11
Feb
21

Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (1)

WARNING: For those of a sensitive disposition this post will contain examples of grossly offensive material so if you’re likely to get upset by reading it I’d suggest you don’t go any further than this point.

Today’s post is a follow-on from yesterday’s post (With straight faces, gamekeepers complain about abuse) and it’s recommended you read that first to understand the context of what you’re about to read here.

What follows are a number of examples of the obscenities hurled by gamekeepers and others in the game-shooting industry at those of us who campaign for an end to the illegal killing of birds of prey on game-shooting estates and for strict environmental regulation of the UK game-shooting industry.

There’s so much material it’s going to take a number of blogs to publish just a simple overview to demonstrate the extent and type of abuse we receive. So today’s blog will focus on the abuse I’ve received – future blogs will focus on the abuse my colleagues and others have received.

I don’t write this as a casual observer / commentator. I write it as someone who has been at the receiving end of a targeted smear campaign of hatred for approximately six years.

I am subjected to a volume of online personal abuse pretty much on a daily basis; it’s routinely misogynistic and usually along the lines of being a nasty / ugly / fat / evil / poisonous / vile / lying / bitter / miserable / bigoted / dirty / rabid / lesbian / bitch / whore (take your pick of these or add any other offensive adjective of your choice).

I’ve been accused of being a ‘deranged whore’ and an ‘animal rights extremist’.

I’ve been accused of sleeping with Dr Mark Avery, Chris Packham, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, RSPB Investigator Ian Thomson, Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, Professor Ian Newton, Chief Inspector Lou Hubble and Andy Wightman MSP.

My personal telephone number has been published and folk have been incited to make abusive phone calls.

I have received abusive text messages.

My home address has been published and shared on social media. Photographs of my home have been published and shared on social media.

I have been followed and photographed on grouse moors and these have been published on social media with accompanying defamatory comment.

I have been accused of fabricating evidence, of perverting the course of justice, of inflicting cruelty to wildlife, of killing eagles, of planting evidence, and conversely (and bizarrely) of withholding evidence from the police, of lying to the police, of lying to Ministers, of lying to supporters, of lying in general…….I think you get the picture.

I don’t often talk about this stuff because frankly it’s not good for my mental health but I have documented the evidence, systematically and meticulously, for over six years and now some of that evidence is being used to support a number of ongoing investigations in to harassment, stalking and offences under the Malicious Communications Act.

Now, I’m not for one minute going to claim that I’ve never ridiculed anyone. Of course I have, many a time, probably just like many people reading this blog will have done. And I intend to continue – humour and mild ridicule are powerful tools for challenging all sorts of people and policies and besides, it helps me to deal with the daily onslaught. However, there is a line that I don’t cross and I certainly don’t support libellous or grossly offensive commentary about anyone, which is evidenced by the strict editorial policy on this blog.

To be clear, I’m not posting about online abuse to elicit any kind of response – I don’t need tea & sympathy, I have a fantastic support system in place and a world-class mental health coach – I’m posting this stuff simply to counter the ridiculous narrative from the game-shooting industry that they’re all innocent victims.

Awareness about campaigns of abuse will be nothing new to some of this blog’s followers – many of you will no doubt remember the disgraceful abuse suffered by a small local brewery in Lancashire (Bowland Brewery) a few years ago after they posted a photograph of Chris Packham and Mark Avery enjoying a pint of Hen Harrier, a brew developed to help raise funds for the RSPB’s hen harrier conservation work. That particular hate campaign was led by a former gamekeeper in Scotland and involved many other gamekeepers from across the UK (see here).

Ok, so here we go….

EVIDENCED EXAMPLES

This is written by Bert Burnett, a former Director of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and a current columnist for the SGA’s quarterly rag for members, who over the last 12 months alone has published almost 100 abusive posts targeting me. He also routinely targets my colleagues at Wild Justice, RSPB and the Scottish Raptor Study Group:

The following three are written by people who identify themselves as gamekeepers:

This one from January 2021 documents an example of casual misogyny by Duncan Thomas, BASC’s Director of Northern England, no less! I hope he doesn’t have any direct supervisory capacity of any females at BASC.

