Search Results for: North Yorkshire

Daily Mirror | Burning Britain’s moorland like ‘cutting down rainforest’

“Across the parched moors, now a tinderbox, all I can see is smoke.” That’s a line from an article published in the Daily Mirror which heavily criticises the routine torching of one of the UK’s most precious habitats simply so that a few people can blast living targets out of the sky. The article in the paper is well illustrated (while not all the images are connected with burning, they do all set the scene well) and actually reads like the personal experience it is, rather than the typical amalgam of press-releases re-written to produce a ‘balanced’ report that says little of interest. So kudos Nada Farhoud, the paper’s Environment Editor, for going on-site and seeing for herself the ecological and climate damage being wrought by the driven grouse shooting industry. The shooting industry will hate the article, and given the ferocity that lobbyists have been going after anyone who dares to question their version of ‘burning is conservation’ or ‘burning is best for the environment’, Nada’s inbox is no doubt being flooded with emails slamming her. And given the disgusting treatment meted out to Raptor Persecution UK’s Ruth Tingay by shooters defending their ludicrous pastime, no doubt those emails will contain some deeply unpleasant and offensive sentiments.

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Gamekeeper filmed using Eagle owl to lure Buzzards to their deaths

The remarkable RSPB Investigations Unit has – as the title of this post – states, filmed a gamekeeper on a grouse moor using a decoy to shoot two Buzzards. Just say that out aloud: a professional hired by a shooting estate has been filmed using a tethered owl to shoot two protected birds of prey. Two crimes in one short sentence: using a tethered bird as a decoy is illegal, and – oh, yes – so is killing Buzzards. Gamekeeper. Grouse moor. Wildlife crime. And trolls on this site wonder why we and others are so outraged by the mindset of shooting and its employees. If they haven’t quite got it yet, it is because driven grouse shooting is underpinned by criminality and that criminality is undertaken by gamekeepers…

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Mail Online lobbying (badly) for grouse moors

There is nothing wrong with lobbying (it’s what we do after all), but we do think that lobbyists – and the people who ‘report’ their words – ought at least to feel obliged to be as accurate as they can (it’s what we do after all). So, here’s a little Fact Check-style breakdown for the journos at the Daily Mail who copy out press-releases from grouse moor owners with very little analysis – and for any of the Mail’s readers who might wonder just how accurate these ‘reports’ really are…So, after all that Daily Mail, do you think that grouse moor owners are ‘lobbying to educate’ or ‘lobbying to mislead’? Answers on a postcard please….

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Guest Post: Hunt Investigation Team | #SnareAware

“In 2016, a majority of UK MPs voted to ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares outright. The government ignored this and instead introduced an unregulated voluntary Code of Practice. Since then, a damning catalogue of breaches has been documented by HIT, NASC and other groups. The Code of Practice is demonstrably failing on multiple levels and snare users have consistently proven themselves incapable of self-regulation. An outright ban on snaring in the UK is needed…The situation is brought into sharp relief when we consider the huge numbers of snares in use in England and Wales – hundreds for each shooting estate and many more on farmland. These high numbers of unregulated snares in use inevitably lead to an unacceptably high rate of suffering.” Guest post, Hunt Investigation Team

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RSPB still not opposed to shooting birds

Yesterday The Times jumped the gun (or made an attempt to wind up its shooting readership) by stating that the RSPB was set to announce a change in its century-old ‘neutral’ stance on ‘gamebird’ shooting. We wrote a post in which we reasoned that based on previous statements from the likes of Kevin Cox (Chair of Council) and Martin Harper (Global Conservation Director) this didn’t seem likely. It turns out that we were correct. There is no change to the policy, and in his statement to yesterday’s AGM Kevin Cox made sure to reassure the so-called ‘shooting community’ by saying that, “At the outset I want to stress that this review was not about the ethics of shooting, on which the RSPB remains neutral…”

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More #trailhuntlies – this time it’s in the national media

Several activists (including ourselves) are engaged in a bit of an online ‘debate’ at the moment with the National Trust about their granting of licences to ‘trail hunt’ on their land. Why? Because ‘trail hunting’, as we repeatedly state, is a lie. Thanks to the work of the Manchester Hunt Sabs, the incontrovertible evidence of wildlife crime by the York and Ainsty South Hunt and the disgraceful behaviour by hunt whipper-in Mark Poskitt while ‘trail hunting’ is now saved for posterity in the pages of the Daily Mail Online – and whatever anyone might feel about the Mail’s politics it does have a huge readership, many of whom are avowed ‘animal lovers’…

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RSPB | Birdcrime Report released

Every year the RSPB releases a Birdcrime Report (which can be downloaded for free as a pdf). The new report covers 2019, and has a welcome focus on the wildlife crimes that underpin the grouse shooting industry (which the RSPB wants licencing rather than banning outright – something we’ve previously discussed in ‘Grouse Moors | Licencing Slaughter’). The whole report is of course well worth reading. If you’re a lobbyist for the grouse shooting industry you’ve got to hope that no-one finds this thing because it’s incendiary, but if you’re a regular member of the public with a love of birds while the report is quite depressing (despite the positive actions outlined inside) it’s good to see just how pointed the RSPB’s criticism of grouse shooting has become.

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Licencing of grouse shooting – why?

Today the Labour Party announced that they were in favour of licencing grouse shooting. It has taken a huge amount of determined work behind-the-scenes from the likes of the RSPB to get to this place, and that deserves commendation. Calls have gone out for campaigners to support the development. While we appreciate the need for a united front we feel we have a duty to be honest and state that licencing grouse shooting is not an option we favour: we believe that everything that goes into delivering wild birds to a handful of shooters is unethical, underpinned by wildlife crime, and not fit for the 21st century. If we said otherwise we would be going against everything we’ve written since we launched a year ago.

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