in one very short visit. These broadcast figures of birds weighing a few tonnes each put paid to the fishy arguments. But it has not stopped them.

      Angling Trust had an issue with a juvenile seal that ventured up the R Severn. They wanted a licence to kill because it was, “eating al their fish”.

      These 2 organisations have demonstrated that they are not very bright on many occasions.

      It sounds like the gamekeepers mentality.

      I am sure the gk’s are behind SS, in another weak ploy to get the public on their side.

      Sad world of misinformed people that just want to turn all of nature into a farm for their sordid fun.

      Doug

    • 26 Les Wallace
      February 4, 2021 at 8:26 am

      This has been brewing up for years now and it’s bloody awful. Sadly you just can’t shrug it off and hope it goes away. I’m seeing lots of comments on social media about otters that I’m pretty certain didn’t come from anglers, but repeat this line that they need to be controlled to help ‘wildlife’. That’s very worrying. The more players doing this the more weight will be given by the public to the same illegitimate points being made about birds of prey. We could end up with more people thinking the solution to illegal and cruel persecution of raptors is to legalise ‘humane’ control, not so very far fetched if that can happen with otters which is possible after the deluge of images of them going for swans (shock, horror predators kill things). Just one person thinking that is one too many. I’m positive a lot more headway has been made in the public sphere with this approach than many suspect – it’s depressing how easily people can be whipped up into righteous indignation over something like ivy on trees and walls, hidden agendas feeding of ecological ignorance.

  14. 27 Andy Wallace
    February 3, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Songbirds have lived alongside, and survived the predation by birds of prey, foxes, mustelids and other carnivorous mammals for thousands of years, but have struggled to survive the “help” and “management” from human beings in last two hundred years. It is human beings who have screwed the balance of nature by killing every other bird and mammal that might interfere with the successful breeding of native grouse and imported pheasant and grey partridge, and then those “protected” species also get killed. In fact the large numbers of birds bred to be killed will greatly increase the number of predators that take songbirds as well. Stopping the import of millions of birds released for killing and stopping the killing for fun of all native birds and animals is the best thing to protect all native birds and animals.

  15. 28 Tonyb
    February 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    At the top end of the apex predator lists are gamekeepers and hunts to mention just a few. They have no natural enemies and so it is hardly surprising that with the added benefit of protected status their numbers have just gone on multiplying, while their prey, like raptors,foxes,badgers,otters etc. have gone in totally the opposite direction.

  16. 30 Jimmy
    February 3, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Didn’t a report come out in the last few weeks showing woodland bird populations are growing?? The whole premise of SBS is utter sh*te

  17. 31 C Johnson
    February 3, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Maybe we should just ‘remove’ the world’s most damaging predator once and for all, and let the whole earth recover balance! How in Heaven’s name did the world’s ecosystems ever manage to evolve before we started interfering, hey?
    Song-bird Survival Trust, just back-off from spreading your unscientific twaddle. Have you listened yourselves? The decline in song-bird numbers nationally is NOT going to be solved by persecuting raptors, but only by addressing the real issues fuelling song-bird decline – lack of food, insectageddon, intensification of agriculture, removal of hedgerows, tidy gardens, plastic grass, lack of shelter, lack of nesting sites, human disturbance, pet cat predation (rattle that cage, why don’t you?) I could go on …

  18. 32 Paul V Irving
    February 3, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Last time I looked and I must admit it is some little while the area with the greatest songbird decline was the area of most intensive agriculture, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire etc. Yet this was and still is the area of the UK with least native predators be that avian or mammalian. Rather puts paid to SBS logic! The trouble is arguing with these folk is as a friend commented elsewhere, because of both their ignorance and intransigence, rather like wrestling a pig you just end up covered in shit.

  19. 33 Paul
    February 3, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Why are these buffoons given a platform for their bullshit? The worst part is the Nasty Brigade use this bollocks to shore up their shenanigans.

    • 34 George M
      February 3, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Because that is their purpose and nothing else. They require a show of support to be taken seriously and as they cannot present logical arguments to create this they simply resort to deception.
      Then they astro-turf websites to make them look popular and the usual suspects come in a hootin’ and a hollerin’ and personally attacking anyone who adopts a scientific view.
      The only time they introduce folk who do know the science — or what science exists which can be manipulated to appear as if it is in their favour — is when they believe that this will lead to negotiations when their hegemonic power is unleashed.
      There is one particular FB site that are in up to their necks as we speak.

  20. 35 Spaghnum Morose
    February 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Oddly enough, I reckon an open licence to kill Buzzards in that part of the Borders wouldn’t actually cause many more Buzzards to get killed than currently are…it would just mean that those doing it could do so without worrying if they had been filmed.

