Tag: gamekeeper

Alex Hogg knows nothing about birdwatching…

The wonderful Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK) has posted a blog today about a claim by Alex Hogg, Chair of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, that grouse moors – those wildlife crime-riddled, ecologically devastated, playgrounds for so-called ‘sportsmen’ – are ‘a birdwatchers’ paradise’. RPUK has analysed the context and linked back to numerous articles of their own looking at the rampant raptor persecution that takes place on grouse moors, so – stepping outside of ‘team WoW’ for a moment – as a life-long birdwatcher I’d like to add my own comments about Hogg’s ignorant claims from a personal perspective. I had planned to leave it at the tweet posted below, but I won’t let him get away with it so lightly.

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Two spaniels poisoned by ‘Nidderdale cocktail’

This is what grouse shooting has brought us to: the burning of rare habitats, massive use of bird and mammal traps, illegal persecution of birds of prey, and now a spaniel killed by a mix of illegal poisons with its own nickname derived from the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’, “a deadly mixture of chemicals including bendiocarb, alphachloralose and the banned pesticides carbofuran and isofenphos. None of these chemicals should ever be used in an environment where domestic animals and/or wildlife could come into contact with them.

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Guest Post | 2020 – Not a good year for Gamekeepers!

2020 has been dubbed ‘Year Of The Gamekeeper’ by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), who say ‘The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of gamekeepers; what they do, how they support UK agriculture and the role they play in conservation’. With gamekeepers classing themselves as ‘essential workers’ through the lockdown, and stories of illegal persecution of protected species hitting the news recently, we thought it was a fitting time to ‘raise awareness’ ourselves of what gamekeepers actually do…” Guest post by Emily and Rose Jones

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Note the quotation marks: ‘Appeal after ”protected” Peak District buzzard is shot’

Are some in the mainstream media finally understanding how widespread raptor persecution is? And that rather than quoting a few lines of puffery and denial from the likes of the Moorland Association the public want a more accurate account? That could well be the case because for a headline to contain “protected” in quotation marks (as here on ITV News online) suggests that at least a few journalists are starting to recognise that UK legislation “protecting” birds of prey isn’t worth the paper it’s written on while armed individuals are out shooting at them as part of their “job”…

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What motivates gamekeepers? That’s not the point…

It does seem, according to a recent PhD research paper, that the prevailing view that gamekeepers are out to tally up as many dead ‘predators’ as possible partly because they enjoy it might indeed be correct. After all, if you spend your working life laying waste to wildlife just so that your employer can sell tame birds to shooters getting their rocks off using live animals for target practice you’d better enjoy it. It would be an unbearable way to pick up a wage otherwise, surely. But is ‘what motivates gamekeepers’ really the point?

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Press release: Grouse moor burning season closes with prospect of ban

“Voluntary efforts by the government to dampen down grouse moor burning have gone up in smoke with hundreds of fires deliberately started on Yorkshire’s iconic moorlands this season…on top of driving vulnerable wildlife from its moorland home, burning on sensitive peatland degrades ecosystems, releases climate-altering gasses into the atmosphere and worsens flooding and wildfire risk.” Luke Steele, Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors

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What The Actual F(ire)

The country is in lockdown because of a respiratory virus. Huge numbers of us are worried about our jobs, our safety – our lives. Our public services are stretched to the limit. The heroes of the NHS are working until they collapse. In an unprecedented period where we’re all being asked to pull together for the good of the nation, when there is a new focus on discovering solace in nature, when we’re engaged in a real debate about our environment, climate change, and how we treat wildlife, what do those essential keyworkers who strive to raise unnaturally high numbers of Red Grouse for the gun do? Start a fire, and lose control of it.

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