Author: Charlie

North Yorkshire | Peregrine falcons found poisoned in quarry

What on earth is it with North Yorkshire and birds of prey. As a frustrated Guy Shorrock puts it in this report from the Yorkshire Post (and kudos to the Post, which once described North Yorkshire as a “black hole for raptors“, for writing about the targeting of raptors in their home patch), “North Yorkshire sadly has a diabolical reputation for the illegal shooting, trapping and poisoning of birds of prey. I have been picking up the bodies of raptors for nearly 30 years, and in the current ecological emergency, this cannot continue. Our wildlife needs better protection.” Yes, yes it does. Better protection, better enforcement, and an end to the grouse shooting industry that has been eradicatiing raptors in North Yorkshire for decades…

Continue reading

38 Degrees | Help struggling businesses – not fox hunting groups

“Shropshire County Council has given money that was intended to help businesses struggling because of COVID…to fox hunting groups. While shops on our high streets close their doors, aid that’s meant to help them weather the Covid-19 crisis has gone to fund cruel bloodsports instead. Animal welfare groups and some MPs are already kicking up a fuss. Now what’s needed is a massive outcry from the public – to show we don’t want public funds going to groups that are propping up this cruel practice. Will you sign the petition now?” 38 Degrees petition

Continue reading

Fox hunting in Wales banned under new Covid restrictions

Fox hunting was banned in Wales (and in England and Scotland) by the passing of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force the following year. Fox hunting has continued under the guise of so-called ‘trail hunting’, escaping the Rule of Six restriction that is intended to slow down community transmission of the coronavirus, but now even that loophole appears to have been closed as Wales prepares to enter a full ‘firebreak’ lockdown from 23rd October. hunting activities in Wales should cease after 6pm on Friday 23rd October, until Monday 9th November. (They should have ceased from 2005 but we’ll park that thought for a while…)

Continue reading

Shooter is new patron of British Trust for Ornithology

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) recently announced that Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, a well-known shooter, would become its Patron (taking over from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, a man who’s total kill or ‘bag’ was described in The Indpendent as long ago as 1996 as “stretching over continents” and running into “mind-boggling numbers”). It seems an odd match. On the one hand we have the BTO, a transparent “organisation founded in 1932 for the study of birds in the British Isles”.On the other we have the opaque shooting industry which badmouths birdwatchers as ‘animal extremists’ and exists to turn a profit from killing wildlife.

Continue reading

Portrait of a fox cub on grouse moor

A beautiful wild animal on an upland, photographed exploring the world it’s just been born in? No, yet another victim of grouse shooting. A tweet from the grassroots community network Moorland Monitors says it all really: another dead animal on a grouse moor, shot dead after being trapped in a snare. This cub was found by the Calder Valley Hunt Saboteurs on a snare site near Hebden Bridge. It will be just one of thousands of fox cubs killed this month to protect the grouse shooting industry’s profits.

Continue reading

Who eats all the soya?

One of the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss is habitat loss to agriculture – in other words, enormous changes to natural habitats to grow our food. It’s estimated that as recently as 1000 years ago, less than 4% of the world’s ice-free and non-barren land area was used for farming. Now we have taken nearly HALF of all habitable land on the planet for our agriculture. The vast Cerrado region of Brazil, for example, once covered an area half the size of Europe, but around half the native savannah and forest of the Cerrado has been converted to agriculture since the late 1950s. Converted mainly for beef cattle ranching and to grow soybeans. Since the 1950s global soybean production has increased 15 times over. But who – or what – is eating all those beans…?

Continue reading