I wonder if misogynistic abuse is BASC policy? I’m sure it isn’t. Perhaps I’ll write and ask.

As a co-director of Wild Justice I am also at the receiving end of some pretty gross and offensive abuse. Since we launched our not-for-profit company two years ago it’s provided another avenue for gamekeepers and their supporters within the game shooting industry to publish obscene comments about the three of us. We’ve written before about some of the abuse we’ve received (see here but beware, it’s particularly unpleasant).

Here are some more examples:

On that note, I think that’s probably enough for today.

I will be writing more on this subject shortly.

UPDATE 19th February 2021: Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (2) (here)

UPDATE 17th March 2021: BASC Director Duncan Thomas apologises for misogynistic abuse (here)


83 Responses to “Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (1)”


  1. 1 Paul Fisher
    February 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Horrid yes, but think they could have easier target to wind up! At least it shows you are winning. Thanks for everything you do for those of us who appreciate you.

  2. February 11, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    That’s just shocking. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to keep plugging away in the face of such disgusting treatment.

    • 3 workshy333
      February 13, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      I can imagine, and hope that its just makes Ruth more determined, if that were possible. Schoolyard taunts from the academically challenged, should be ignored or used as a tool in context.
      You have far more with you than against you, and the more this is realised the more these desperate wordsmiths will compose…even their supporters must be wondering if they want any representation from this sort. Its like spitting, or throwing faecal matter in a tantrum..no-one wants to see that.

  3. 4 jOSEPHINE jEAN thorpe
    February 11, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    How horrid, chin up, you do good stuff and don’t they know it, keep on keeping on,truth will out x

    • 5 Mike Whitehouse
      February 11, 2021 at 5:45 pm

      Absolutely spot on Jean.

      Although I have never met either of you, you are both ladies that I hold in extremely high esteem. Both of you, please keep up your extraordinary work.

      • 6 Sue Bliss
        February 12, 2021 at 1:09 pm

        Hi Mike

        I say this with all due respect. I’m not sure whether Ruth feels the same but I find the use of the word ‘ladies’ in this context quite patronising and condescending. I’m sure you don’t mean to be patronising but we women (generally) prefer to be referred to as ‘women’ not ladies.

        I hope you consider our point of view and no offence meant.
        Thank you
        Sue

  4. 7 Colin Key
    February 11, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    I had no idea that you were having to endure this level of abuse Ruth. At least you have the satisfaction of knowing that the only people who behave like this are those who are very frightened and have their backs to the wall. Stay firm and maintain the pressure – you will win. Best wishes.

    Dr Colin Key

  5. 8 George M
    February 11, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    I, for one, utterly condemn the type of abuse I see emerging from primarily Gamekeeping sites and behaviour. Though I am often confrontational, and some might say aggressive, I would never stoop to the levels I see above, and have watched most of it as it happened. If nothing else my own self respect would stop me.
    i sincerely hope that many of the perpetrators are taken to court and receive a level of punishment and exposure which would stop them acting in a similar manner to anyone.
    Thanks for weathering all in such a courageous manner Ruth, and setting an example to all who share the same goal as yourself.
    ONWARD and UPWARD.

  6. 9 Alick Simmons
    February 11, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I’m sorry about this. Let’s hope they struggle to sleep at night but I doubt it. Arrogant and aggressive behaviour tend to go hand in hand with a lack of conscience.

    I haven’t been subjected to similar abuse but I was recently called an animal rights extremist because I demur at the routine, indiscriminate killing of birds. I’m rather proud of it.

    Stay well and try not to dwell in it. And stick at it.

  7. 10 Tonyb
    February 11, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Don’t worry Ruth, all the darkness in the world cant black out one candle so keep shining though!

  8. 11 Steven Mclean
    February 11, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Always remember the quote by Ghandi …
    “First they ignore you ..
    Then they laugh at you …
    Then they try to ridicule you ..
    Then they fight you ..
    THEN YOU WIN!!”.
    They are fighting you at the moment .. what’s the nest step??
    Keep on doing the fantastic work that you do ..

