“No-one seems to know about it…”, says Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson as yet another grouse shooter on The Duchy of Lancaster’s Goathland Moor walks away claiming to know nothing about the illegal killing of a Goshawk by a gamekeeper on the very same moor just a few months ago. The superb Raptor Persecution UK popularised the term ‘wilful blindness’ to characterise the head-in-the-sand attitude of the entire shooting industry when confronted with wildlife crime and boy was it ever on show last night…Continue reading
The media stories triggered by the filming of a ‘masked man’ killing a Goshawk, one of the UK’s rarest and most persecuted birds of prey, continue to build. Today the Yorkshire Post is reporting that three gamekeepers have been suspended (note ‘suspended’, we discuss this in the full post). Firstly though, Goshawks are routinely killed on shooting estates, so why has this bird made the headlines?
Four elements stand out that have probably helped this particular case gain traction…
A couple of days ago news broke that a ‘masked man’ had been filmed killing a Goshawk on an estate in North Yorkshire. At the time the name of the estate was being withheld as a story was being prepared for a major newspaper. That voluntary embargo has now been lifted. An article with an accompanying video was published just after midnight this morning in The Times which was headlined “‘Killing’ of rare bird of prey filmed on one of Queen’s grouse moors in North Yorkshire”. The incident took place at “Goathland Moor in North Yorkshire, part of the Duchy of Lancaster”.Continue reading
There’s probably a joke being made in Baronial halls along the lines of ‘waiting for crimes against birds of prey/North Yorkshire/all coming at once’ – but the situation in North Yorkshire and the so-called North Yorks’ National Park’ and rampant raptor persecution isn’t remotely funny. It’s hateful and utterly shameful. This region, as many of us know all too well, is the most notorious hot spot for crimes against birds of prey in the country.. The latest act of criminality involves a ‘masked man’ on an as yet unnamed shooting estate killing a Goshawk in a cage trap. Is there any chance that ‘masked man’ wasn’t a gamekeeper? No charges have been brought yet but let’s speculate…Continue reading