Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 508 total)
  • Grouse moor licencing, Scotland.
  • Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    indeed free range food can be argued to be kinder

    How therefore do you propose to catch and make use of the finest free-range and organic meat we have – venison?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I’m going to deliberately sidestep the driving licence example I gave, in part as Poly you’ve given better and specific examples and in another part as one of the reasons mine is a rubbish example will lead down a rabbit hole of its own [education vs licensing], So I’ll jump on one of yours which (to my knowledge) avoids that.

    Tattoo parlours require a licence [personal and premises] to operate legally in the UK. Most (I’d guess verging on all) do and conduct themselves within the law.
    Very very few licenced tattooists are prosecuted (brief Google turned up two nationally in 6 years though obviously they’re headline cases).

    Unlicensed tattooists make up more prosecutions even though they’re far fewer in number (northern England 150 in 4 years investigated, 4 prosecutions Trashy news link).

    Being convicted of having illegally operated as a tattooist and tattooed someone illegally [irrespective of being licenced] doesn’t prevent you from getting a licence – though it very well may encourage you to behave legally in the future (Trashy news link 2)

    Unlicensed tattooists are more likely to be willing to do illegal [irrespective of licensing] work Beeb

    My point [badly put] is licensing gives greater control over people likely to behave anyway. Genuine opinion is it may well improve standards amongst those who would follow best practice without licensing but those who wouldn’t will simply operate without licence. (moving to civil penalties won’t help that either)

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    How therefore do you propose to catch and make use of the finest free-range and organic meat we have – venison?

    If you think that’s driven into the sky to be blasted by shotgun totting port swigging tweed wearers I’m sorry to break it to you…

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    If you think that’s driven into the sky to be blasted by shotgun totting port swigging tweed wearers I’m sorry to break it to you…

    It is merely blasted from the earth by rifle totting port swigging tweed wearers… 😛
    I was being obtuse – my point being that due to over stocking of deer, we have to cull many of them. Gathering such wild animals into pens, then trying to dispatch actually would be less humane than a current approach of a rifle shot.
    Leaving them to starve where over stocked even worse.

    Know I am pro-rewilding and against our current environmental, social and economic model of the Highland estates.
    But I also have lived here long enough to know you cannot just ‘switch off’ a system that has operated for a few hundred years, or object to practices you find difficult as an outsider, without having a thought through, funded/financed and balanced plan that provides a good economic, social and environmental outcome for all.

    I also know it will take decades – but that we have to make a start.

    https://www.scotlandbigpicture.com/

    https://www.rewild.scot

    Premier Icon guest1
    Free Member

    Should future relicensing (and any tax breaks/grants) of the estates be linked to environmental improvements?
    The way most estates are run should be a national disgrace.. bulldozing new tracks through peat hags (without planning permission), driving quad bikes/argos across wet, fragile peat with no care of the environmental damage (not just to the ground but also CO2 emissions from the damaged peat).
    Ongoing indiscriminite trapping/killing/poisoning and animal that they can’t shoot,
    Burning swathes of land each year to reduce the ground cover

    should the estates also be forced into planting trees. Not necessary plantation type of forestry, but possibly low density silvaculture where they could still use the land for shooting/farming just with the added environmental benefit of tree planting.

    Premier Icon gwaelod
    Free Member

    Martin Hutch.. I guess that video is the reason NRW have just suspended trail hunting on their land with immediate effect.

    Premier Icon ianbradbury
    Full Member

    my point being that due to over stocking of deer, we have to cull many of them. Gathering such wild animals into pens, then trying to dispatch actually would be less humane than a current approach of a rifle shot.

    There’s somewhat of a difference between the deer, of which we have too many, and grouse, where estates have to work at producing an unnatural abundance by manipulating the vegetation and slaughtering anything that might remotely threaten the grouse.

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    There’s somewhat of a difference between the deer, of which we have too many, and grouse, where estates have to work at producing an unnatural abundance by manipulating the vegetation and slaughtering anything that might remotely threaten the grouse.

    This is where I am too.

    I still still struggle with deer stalking being a pleasure activity rather than a necessary evil carried out by professionals with excellent skills. But even I can see that deer stalking takes time, patience, some skill and where shooting an animal in anything other than an efficient kill is very much frowned upon. Whilst the shooting of grouse and pheasant seems (I’ve never done it but observed it and my next door neighbour is a retired keeper so heard the tales) to be a blasting fest with impossible odds if you are the bird and where winging an animal is just something that happens tens and tens of times a day. Repulsive.