  9. February 11, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Do these people have partners, parents, children, friends? And, if so, do you think they know this is how they behave? Says so much about the accepted culture in the driven grouse shooting community.

  10. 13 Greyandblue
    February 11, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    wow, people like these, who feel the need to use such vile language in the end only display their limited vocabularies and low intelligence and are thus not worth a second’s thought I’d say…
    Having concern and compassion for other beings is normal, killing them randomly without a care is primitive, bordering in deranged behaviour. Be proud……

  11. 14 Jimmy
    February 11, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve had words with that clown Bert Burnett on other forums – a really obnoxious ignorant character, even for a gamekeeper. They really are a pathetic crowd of whingers who exist in an alternative truth universe of their own making

  12. February 11, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Aren’t they thoroughly delightful people? Power to you for putting up with the dregs of society.

  13. 16 Mo Richards
    February 11, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    What pathetic drivel! You are a fearsome warrior Ruth and they are frightened of you! Keep up the brilliant work.

  14. 17 wildelife warrior
    February 11, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Keep up the Good work Ruth you are Appreciated ………….

  15. 18 Mike@glenalmond.biz
    February 11, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Full support and respect for you.

  16. 19 SilverBirch
    February 11, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Ruth, I’m so sorry that you have had to endure this relentless, awful abuse for years. It must have been demoralising and hurtful yet you have continued working so hard to achieve what is right with grace, dignity and strength.

    A huge amount of respect to you.

  17. 20 Mike M.
    February 11, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing it all with us Ruth, take care, stay strong.

  18. 21 Coop
    February 11, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    And none of it even remotely imaginative. Run of the mill stuff from a bunch of cowards, who wouldn’t dare say boo to a goose in the real world; which is, of course, why they get their jollies from abusing wild animals that can’t fight back. Keep it up, Ruth, and we’ll drive them back into the sewers from whence they came.

    • 22 Christopher BARBER
      February 11, 2021 at 7:58 pm

      And here is the problem from this side too, painting everyone who hunts as people who “…get their jollies from abusing wild animals that can’t fight back.” Most hunting folk will be rightly disgusted by abuse you have received Ruth, I know that I find it unacceptable. But you too must accept that allowing your supporters to label all hunting people disgusting perverted degenerates is not a lot better. And before anyone makes the comment, I do not have the time or funding to trawl through comments here to point it out, but you need to be aware it exists, even if you display wilful blindness to it. There is a problem within the shooting community that needs to be addressed, but your team have clearly gone beyond the original aim of this blog, and now appear to want all hunting banned. That is not good either, you wish to destroy the cultural diversity of the UK, or at least the part of it you don’t like. That is also intolerance, is it not?

      • February 11, 2021 at 8:03 pm

        Christopher,

        I am not responsible for the opinions of others.

        I am responsible for making sure that defamatory and/or grossly offensive personal abuse is not targeted at named individuals via this blog. That is both a legal and ethical responsibility.

        I have never stated, anywhere, I want ‘all hunting banned’, because it’s not my view. Other commentators may hold that view, in which case, see above.

        The majority of views expressed by commentators here are no more ‘abusive’ than what you’d hear in a Parliamentary chamber.

      • 24 Coop
        February 11, 2021 at 8:11 pm

        Dangle the bait and a bite is sure to come! My comment makes no mention of “everyone who hunts”. Do at least try to pay attention.

      • 25 Douglas Malpus
        February 11, 2021 at 9:59 pm

        I aim my criticism at the gamekeepers and those that order their criminal activity. Without them we could all get along reasonably well, almost.

        There are irrational attitudes to “hunting”. Why use driven game? Hunting should be a ‘game’ of stealth where the target is food! No trophies required.

        Driven game hunting was a means of subsistence in prehistoric times. But what is the excuse now? Profit, blood lust, sadism?

        But when you can just sit or stand in one place and have targets thrown at you, that is not hunting, it is slaughter. Why not take up clay pigeon?

        The people that run shooting estates know who commits the crimes but they would rather protect them (a criminal offence in itself) or is this to protect themselves and their precious reputation?

        The abuse sent out by gamekeepers and others in the shooting industry, shows the disturbed mental attitude of the characters. Yet, they are trusted with deadly weapons!!!!

