Category: Blog Posts

Grouse moors | licencing slaughter

Licencing is touted as a way of controlling the chaos and dead wildlife of the grouse shooting industry. It would, apparently, involve a shoot obtaining an operational licence from a regulator which would, at minimum, have conditions attached mandating the shoot follows wildlife and environmental protection codes of practice and laws. Where there is evidence suggesting that a shoot has failed to follow those conditions the licence can be withdrawn, even if the evidence pointing to criminality is less than sufficient to merit criminal proceeding. Which sounds sort of reasonable, but let’s think about what that actually means for wildlife for a moment…

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World Animal Protection | #EndWildlifeTrade

Now, we have thought about this long and hard but we can’t find anything positive to say about wildlife trade. It is either theft of wildlife from its natural habitat or the confinement of captive-bred ‘wildlife’ for the rest of its largely unnatural life. It is emptying forests around the world (leaving huge areas silent and devoid of mammals and birds). It is at the root of major pandemics (SARS and Covid-19 appear to be directly traceable back to the wildlife trade). It is exterminating populations of animals many of us won’t have even heard of until relatively recently (the pangolin, Totoaba, Helmeted Hornbill for example). And what we’re doing to Lions is barely comprehensible…World Animal Protection is trying to put an end to wildlife trade and we’re happy to support them…

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Three young Montagu’s Harriers killed in the Netherlands

“A colleague who was about to place a protection cage around a nest of Montagu’s Harriers found a very clear form of bird-of-prey hatred. Near the nest were three dead young Montagu’s Harriers in the middle of the road. Together with our colleague, the immediate surroundings of the nest were examined and there were clear traces of a human walking to and from the nest. It can be concluded from this that someone knowingly took three young of this rare species from the nest, killed them and left them openly on the road.” Grauwe Kiekendief – Kenniscentrum Akkervogels, Augst 2020.

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Another poisoning in North Yorks?

A sparrowhawk has been found in Ryedale (North Yorks), according to local press reports “convulsing and clenching its talons” symptoms which would indicate poisoning. The dying bird was found in woodland near Kirkbymoorside in Ryedale, taken for veterinary care, but died a short time later. A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “…we want to make the community aware so they can take precautions to keep pets, children and themselves safe.” Haven’t we heard warnings exactly like that from the same police force only recently? Indeed we have, and that would be because of the ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’…

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£500k donation to Langholm Moor Community Buyout

Langholm Moor was put up for sale last year. Locals are proposing a buy out to take the moor into community ownership and manage the land as a nature reserve. This year’s online Hen Harrier Day pledged to raise donations for the Buyout and have now donated a very respectable £10,000. The John Muir Trust has donated £100,000. Even better news came this week in the shape of a huge donation by the Dunblane-based Carman Family Foundation, which was set up to assist with projects that both enhance biodiversity and encourage people to gain knowledge and enjoyment from the newly enhanced land (and which earlier this year helped the Woodland Trust to buy Fairy Glen, a short valley near Spinningdale).

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‘Snared’ audiobook now available

As visitors here will know, wildlife campaigner Bob Berzins recently published ‘Snared’, a book which we said “absolutely nails the unsavoury workings of the intensive grouse shooting industry to the wall. While carrying the usual legal disclaimer that ‘any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental’, the book is packed with evocative descriptions of the uplands and the people that live there – from venal estate owners to lawless badger baiters and angry, violent gamekeepers locked in battles with their families and the local wildlife. It feels authentic from the first line to the last.” And now we’re extremely pleased to share in announcing that an audiobook is available for a suggested donation of just £5, with 100% of profits going to Yorkshire’s Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS).

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