    Genuine question though as I don’t know the answer – does owning a grouse moor and running shoots make you proper money? Or is it a ‘vocation’/keeping up traditions thing? I know it’s an expensive thing to pay to do but I’d imagine the overheads are high to put the ‘show’ on. How much of a financial squeeze would be needed to be put on the owners before they would be begging the state to buy the land off them to relinquish responsibilities.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    @dangeourbrain to draw a parallel with your tattooing licence example, piercing studios require a licence to operate using sterile equipment and trained staff. Claires can hand a cattle tagger to a Sunday girl and pierce whoever they like.

    Nuts.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Genuine question though as I don’t know the answer – does owning a grouse moor and running shoots make you proper money? Or is it a ‘vocation’/keeping up traditions thing? I know it’s an expensive thing to pay to do but I’d imagine the overheads are high to put the ‘show’ on. How much of a financial squeeze would be needed to be put on the owners before they would be begging the state to buy the land off them to relinquish responsibilities.

    They wouldn’t sell the land, they would just do something else with it.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Matt – I’m in favour of eating deer.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Genuine question though as I don’t know the answer – does owning a grouse moor and running shoots make you proper money?

    With all the subsidies and tax breaks it can be lucrative but many estates probably do not make much

    Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    Don’t be fooled, big commercial shoots make big money, yes their costs are high but most of them will be old money, with lots of grant income (a lot of it agricultural) and huuuuge income from shoot days and the associated hospitality, overnight stays etc – that’s where things have shifted in the last few years and possibly where the real money is made. The people I know of who are running big commercial driven shoots are exceptionally wealthy.

    For the record, I’m in favour of licensing, I want the industry to clean it’s act up in order to prevent a trickle down of regulation that could affect everyone who shoots, regardless of how ethical or sustainable their shooting practice is. Where I struggle is when sweeping statements are made about banning driven shooting altogether, or all forms of shooting – it’s just an utterly ridiculous notion, there’s so much diversity in shooting practice and culture.

    I shoot with two friends, just rough shooting over quite diverse ground, an exceptional season for us would be to have a tally of 50-60, that’s over 3 months, and may include up to 10 species, with anything edible getting eaten. It’s the thing I look forward to most all year the start of the shooting season, this year we’ve barely shot anything, but had some great days out, seen all sorts of nature, scenery, weather, the change in the seasons, my friend has started his young dog working, we have a laugh and take the piss out of each other, it’s just a day with friends that happens to include some shooting. We’ve all grown up in the countryside and shot from a young age, been taught gun safety, how to shoot sustainably, ethically, and are constantly acquiring skills and knowledge, and that’s perhaps the biggest joy for me. Nobody knows wildlife better than shooters, you spend so long in the field honing your craft amongst nature that you learn habitat, behaviour, instinct, reactions, of all manner of species, not just those you’re shooting. Last year I stopped one day for pethaps 20 minutes to watch a kingfisher, it was brilliant, but I’d not have been there if not for the shooting. So to lump the likes of us in with big driven shoots would be a tragedy. It’s a huge missed opportunity that there isn’t more dialogue between shooters and researchers and policy makers, as many of the former have more knowledge on nature and how it’s changing than any government officer will ever have.

    After I posted this morning I talked to some builders, all three shoot, two of them have started a little farm syndicate shoot, lads my own age, putting a small number of birds down, feeding them, and just having a few days shooting with friends, a dead loss financially. The other beats and/or shoots with them and they all have the odd driven day, seemingly by invite. All three were of a very similar opinion to me it turned out, and without prompting said large scale driven shooting should be stopped. Anecdotally one of them had heard of a local shoot putting down (releasing) 100,000 birds a year (though the head keeper will apparently never quote a figure), and in their biggest week of the season shooting up to 500 birds a day, 5 or 6 days a week – to one team of guns. That needs to be stopped, aside from anything else, it’s a bloody huge waste – most of those birds are destined for a hole in the ground.

    To summarise, licensing is a good idea so long as those licenses are effective and bring about real change. But whether the schemes are workable will be the crunch point.

    It’s a very emotive subject, with seemingly very few people from either side occupying any middle ground. The shooting industry/community and the bodies that represent us desperately need to move with the times, modernise, reform, push out criminal elements and self regulate to ensure the positives from shooting are not lost in a sea of extreme views and vitriol.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    core
    …just turn up, drink port, talk shit, stand about and keep banging away….

    Aye, that’s humane killing, ain’t it. There’s going to be a lot of maiming and slow deaths happening.

    It raises another point, how come it’s legal to consume alcohol and be in possession of a loaded gun?

    I’ve nothing against hunting for the pot or eradicating non-native vermin, but killing for fun is sick, sick, sick, and should have no place in a civilised society.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    with anything edible getting eaten.