        Raptor persecution, the shooters have not stopped it, the estates show no willingness to stop it, the gamekeepers like their bosses just lie through their teeth, (“I don’t kill raptors, honest”) and so it goes on.

        The shooters could stop or at least reduce persecution, they could walk away from those that publish such hatred, or are known for the number of raptors that disappear on their estates, speak up or vote with your feet, and show you are against the criminal side of the industry.

        The abuse shown here aimed at Ruth, is abhorrent, disgusting and has no excuse. Those that publish these words should be considered to be unfit to hold a firearms certificate but I would prefer them to have a lengthy gaol sentence too.

        Have a good day, Chris,

        ps I have met some very unpleasant gamekeepers whilst walking in the countryside. Using legal RoW doesn’t come into their remit. They have left me shaken because of their aggressive nature.

        Doug

        • 26 Coop
          February 11, 2021 at 11:24 pm

          Indeed, Doug. This (real) man is a hunter. He hunts to feed himself and his family and takes no more than he needs. He deserves our respect.

          Nuff said…

          • 27 Peter
            February 12, 2021 at 9:12 am

            How dare you compare yourselves to a ‘REAL MAN’ you are just shadows of real men. Hunting to ‘provide food’ and then dump it at the roadside.

          • 28 Simon Tucker
            February 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm

            Hunting became functionally obsolete in this country following the agrarian revolution and the domestication of livestock.

            Nobody in the UK needs to go hunting to put food on the table: this is very much arrogant “western privilege”, comparing the needs of indigenous tribes in non-agrarian settings with the bloated western lifestyle that we have.

            The thought that someone finds it acceptable to take their gun and shoot a duck, goose or woodcock that has flown hundreds or thousands of miles to winter here is nauseating to me. These people are sick, in my opinion. What would they kill if they weren’t allowed to shoot “game birds”?

            I used to make allowances for pheasant and partridge shooting: essentially domestic animals killed in an outdoor abattoir, but since the massive over-production of these birds, often themselves kept in appalling conditions before release, and the relentless war on our wildlife, practised both legally and illegally, but always immorally and unethically, frequently barbarically, the dumping of carcasses and the associated unbalancing of nature, I have changed my opinion.

            I want to see the whole enterprise made illegal: no more snares, or back- or leg-breaking traps. If animals need to be culled for conservation purposes (there is little justification for shooting estates to call themselves conservationists, that is a smokescreen and as dishonest as the practices they frequently carry out) they should be live trapped, so that non-target species can be released and target species can be humanely killed.

            Apart from that, I would ban the private ownership of shotguns and air-weapons: nobody needs them and every week we see examples of why they should have no place in society. Gun clubs should own the weapons, and only be released under controlled conditions for clays or non-living target shooting. The entire live shooting industry has shown that it cannot be regulated and cannot be trusted, therefore it needs to be shut down.

            That those who bang on about shooting’s conservation activities as justification for its existence never do anything to stamp out the criminality that mars their sick hobby, will stoop to the levels of abuse and attempts at terrorising active conservationists says all that you need to know about the sort of people who go shooting, and the entrenched levels of acceptance of criminal behaviour within that community.

            As for the “economic arguments”: the only thing economical in those arguments is the truth!

            • 29 Les Wallace
              February 12, 2021 at 3:06 pm

              And considering that we throw about 40% of our food away means there’s even less justification for killing a wild bird for food, effectively none. How can anyone hold a dead woodcock in their hand, see the difference between the still beautiful undisturbed plumage and the shattered bloodstained feathers and get any satisfaction from it? Meanwhile as a friend that used to work at Tesco confirms, when they close the doors an awful lot of meat goes straight from the shelves to industrial composting. Disgusting, pathetic waste all around us.

          • 30 Douglas Malpus
            February 12, 2021 at 12:16 pm

            Thanks Coop.

