Tag: shooting

Natural England protects shoot from ‘disturbance’

A tweet showing a Natural England sign which restricts access to land to ‘avoid disturbance to game and disruption to shooting’ has (rightly) gone viral (kudos @KeggieC). What on earth is Natural England – the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England. “We help to protect and restore our natural world” – doing? A quick internet search leads us to a Notice of Relevant Authority Decision following review of Direction restricting CROW Access rights, and that’s when things really start to stink…It turns out the public is shut out of open access land because there may be disturbance to non-native birds ‘pre-season’, during the season, and possible disruption to the shoot on shoot days! Shut out BY NATURAL ENGLAND. Because of DISTURBANCE to a bloody shoot. Astounding…

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RSPB to drop ‘neutrality’ on gamebird shooting? It seems unlikely…

There’s been no official announcement, but according to an article in today’s Times titled “Game shooters fear for their sport as RSPB chiefs take aim”, the RSPB is apparently preparing “to end its neutrality on the sport by demanding reforms to protect native wildlife”. We think that’s unlikely (and explain why), so what is The Times up to with this article? They may have inside knowledge, but that’s doubtful. Perhaps it’s really intended to inflame the passions of its pro-shoot readership ahead of the RSPB’s Online AGM which ‘coincidentally’ takes place today and has as its second Agenda item “Matters arising from the minutes – Review of game bird shooting and associated land management”?

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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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Why does shooting believe in its own exceptionalism?

While we are now legally obliged not to meet in groups of more than six – for good reasons: there’s a pandemic out there that kills vulnerable people – people who want to go out and shoot wildlife have been exempted both here in England and in Scotland. Got a hankering to kill something? No problem. Itchy trigger finger bothering you? Go scratch. As Mark Avery put it yesterday, ” A day at the races? No. An afternoon at the football? No. Jogging with six friends? Of course not. A day on a grouse moor? Of course old boy…” The shooting industry is treated as exceptional and given special treatment. Why? We’ll explain further down in this post what we think the reasons are, but there was actually an awful inevitability about these announcements.

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Guest Post | Gamebird Shooting in Sheffield & South Yorkshire

“The sight and sound of a pheasant is almost ubiquitous in the fields around Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Any day out in the countryside will eventually involve the familiar coarse squawk as they dash out from the scrub. But why are they here and why do people care? There is growing unease about the presence of pheasants – and their associates, red-legged partridges – in the UK countryside. The prevalence of these birds is the end result of a deeply damaging and divisive shooting industry. Each year, more and more opponents are speaking out about the animal welfare issues and environmental impacts of this industry.” Guest Post by Adam Davies

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Natural England and BASC produce shooting report

So, months after Wild Justice made a legal challenge over the failure of the government department ‘looking after’ the environment (DEFRA) to assess the impacts of the unregulated release of tens of millions of non-native ‘gamebirds’ on sites of conservation importance for the ‘sport’ of shooting, Natural England and the shooting lobby organisation BASC (known as The Wildfowlers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland long before the word ‘conservation’ was hijacked by people with guns) have joined forces to commission a report written by Dr Joah Madden of Exeter University and Rufus Sage (Head of lowland gamebird research at GWCT). Unsurprisingly there will be no pause in the killing…

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