    So you shoot birds you will not eat for fun?

    Premier Icon ianbradbury
    Full Member

    Last year I stopped one day for pethaps 20 minutes to watch a kingfisher, it was brilliant, but I’d not have been there if not for the shooting. So to lump the likes of us in with big driven shoots would be a tragedy. It’s a huge missed opportunity that there isn’t more dialogue between shooters and researchers and policy makers, as many of the former have more knowledge on nature and how it’s changing than any government officer will ever have.

    But you could do all of that, and some people do , without any shooting at all.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Driven industrial shooting is terrible.
    Last night I went to take the dogs out and someone I know had dropped of a dozen pheasants that I will butcher and use but already that’s over 50 birds I’ve had this season for free.
    The estate they come from try to give them all away but a couple of weeks ago it was near 1000 birds in a weekend.
    It’s not sports it’s a slaughter.
    This estate employs a few locals as beaters but the gamekeeper came from down south the owners are silly money banker rich.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    So to lump the likes of us in with big driven shoots would be a tragedy.

    A tragedy might be a bit strong but it would be wrong.

    You need to separate out the moral arguments around shooting and also remember that the land needs a use and that useage shapes the land.

    What this is about is the outrageous behaviour of many of the large players and reining them in. Eagles by the dozen, other birds of prey in the hundreds if not thousands killed. Mustelids trapped to oblivion. The annual slaughter of mountain hares. Its about the huge monoculture moors of burnt heather grouse farms. Its about access

    What would I like to see? That the licensing system has teeth but is not overly bureaucratic. A carrot and a stick approach to access with grants to bring old paths back and plant native woodland etc. I’d like to think that the days of mass slaughter on the hills are over. I think there is still a place for walk up shooting.

    Deer – there are too many of them. Shoot the buggers!

    Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    To answer some points raised:

    “Killing for fun is sick, sick, sick”. Yes it is, if that is the primary motivation, to just kill something. I’m not aware of any shooters or hunters personally who gain any pleasure from the actual death part of the process or go out with blood lust. Yes ultimately that’s the finale, but in my case and with the type of shooting I participate in, the enjoyment comes from the whole experience and putting acquired skills into practice. I know I won’t convince you, and appreciate your viewpoint, I don’t know your background or upbringing, but please don’t believe that we’re all out there shooting just because we love killing animals for the sake of killing them. Growing up in the countryside and around farming death is somewhat normalised I’ll admit, but not taken lightly.

    Yes I shoot ‘vermin’ or non game species and don’t eat them – all covered by general licences or otherwise legal to control, primarily for livestock and crop protection. We eat as much as we can, but I’m not about to tuck into a magpie. You can’t have it all, ground nesting and song birds in abundance etc etc – and not control the species which predate them of which there are huge numbers. Talk to any country man or woman and they will tell you of the correlation between the decline in some species and rise of others.

    I could watch a kingfisher without going shooting, as could anyone, but the point was that it’s not all charging around the countryside single mindedly pursuing anything that can be shot. I and most other shooters I know have a deep respect for nature and gain a lot of enjoyment from being among it.

    I think it is tragic to group all shooters in with those who participate in unethical industrial driven shooting, the two have very few similarities.

    Premier Icon ianbradbury
    Full Member

    putting a small number of birds down, feeding them, and just having a few days shooting with friends, a dead loss financially

    I think this is probably the point at which I get annoyed by the shooting lobby – going out and shooting deer I understand, some form of control is essential. Shooting a small number of wild birds I can comprehend. But when you start rearing birds explicitly for the purpose of shooting them it’s hard to understand as anything other than a delight in killing things.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    @core – therein lies your problem. The “industry” wants the cash from the commercial, “industrial”, shoots and uses that as justification for bringing money into the local economies but want to be viewed as the caring environmentalists.

    There’s been a short TV series on Scotland’s landscapes, one of which was about the effective desert that is Scotland’s Highlands. Driven in part by the shooting estates but also sheep farming because of the Clearances. The factor from Glen Feshie estate was interviewed – they reduced their deer population down from 40 per sq KM to just one. As a result the native trees are naturally coming back and traditional species recolonating the area.

    I grew up on a Cumbrian hill farm, I’ve no problem with shooting for food or pest control (that certainly doesnt’ include raptors or mustelids) but not as “sport”.

    Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    I take your point on rearing birds specifically to shoot, it does seem fundamentally flawed and a bit ridiculous if you (I) take a step back.

    I know that there will always be opposition to shooting, but I hope that sustainable shooting and environmental management that does benefit wild, native species has a role to play in the future.

