Scotland | Golden Eagle found poisoned on Invercauld Estate

Police Scotland have launched an appeal for information (good luck with that, wildlife criminals make the mafia seem like blabbermouths) after a Golden Eagle was found dead on a shooting estate in a so-called ‘national park’ that – how can we put this without being sued – has long been linked with wildlife crime and raptor persecution: the Cairngorms. There are very few details but apparently the bird ‘contained pesticide’. To ordinary folk, a pesticide might seem an odd thing to find in a Golden Eagle, but these extremely toxic chemicals (most of which are banned) are routinely used to eradicate native wildlife. We’ve covered numerous examples on this website involving everything from Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Peregrines, White-tailed Eagles, Red Kites, Hen Harriers, and of course Golden Eagles. Most occur on or near shooting estates.

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Guest Post | Dominic Dyer: Fox hunting – political poison for the Tory Party

“Fox hunting is now political poison for the government. Covid 19 and the restrictions on public gatherings has caused huge financial damage to hunts in England, and many might not survive the pandemic. Those that do will find themselves increasingly shunned by public and politicians alike as they face increasing restrictions on their hunting activities. Like drink driving, hunting with hounds is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of people in Britain. The last 17 years has seen many twists and turns in the debate on fox hunting, but we might soon be able to say we have “Made Hunting History” once and for all.” Guest post by Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor & British Wildlife Advocate at the Born Free Foundation & Board Member at Wildlife & Countryside Link.

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Sabs are heroes. End of

A couple of days ago we wrote about the incredibly brave Manchester Hunt Saboteur who had come across a gang of badger baiters with two dogs digging a sett that he regularly monitored. He was attacked and severely beaten. The baiters left him for dead. Remarkably he survived, but his injuries were appalling and he will be scarred for life. Many of us would want to disappear after an event like that, to hide away and recover. Incredibly this remarkable human being is already back out and installing remote cameras. In an open letter he talks about how he can’t rest while there is so much more to do, about the relentless persecution our precious wildlife faces. Hunt saboteurs are hugely misunderstood. The truth is that they out in the countryside to tackle and prevent wildlife crime. The truth is that sabs are heroes. End of.

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Wales | Osprey platform cut down

You may remember being told to try to always see the good in people. Apparently it’ll be in there somewhere if you look hard enough. If you see the best in everyone, you will be happier and you’ll make others happier too, according to various vacuous online ‘goodness gurus’. Seriously, let’s be honest here: some people are just too far gone for any of that to apply. Just how deep would you have to dig to find any scrap of goodness in someone who deliberately takes a chainsaw to a nesting platform built for one of our rarest birds – a species that some of the hardest working and innovative conservationists in the country have dedicated substantial portions of their lives to bringing back to the UK, that tourists from Scotland to Wales, from Rutland water to Poole Harbour have thrilled to, that were wiped out by ignorance, greed, and exploitation and are only just now beginning to slowly recover their numbers. No, there really can’t be any goodness in a man (and it will be a man) who takes a boat onto a lake under cover of darkness and commits a crime that will be breaking the hearts of every volunteer, researche, and scientist who has worked so extraordinarily hard to bring the Osprey back to its former home…

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Yet another Hen Harrier disappears in ‘suspicious circumstances’

The RSPB is reporting that yet another satellite-tagged Hen Harrier, this time a female called Yarrow, has disappeared in ‘suspicious circumstances’ (legalese for ‘we have a damn good idea what happened but right now we can’t prove it’). Using the rolling total on Raptor Persecution UK (as far as most people are concerned the most accessible – and certainly most current – talliers of just how many Hen Harriers have ‘disappeared’ or been confirmed illegally killed) that would make fifty-three since 2018! Of course birds die naturally but when they do their satellite-tags don’t die with them. They keep on transmitting, sending location data to researchers. Yet when Hen Harriers die their satellite-tags almost always in effect die too – because whoever kills them is removing the tag and burying it, wrapping it in lead, destroying it etc etc etc. Those are not the actions of for example birdwatchers or raptor researchers or anyone except wildlife criminals who do not want Hen Harriers on ‘their’ moorland. To be fair, that might not just be gamekeepers – some landowners don’t want them either.

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Sab attacked by badger baiters

Badger baiters are amongst the nastiest and most vicious of thugs, with zero respect for life. A member of Manchester Hunt Saboteurs was attacked by five badger baiters near Little Lever, Bolton last night after checking on a sett. He was beaten unconscious and – literally – left for dead. His injuries are extremely serious. He needed forty-two stitches in his head, and will need plastic surgery on his ear. The Police have been to take statements from him and are pursuing this as both a Section 18 assault (GBH), and crimes against the Badger Protection Act.

A crowdfunder has been set up to support him whle he is off work. Please consider donating.

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HS2 to destroy Jones Hill Wood

Back in October last year we hosted a guest post written by Kevin Hand, an ecologist involved with the important discovery of a roost of one of Britains rarest bat species, the (western) Barbastelle, at Jones Hill Wood (see – Barbastelles, Jones Hill Woods, and HS2). Listed as Vulnerable to extinction in Great Britain in the first Red List for Mammals (published in August 2020) the Barbastelle is known from very few sites and has a very high level of legal protection. Despite the laws protecting the species, the wood was scheduled to be flattened to make way for a railway by contractors working for HS2. Public opinion is firmly against the destruction of what has been dubbed ‘Roald Dahl’s Woods’ but six months later it’s just been announced by HS2 Rebellion that High Court Judge Mr Justice Holgate has refused permission for Mark Keir (representing the Jones Hill Wood Earth protectors) to apply for judicial review and has lifted the injunction which had been placed to suspend the felling of Jones Hill Wood until a full legal case was heard. The trees will come down…

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Turtle Doves | Italy’s ‘hunters’ give ‘hunting’ an even worse name…

Europe’s hunters constantly bleat on about how much they care about wildlife and even try to greenwash their goddammed and repulsive lobbyist groups by referencing ‘conservation” in their names (here in the UK of course we have GWCT and BASC who changed their names and added ‘conservation’ to them in response to growing public sentiment against going out and killing things for entertainment). The truth is that many of these ‘hunters’ are as dumb as bricks and little better than wildlife muggers who don’t actually have a single strand of conservation DNA in their entire bodies. Constantly ignoring the science, famously crying that their mental health will suffer if they’re not allowed to keep blowing small birds out of the sky, we are – as we’re often told on social media – supposed to have a ‘dialogue’ with these throwbacks. You can not have a dialogue with someone who is incapable of rational thought and simply is not interested in listening, though. Like the grouse shooting industry and fox hunting lawbreakers here, Europe’s gun-toting psychopaths want one thing and one thing only – to spend their days slaughtering wildlife. Even if it might mean driving a species to extinction…

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