    [Ed: For clarity, there is no evidence whatsoever that buzzards are being illegally killed on Mr Strang Steel’s estate]

  21. 36 Mike Brown
    February 3, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Paul Irving might remember that I had some dealings with SBS about 15 years ago, complete morons! I haven’t heard much about them recently, I wondered if they had been overshadowed by that other collection of experts: “You forgot the Birds”. I must admit that at the time I didn’t realise the obvious connection with the shooting world, I saw them as a group of fanatics who had decided that raptors just had to go. I received an email from one of their local supporters who told me that Sparrowhawks had to be totally exterminated. I wrote what I thought was a reasonable reply and received an abusive rant for my trouble.

  22. 37 Les Wallace
    February 4, 2021 at 9:28 am

    He managed to contradict himself within seven short paragraph’s. Strang complains that as they have no natural enemies their population needs to be controlled by man, then later on says that reintroducing wolves and lynx would just drive things further out of kilter. Erm…..actually, no. In Keith Cowieson’s day at SS I regularly asked him via their fb page why if it was really interested in the supposed collapse of songbird populations they weren’t looking at the issue of non native plant species smothering the ground flora and invertebrate life in our woodlands, and occasionally other habitats. This seriously reduces available food supply which will suppress songbird numbers as well as those of other wildlife….so food supply determines the population of what eats it. I also had to add for Keith’s benefit that very much of the damage done by rhododendron, snowberry, Japanese rose, cherry laurel etc was initiated by these species being put in to create game cover, a practice that ludicrously, but legally is still continuing with some of them. Keith never, ever answered what I believe was a perfectly reasonable question, but once accused me of being obsessed with the issue which made me think kettle, pot, black.

    There’s an opportunity to pull the carpet from under SS here. The general public does have a pretty good awareness of how alien species can sometimes play utter havoc with ecosystems (pheasant friendly non native shrubs in our woods are as good an example of that as you get). Putting it to them that native predators, especially birds of prey have been getting unfairly, and irrationally blamed for the loss of songbirds for years when it actual fact an infinitely more likely reason for any decline has been the quiet choking out of their food supply by a longish list non native plants which provide very little food for inverts and in turn for birds. Sadly there are an awful lot of woods where you can see this. That this is a hell of a lot more plausible than an animal maintaining its numbers or even increasing while its killing off its food supply, prey species they’ve co-evolved and co-existed with for millennia, should refocus public ire away from sparrowhawks to cherry laurel.

    This would underline the ecological illiteracy (feigned?) of SS, but not reflect well on the huntin, fishin, shootin set either, in fact it would shred their credibility as legitimate conservationists. They can claim they’re not illegally killing raptors, that predators need to be controlled and heather burnt, but I’d love to see them explain why they are knowingly still planting out shrubs extremely detrimental to habitats not just single native species, when literally thousands of volunteer hours and millions of pounds are spent clearing them out elsewhere. All to keep pheasants cosy. I think this is a valid strategy. Sadly in an article in the RSPB’s Nature’s Home about their review of gamebird shooting I didn’t see any reference either to the amount of intensive farming needed to provide feed for artificially raised pheasant/partridge or the terrible legacy of decades of planting cover for them and its continuation against all reason, just for utter selfishness.

  23. 38 John L
    February 4, 2021 at 11:04 am

    The greatest threat to conservation is humans!!!

    Even those of us with limited knowledge of conservation, can understand that the destruction of natural habitat is the greatest cause of the decline of nature.

    But Mr Steel spreads a message his followers want to hear. Followers who probably lack the intellectual wit to think for themselves, seek out the truth or engage in rational debate.
    Followers who don’t want to admit that industrial farming practices, the decimation of the countryside, the use of heavy agricultural machinery, the use of pesticides and herbicides along with urbanisation, industrialisation are the cause of the decline of many species of song bird. Birds at the lower end of the food chain. Instead they want to put the blame elsewhere. So with malevolent intent they put this blame on those apex species which are known natural predators of song birds.
    A similar approach was used in the US to justify the killing of wolves.
    In his book “Of wolves and men” Lopez talks about ranchers falsely claiming wolf attacks on cattle to speed up and justify the eradication of wolves from most of the US States.
    Fortunately our understanding of nature has increased dramatically since those dark times. But there will always be the those who twist and distort our understanding of the world to support their own warped view, and try and persuade others to follow their mistaken beliefs.

    The frightening thing is that people who put out messages like this are dangerous.
    The warped message which they give to their loyal followers is believed, it creates anger, it creates hatred and it traps followers in a vortex of blindness which ultimately leads to cult like behaviour, and destruction of things they have been brainwashed to hate.
    It is this type of behaviour which lead groups like QAnon to storm Capitol Hill. It has lead to racism and attacks on immigrants. It lead to the atrocities committed by the Nazi’s. It leads to the the type of abuse other commentators to this blog report.