    Creating monoculture and desert for the sole purpose of income generation and pleasure is reprehensible, no doubt about that.

    There would be no ‘wild’ birds to shoot without birds released by organised shoots though…

    Premier Icon ianbradbury
    Full Member

    Ducks and grouse surely exist without the cage rearing. Having shot in the past I can sympathise, and having a dog that kills rabbits quite happily I’d be in an odd position to oppose all hunting. But the monoculture wasteland that some local estates have made are intolerable surely.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Grouse aren’t cage reared.

    He literally said creating monoculture was reprehensible in the post above yours.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    core

    …I don’t know your background or upbringing, but please don’t believe that we’re all out there shooting just because we love killing animals for the sake of killing them…

    I have hunted in Africa for the pot when I was young in the 1950s. I have hunted in Australia for vermin eradication (wild pigs).

    I enjoy the skill of using a gun properly, but unless it’s for the pot, it’s not necessary to kill anything.

    The concept of breeding animals and then scaring them into the path of alcohol sozzled toffs is totally repellent to me. The chances of clean kills are low.

    If those animals and birds are really bred for food, them kill them humanely.

    BTW Rewilding is a lousy concept. That land was rarely wild, it used to contain lots of humans until they were driven off to make sheep deserts and playgrounds for the toffs. If you want the landscape as it was in the last few thousand years, put people and their stock back on it, or if you are wanting an authentic earlier wild look, stick a few thousand metres of ice on it.

    Premier Icon ianbradbury
    Full Member

    I know fine grouse aren’t cage reared, although the manipulation of vegetation and destruction of “vermin” to ensure an oversupply cause a lot of problems. I was just trying to point out that shooting could still exist without the cage rearing of pheasant and partridge.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    I enjoy the skill of using a gun properly, but unless it’s for the pot, it’s not necessary to kill anything.

    So how do you propose farmers protect their crops or livestock from pests?

    I know fine grouse aren’t cage reared, although the manipulation of vegetation and destruction of “vermin” to ensure an oversupply cause a lot of problems. I was just trying to point out that shooting could still exist without the cage rearing of pheasant and partridge.

    Ah okay.

    In partridges case they needn’t be cage reared if the land was properly managed and they were allowed to thrive again. Dunno about pheasants, I think they survive through dumb luck tbh.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    @epicyclo – the BBC programme (I think it was Prof Iain Stewart presenting) was pretty scathing about much of the guardianship of the Highlands since the start of the Clearances. The Glenfeshie estate factor was as diplomatic as he could be about the typical clientele that turned up: “rich, drunk, fat b*****s!” (not his exact words but pretty much everything but). I don’t think I’d want a drunk in charge of a high powered rifle anywhere near me! Incidentally, Glenfeshie Estate owner Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife Anne lost three of their four children in the 2019 Easter massacre in Sri Lanka.

    Yeah, rewilding. Sounds nice but just where are you turning the clock back to? 9th July 1654? 6th September 1426? The Highlands, and many other upland areas, used to have much, much bigger populations than they do now. During F&M in 2001 it was thought that much of the Lakes might revert to scrub if there weren’t enough stock left to return to the fells. What we see as permanent is anything but.

    You can’t have it all, ground nesting and song birds in abundance etc etc – and not control the species which predate them of which there are huge numbers.

    The predator – prey relationship is one that will balance out, too many predators and their own population will suffer though it tends not to be quite that dramatic. The one predator to which this doesn’t apply is: us. I’ve seen it said that we are a super-predator, we have both the skill and capacity to over hunt in a way that “natural” predators don’t, indeed can’t. One exception might be the fox in a chicken coop where it reacts to the fright of the birds by killing them. Red deer only have us as predator so there’s going to be some form of stalking/hunting to keep their numbers in check. I’ve been above Blair Atholl and seen a hillside “move” due to the size of the deer herd, as a farmer there’s no way I’d stock that land with a fifth of the number of animals, possibly even less.

    Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    Rewilding is an interesting concept, I’ve read Wilding, and though I can see the merits in part, it’s so complex – who knows where you’d start, what you’d prioritise, or what point in the past you want to return to with it?

    To my mind, large scale driven shooting and land management that prioritises one species for sport at the expense of all other species, pursuits, and wider access is just another example of human excess and greed which we’re now realising is hugely damaging the planet.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    squirrelking
    So how do you propose farmers protect their crops or livestock from pests?

    Did you miss the previous sentence about vermin eradication?

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    I didn’t but since you can eat a wild pig that doesn’t tell me anything about your stance on corvids and rodents. Especially when you say if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t be killing it.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    @squirrelking

    When I wrote that, I figured it was unnecessary to qualify the statement because I thought the previous sentence made it clear that I was not arguing against shooting pests.