            There are many indigenous people that when they take a life in order to feed and clothe themselves, their family and tribe, they offer an apology to the spirit of the noble animal. I have studied prehistoric paintings that show people chasing food animals towards other hunters with spears and arrows. Their civilisation had not developed to providing domestic food, they had to hunt and gather to survive. Driven Game Killing is 50,000 years old at least, it is not a cultural matter when habitats are destroyed and biodiversity removed for profit and sordid fun.

            Oh and by the way, Chris Barber, the intolerance of hunting and its industry is down to 60 years of criminal activity, of not respecting the Laws of this Land, hiding behind vast estates, darkness and wealth to avoid the law. The industry still uses illegal traps, banned poisons and shooting to get rid of legally protected raptors, why? To satisfy an ingrained hatred of predators, an arrogant attitude I know best in how to grow more gun fodder, a ruthless destruction of any predator, protected or not.

            Ruth keep strong and pursue these idiots. Funding can be raised for your legal fees. Together we will beat them and their foolish attitudes.

            • 31 Coop
              February 12, 2021 at 2:09 pm

              Absolutely, Doug.

              I first saw the above on TV many years ago, and was immediately struck by the quiet dignity and humilty of the guy. Not to mention his skills, and incredible stamina. Put simply, he’s a natural predator. Such a stark contrast with the spoilt brats that infest large swathes of our countryside.

      • 32 workshy333
        February 13, 2021 at 12:47 pm

        You are right, many of us do want hunting banned, for sport/fun/ etc,and happy to admit it. Abuse of wildlife is in the intention, or reason for killing, torturing, allowing to suffer. If there is a place for ‘culling’ in conservation, it should be done solely by those conservationists not by someone with a gun, who enjoys it for its own sake. I know there are conservationists, birders, enthusiasts, that shoot, and will have a different opinion; its the 21st century and you have to be careful what you say, but not so much what you kill without causing offence…look above..not quoting, but ‘please dont call woman ladies, its patronising’.(?)
        And yet as a culture we can still go out, just for fun to cause suffering to wildlife. There will always be people, even if it were illegal, who do so in secret, under cover, but for it to be promoted and protected as a sport/way of life, seems to fly in the face of a civilised era.

  19. 33 Stephen Lewis
    February 11, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Playing the woman and not the ball; a sure sign of an argument well and truly lost. Having said that, you should not have to put up with such bile Ruth and I hope your malicious comms cases bring some relief. Good on you for toughing it out and not giving in to the wildlife-killers. You have many, many more supporters than cyber bullies and one fine day there’ll be no such thing as a gamekeeper.

  20. 35 Secret Squirrel
    February 11, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    As trolls and abusers have discovered in other spheres, social media does not confer anonymity. We can only hope some of them get a 6am knock on the door from Her Majesty’s Constabulary.

  21. 36 Judith Brennan
    February 11, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for your continuing courage, Ruth. I can’t imagine how you cope, but I so hope you will continue to broadcast the truth.

  22. 37 Chris Green
    February 11, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Well done Ruth for all that you do for raptors and well done for ignoring those sad individuals who stoop to schoolboy insults and crudtiy.

  23. February 11, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    With over 7 million hits on this blog and more and more people getting involved and raising awareness, you are doing an amazing job. Does the slander, name calling, ridicule etc actually make you more determined. It certainly does for me. They are running scared and it’s all they have left to do. Keep up the great work.

  24. 39 Mairi L
    February 11, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you for staying strong in the face of such vileness, Ruth, and others alongside you. Their despicable behavior has earned Wild Justice another little donation.

  25. 40 Vanessa
    February 11, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    This is what happens when you apply pressure, you get to see what’s inside a person, what’s squeezed out, what they’re made of.
    You are doing exactly the right thing, Ruth. Your integrity and dedication will always trump spite and cruelty.
    You are an ace, toptastic human being.
    Keep smiling. x

  26. 41 Lizzybusy
    February 11, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Ruth – you are a shining example of good, of truthfulness, of meticulousness. Vicious thugs can’t stand public scrutiny and your scrutiny is of the highest order. Thank you for everything you do. You help many of us to learn so much about raptor persecution, the shooting industry and the multiple strings they pull. Keep up the great work!

  27. 42 Philip Toby Garland Beadle
    February 11, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I think you have forgotten the birds.