    How many devoted followers of Mr Steel and Songbird Survival now feel empowered to go out with their shotguns and shoot Sparrowhawks, Buzzards, Badgers and foxes?

    I would suggest the following quote from Mr Steel’s letter could lead to such action-

    “This has, not surprisingly, resulted in nature being out of balance and unless man is allowed to intervene more than current legislation permits, it is almost certain that we will not only see the demise of some of our best known and loved bird and small animal species, but attacks on livestock will only increase.”

    What is Mr Steel trying to say?
    I would argue that his words are suggesting to his followers that the law is wrong, and as the law is wrong then illegal actions are justified. I think we can presume some of his followers will interpret his words this way?

    Donald Trump was impeached the 2nd time due to the claim his words had incited the riots on Capitol Hill.

    Incitement occurs when a person seeks to persuade another to commit a criminal offence. A person is guilty of incitement to commit an offence or offences if:
    They incite another to do or cause to be done an act or acts which, if done, will involve the commission of an offence or offences by the other.
    Section 59 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 abolished the common law offence of incitement.
    We will have to wait and see whether the law under the Serious Crime Act 2007 is able to deal effectively with those who deliberately or recklessly by their words lead others to commit wrong.

    Those who peddle a message of hate and destruction should never be given a platform from which to spout their vile words. History tells us time and time again where such words lead. Those who provide such a platform should also be held accountable. People who have failed to grasp the true meaning of humanity.

    As an aside, and in response to the comments about otters.

    I had someone tell me that some of the dead badgers that are often found at roadside were not the result of being struck by a vehicle, but had actually been illegally shot and placed there to make the death appear as the result of being killed by a vehicle. The actions of someone who because of Bovine TB had developed such a hatred and loathing of badgers, and as the badger cull did not extend to the area where they farmed, then that justified in their minds, the criminal act of killing the badgers themselves. – I haven’t the evidence to support this, but maybe it’s something that those who monitor badgers could investigate further to ascertain if there is any truth in the claim?

    • February 4, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Hi John,

      Re: badgers being illegally killed and then dumped by the roadside to fabricate the result of a road traffic accident – this has been going on for a while and evidence dates back several years. See Scottish Badgers and Badger Trust for details.

      • 40 John L
        February 4, 2021 at 2:04 pm

        Ed, thanks. The sheer scale of wildlife crime and the depravity of those behind it is truly depressing. It is very clear that current wildlife protection legislation and its enforcement in the UK is simply ineffective in tackling what is clearly a criminal and cruel regime operating in so much of our countryside. Thank you to you and all your colleagues for exposing the truth. How we tackle this problem is an enormous challenge.

      • 41 Les Wallace
        February 4, 2021 at 5:18 pm

        This seems to be happening with otters too. At the Revive do on 10/12/19 I spoke to someone who believes that was the origin of four dead otters he’d seen on the same short section of motorway over a limited period of time. Another one found seemingly run over by a road up north was found to have been shot when an autopsy was conducted. There were more and there’ll be more to come I’m sure.

  24. 42 Da
    February 4, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    He doesn’t even understand ecology 101. Wolves and lynx are limited by available prey, so their numbers will drop when prey numbers drop. They don’t just ‘eat everything’ until localised extinction take place; this is absolutely absurd and shows a complete misunderstanding of how food webs work, as well as ignorance of all available scientific research. The BTO have published research on the effects magpies had on songbirds and the data is unequivocal; songbird numbers did not decline in their presence. SS aren’t interested in the science, though. It’s also extremely irresponsible rhetoric, because there have been numerous incidents of sparrow hawks being illegally killed in the last year and Colin Strang Steels’s word’s just embolden criminals to continue doing so, as well as their apologists to keep defending them.

  25. 43 Tonyb
    February 4, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    SUTTON BANK wildlife crime….. anyone who regularly walks on Sutton bank please report any evidence of wildlife crime! I’ve come across several dead badgers and deers ripped to shreds, assumedly by dogs. One deer had its throat ripped out and it’s bottom jaw ripped off! They had been dumped with sticks and branches trying to conceal their bodies. We need to all help protect our wildlife. Please report any issues to the police on 101! The images are too disturbing to post. These poachers / hunters need to be caught out and the general public need to help with the reporting of these types of incidents! If you see anything suspicious please report it!

    Report from local facebook page in the wildlife haven of North Yorkshire.


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

  • 7,270,733 hits

Archives

Our recent blog visitors