    I forgot STW is the place where pedants come for a rest from disputing how many angels fit on a pinhead.

    I humbly apologise for my forgetfulness and my lack of clarity.

    whitestone
    …Yeah, rewilding. Sounds nice but just where are you turning the clock back to? 9th July 1654? 6th September 1426? The Highlands, and many other upland areas, used to have much, much bigger populations than they do now….

    When you look at the number of fortifications on high ground in remote parts of the Highlands, and then consider the infrastructure that had to exist to construct and maintain them, it’s plainly obvious that there was once a large population.

    An example that puzzles me is near Forsinard, That’s in the so called Flow Country, ie soggy peat bog. There’s the ruins of a whopping great fort on Ben Griam Beg. All the surrounding flat land is peat bog. I can’t imagine it was like that when the fort was there because why defend a peat bog.

    If it was a fort it would have existed for a reason, there would have been many mouths to feed, and therefore a surrounding population to service it.

    One theory is that it is instead a deer trap, but it’s huge and would have needed a lot of labour to build. Surely the bog would not sustain enough deer to justify such a huge trap.

    I’m pretty sure the landscape was much different when there were people on it, and nothing like what the re-wilders fondly imagine.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Depends when you go back to for your rewilding! 5000 years ago when they were building stone circles was before the peat developed.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    but I hope that sustainable shooting and environmental management that does benefit wild, native species has a role to play in the future.

    there is no shooting that benefits native species. some native species there is a big enough population to sustain hunting but that is very different

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Free Member

    Yeah, rewilding. Sounds nice but just where are you turning the clock back to? 9th July 1654? 6th September 1426?

    None of those things. Rewilding in Scotland as far as I’ve read is simply about increasing biodiversity from the point we are at now, not an attempt to recreate the world as it was.

    There are many versions of rewilding. In some areas of Scotland, whole landscapes are being transformed by giving nature more space and freedom to allow forests, wetlands and peatlands to regenerate. Wild animals are being reintroduced to roam unimpeded across a seamless landscape, shaped and governed by natural processes. Elsewhere in towns and cities, passionate communities are working together to create more space for bats, bees and butterflies, in parks, gardens and public spaces.

    The vision that unites rewilding at these different scales, is one of restoration and recovery; a commitment to return abundance and diversity of life to Scotland’s land and seas.

    Rewilding is a journey that offers space for everyone. At its heart is a bold and ambitious new relationship with nature; an extraordinary opportunity to stitch back together an intricate tapestry of life.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    piemonster
    …Rewilding in Scotland as far as I’ve read is simply about increasing biodiversity from the point we are at now…

    In typical STW fashion we’ve veered off topic, but I’ll take us a bit further OT.

    My object to rewilding is precisely that the proponents do not include humans in that biodiversity.

    The land has been occupied by humans and their stock since the ice receded. My objection to the term is it continues the erasure of the Highland Clearances. It’s the removal of humans and their cattle that has turned the landscape into its current form.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    @squirrelking

    When I wrote that, I figured it was unnecessary to qualify the statement because I thought the previous sentence made it clear that I was not arguing against shooting pests.

    I forgot STW is the place where pedants come for a rest from disputing how many angels fit on a pinhead.

    I humbly apologise for my forgetfulness and my lack of clarity.

    You forgot the bit about being unable to sustain a civil conversation.

    there is no shooting that benefits native species. some native species there is a big enough population to sustain hunting but that is very different

    I assume by “shooting” you are referring to the driven shooting rather than in general.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    No – all shooting ( apart from vermin control) You do not conserve a species by shooting it.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    @epicyclo – pre-Clearances Highland life was only just above subsistence levels, there was some trade as witnessed by the old drove roads but in the main it was grow (and hunt) what you needed. Wanted a deer for the pot? No problem, head out and get yourself, and your clan, one.

    Now wild deer “belong” to the estates on whose land they wander and taking one is a crime.

    We are all complicit to some degree in this: we appreciate the Highlands as they currently are, as we’ve known them in our own lifetimes – the shortbread tin version. Putting humans back where they historically were means development, houses, roads, etc. and we can’t be having that can we? Neither can we just leave nature to recover, the damage is too great, we’ve knocked the ecosystems so far out of balance they can’t get back. So, ironically, for any “wilding” to take place it has to be managed: stalking of deer; introduction of persecuted species and so on. It won’t be quick either – the Cairngorms regeneration project is looking at 250 years, that’s committing ten generations to the idea.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Epicyclo is right tho. Any part of rewilding must include people. The land needs a usage and people otherwise the whole country becomes a giant park.

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