    • 43 Keith Dancey
      February 16, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      How can we forget all the birds (not to mention all the mammals) which the shooting industry kill every year, never to be eaten?

  28. 44 Sismith7980@gmail.com
    February 11, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    Surely gamekeepers are conservationists

  29. 47 David A
    February 11, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you for the great work you are doing for wildlife. The abuse you receive is cowardly and abhorrent but shows how effective you are.

  30. February 11, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    Every example of misogyny, hatred, and abuse only served to increase your moral and ethical stature in my eyes (and I am sure that of many others) just as it diminished whatever standing to which your abusers may lay claim.

  31. 49 Pip.
    February 11, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    The nasty and ignorant will always be with us – nice counter to the poor abused gamekeeper lobby tho’ . Their insults shouldn’t dent your honour and self respect.

  32. 50 ECH
    February 11, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    So shocked that you have to deal with this sort of abuse. You are all doing a fantastic job. They resort to personal attacks because its their only way of defending their cruelty. Thank heavens you are all doing this and please continue.

  33. 51 Douglas Malpus
    February 11, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Stay strong

    Doug

  34. 52 aly garrett
    February 11, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Keep fighting Ruth, we are with you.

  35. February 11, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Stay stoic. Stay safe. They dont have any arguments worth hearing.

  36. 54 Chris Carter
    February 11, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Ruth, it’s a shame you are getting abuse but when you write articles laughing at the fact that keepers and others in the shooting community are getting the same and worse on a daily basis then surely you can understand why? In the same way that Trump has today been called “Inciter in Chief” for causing riots and abuse by stating that politicians are all acting criminaly and that election figures are rigged, then denying responsibility for the mob’s actions, you are guilty of the same thing. A huge number of your followers are militant vegans and animal rights extremists who dish out the most awful abuse to keepers and their families. Nobody deserves that and they are reacting at the source of the trouble. The vast majority of keepers and people in shooting are doing all they can for the environment and conservation so your generalised comments don’t go down well. You sensor polite comments so that only one side of the story is shown, which angers people further to the point of losing their temper. If you tried to silence someone from talking in the street by putting your hand over their mouth, you woudn’t be at all surprised to receive a punch in the face. Online media works in a similar way. The way forward is polite discussion on both sides, not silencing and laughing at everything you disagree with.

    • 55 Spaghnum Morose
      February 12, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Not the same Chris Carter gamekeeper of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, I hope? Only joking of course…now that was a keeper that brought the sh*t to his own door!

    • 57 David
      February 12, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      We ‘sensor polite comments’ do we? Then how come your polite comments got through here? And yes, I’m sure comments are moderated because otherwise the horrendous offensive babble that appears at the top would appear and soon swamp out meaningful discussion as so often happens on social media. I’m sure the pro-hunting community have their own in-house forums where conservation-friendly comments would get short shrift so why can’t we have our own ‘one side of the story’ forum here unthreatened by the shooting community attack-dogs?
      I wonder which causes the greatest offence to the ‘people’ you refer to: the obvious fabrications we present or the truth? I suspect it’s the latter.
      Finally, I find it telling that you speak of ‘trying to silence someone’ (who’s doing that here btw?) and bring up an image of physically aggressing someone (‘by putting your hand over their mouth’) and then ‘receiving a punch in the face’. That’s clearly the language of your world. But not ours. Not any more than ‘silencing and laughing at everything you disagree with’.
      If you can just get past whatever insecurity is informing your comments we might yet have a useful exchange of ideas.

    • 58 Jonathan Wallace
      February 13, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      Speaking of censoring polite comments, there is a marked contrast between on the one hand this blog and that of Mark Avery for example, both of which accept comments that disagree with the position of the blogger, and on the other hand game shooting blogs such as the GWCT which seem to only accept comments in support of the blogger. I recently submitted a polite comment to the GWCT blog in response to a post by Andrew Gilruth about Wild Justice and the proposals for licensing gamebird releases. Several days later it has still not been posted although a number of posts submitted the same day as mine and making ill-informed comments about WJ, RSPB etc being ‘extremists’, using ‘cod science’ (the Madden and Sage report to which GWCT contributed!) and questioning their motives have all been posted. One can only conclude that Ruth and Mark are more confident of their case than the GWCT is and so are not afraid to post dissenting views.

  37. 59 Les Wallace
    February 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Knowing that the closer people are to ‘the coalface’ of this issue the more likely they’ll receive abuse is both infuriating and stomach churning, the very best people being attacked by the very worst. I’m so glad you’ve shared this because that starts throwing it back at the people responsible for it. We all think you’re magic Ruth and you’re winning.

  38. February 12, 2021 at 4:24 am

    If a threat to harm is made, heavily implied or encouraged in an on-line post or other communication, the police will take it seriously. When campaigning for airgun control I traced a somewhat flippant “death” threat to the e-mail address of a gun shop in the south of England. The police visited the shop and issued a written warning to the junior staff member responsible.

    After a more serious threat on a different issue, the police offered extra security at my home.

    If you can identify anyone who is making or encouraging threats of violence or posting extreme malicious comments it is worth letting the police firearms office know as they may decide the person is not a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence.

  39. 61 Harry Bickerstaff
    February 12, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Well Ruth, Hurtful as it definitely must be to you, you should take that kind of attention as a terrific compliment to your ability to (pardon the expression) hit the target! Be strong, in the true and certain knowledge that you are right!
    Well done. It is (very strangely) MUCH better than being ignored! I wish I had as much hate mail as you do for the cause of protecting our wildlife and land.
    Keep the faith, sister! You are doing a fantastic job. Well done!

  40. 62 Michael Groves
    February 12, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Ruth, horrible and deplorable that it is, it is all a measure of your huge impact on raptor persecution. Your steadfast, forensic, highly professional, routine and continuous documenting of the ongoing persecution of birds of prey has, and is, broadcasting loud it all loud and clear for the world to see. They are seriously rattled and cornered. It is no longer an invisible crime because of the search light you continue to shine on it. Well done is not enough, but it is meant wholeheartedly. You have our continued support. Keep at it.

  41. 63 Anthony B
    February 12, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Have you tried submitting a complaint to BASC? Apparently they take all complaints seriously.
    https://basc.org.uk/issues-and-complaints/

    • 64 Spaghnum Morose
      February 12, 2021 at 11:15 am

      Hi Anthony. Agreed, but it would be nice & actually quite appropriate if some rank & file BASC members stood up and submittedpublic complaints to the BASC committee. There are still some decent people among BASC members (I used to be one). I would have felt embarrased by Duncan Thomas and his ‘back of the school bus’ banter & annoyed he was seen as representing my interests. So, there’s a challenge if any of them happen to be reading this!

  42. 65 JBNTS
    February 12, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Could you actually ask for a more graphic demonstration of the mentality of pleasure killers? This is underworld dregs of society stuff which speaks volumes about the level of criminality that underpins driven grouse shooting, and other “country pursuits”. No amount of propaganda puff from the Countryside Areliars and its ilk could ever paper over that level of rottenness.

  43. 66 Dougie
    February 12, 2021 at 10:44 am

    There are a lot of vile remarks amongst all these deplorable comments. One has to wonder if these people are actually civilised.
    I have met gamekeepers and landowners in my wanderings in Scotland over the years. Some have been pleasant people and some have not. My own observations, and that of people I know, certainly suggests that unpleasant landowners/agents (the “get off my land” etc. sort) have unpleasant employees.

    • 67 David
      February 12, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Did you happen to notice a correlation between the pleasantness of the Game Keeper/Landowner and the shooting status of the estate? In my limited experience the pleasant one was on a non-shooting estate whereas the not-so-pleasant ones were on shooting estates. I feel this is a very important distinction to make as it would be wrong and very unfair to lump all Game Keepers into the same category – that of ‘shooting estate’ Game Keepers – as the demands and pressures of each are quite different as far as the treatment of wildlife – including raptors – is concerned.
      If we are to get any change of attitude and practice amongst ‘shooting estate’ Game Keepers I feel it is going to have to be supported come from those working in the ‘non-shooting estate’ sector so we need to ‘keep them onside’ and respect this important distinction.

  44. 68 Gerald
    February 12, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Their contempt for anyone that stands against their bloodlust is available for all to see. These people care nothing about conservation , wildlife or other people who do not agree with their killing sprees. I`m glad there are people like Ruth Tingay ,Chris Packham and others who stand up against these misogynistic bullies who`s first response to any criticism or questioning is intimidation , threats and derision.

  45. 69 Gerald
    February 12, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    I imagine it is not easy to look at this bile but it is an indication of how rattled you have got them. The shooters are not used to the proles fighting back rather than doffing their caps. Keep up the good work you guys definitely have my support.

  46. 70 SG
    February 12, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Ruth, it was difficult to read about the daily abuse you receive. I know many will say that it shows you’re winning, and I understand this, but no one should have to face the abuse you have received, and continue to receive. Standing in solidarity with you and other women who are subjected to abuse, including from the shooting community. I have encountered numerous gamekeepers in my work and have also received misogynistic and intimidating comments which I reported. It made me feel unsafe being out alone in some rural areas, yet we are repeatedly told these are the ‘custodians of the countryside’. I know I’m not the only woman who feels like this.

  47. 71 John L
    February 12, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    It’s often the case that if you can’t defeat the evidence offered, then attack the credibility of the witness to try and make their evidence less compelling.
    I suspect some of those from “other side” have realised that the evidence you offer about game shooting and its effects on wildlife and the environment is compelling, your credibility as a witness is beyond reproach, so all that is left are verbal insults.
    If it’s any comfort, these vile personal attacks may be a sign that certain individuals have probably realised that you have them beaten- they have nothing more to offer to counter the information you publish, so they resort to childish, bullying and spiteful behaviour – which ultimately tells us more about them as individuals, and the sort of people they really are.
    It might also explain why criminal activity is still taking place within the shooting community, and why raptors remain threatened.

  48. 72 Helen
    February 12, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Truly shocking that you are subjected to such abuse and my deep respect to you for not giving in. It is high time that this sort of appalling behaviour was stamped out. Hate speech against any woman who dares put her head above the parapet seems to be particularly rife. It is against the law so why are the authorities not clamping down? Well done for persevering – you are doing a great job and there are huge numbers of folk out there who support what you are doing.

  49. 73 Jonathan Wallace
    February 12, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Horrible abuse that no-one should have to put up with. It is all outrageous but I think it is particularly reprehensible when people who are in leadership roles in shooting organisations resort to or encourage this kind of personal abuse. Does BASC really think it acceptable for its Northern Director to behave in this way?

  50. 74 Richard Ortyl
    February 12, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Hopefully you have engaged the Police. Many of these are now classed as Hate Crimes

  51. 75 Adrian Crofton
    February 12, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    Good for you Ruth – hard to keep going in the face of this stuff – shows true courage. You’re obviously making your point just a bit too clearly for some.

  52. 76 Peter Shearer
    February 13, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    The abuse is pathetic and simply a lack of ability to express their views coherently. To those suggesting we are all against all shooting that is perhaps as a result of the refusal of the industry to keep their own house in check and show reasonable restraint. An argument of we simply wish to protect our heritage and our enjoyment is not great when you seek to destroy the pleasure others get from the simple hobby of watching nature. That too is part of our heritage-or should be! Trying to dismiss people who simply care about wildlife as animal activists is a major reason they are losing the battle for the public’s support.

  53. 77 Ian Robinson
    February 14, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    My deepest sympathies to you for having to soak up this filth. I hope that those who sent it are found and punished by the law.

    Anybody who resorts to personal abuse in response to criticism knows that they can’t answer with a rational argument.

    Keep the faith.

  54. 78 Marco McGinty
    February 18, 2021 at 5:54 am

    It comes as no surprise, that the cowardly filth that resort to killing defenceless creatures, all in an attempt to compensate for their obvious inadequacies in other areas, need to resort to the bullying and intimidation of women.

    Keep up the fantastic work you are doing, but please do inform the police every single time one of these scumbags sends you a message that is offensive in any way. Perhaps, once the police start to catalogue these offences, and eventually prosecute these people.


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