Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 103 total)
  • Raptors being shot and poisoned in large numbers.
  • Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    This popped up on my news feed earlier today, seems that, because the countryside hasn’t got loads of people tramping all over it, some people are seeing that as giving them carte blanche to go out and slaughter protected species.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/15/rspb-flooded-with-reports-of-birds-of-prey-being-killed?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    I’m beyond seething about this, it’s time that big fines are handed out to any landowner when dead birds, shot or poisoned, are found on their land; by not making it clear to any of their staff that this behaviour is absolutely forbidden they’re effectively condoning it – out of sight, out of mind. 🤬

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Subscriber

    predictable behavior. they are utter shites.

    However given the number of tagged birds the evidence is going to be there and this must surely mean the end of intensive grouse moors.

    Licensing is on its way and that alters the burden of proof. They will get theirs.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Yep all grouse moors around where I live and in 4 years of being out weekly I have seen a raptor once – a little owl in 2016. It’s just amazing that there’s a plentiful food source, lots of open moor and woodland for them but not a single buzzard / kite / harrier etc.

    A few times through last winter and spring the idiots burnt the moors when there was an inversion, sending clouds of smoke down the hill covering the town. I was a bit wheezy, it was awful for anyone with serious respiratory issues. It did cause a bit of a fuss locally. The grouse moor fans main arguments were:

    – It employs people. Yes all 3 of them. The nearby chemical plant that employs 500+ would be shut down in an instant and prosecuted if they blanketed the town in smoke for several days because it boosted their production to burn stuff. It would make national or even international news.

    – We’ve always done it. The old appeal to tradition, justified on the basis of the 3 jobs noted above and that purple heather looks quite pretty. No note of opportunity cost of using the land in this way, or other harms.

    – You just don’t understand our country ways. The last stand of the fox hunters and grouse botherers.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    I though there was something about them having a period of time to demonstrate they could self-regulate, and if they can’t, licensing will happen?

    Not surprising,

    Premier Icon nickc
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    and this must surely mean the end of intensive grouse moors.

    What have you been smoking…How many seats advantage does this Tory government have again? Oh yeah, that’s right; 80. Nothing will happen .

    Spin
    Member

    Friend of a friend story but…

    A mate told me of a friend of his who works in environmental protection mainly around fish farms.

    He said that from the beginning of lockdown people were taking the opportunity of decreased scrutiny to engage in all sorts bad and even illegal practice. This sounds much the same.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Did you think all of those path closure signs were about preventing infection?

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Nickc
    It’s a devolved matter. It will happen in Scotland and much of the land in England is leased not owned so landlord can stop it

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    I’ve a real concern that as we get back out into some ‘wild’ places, paths will remain ‘closed’ and some landowners will use the opportunity.

    I’ve one local desolate moor I can think of already, who have multiple police warnings over the last 10 years.

    Premier Icon brads
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    It came from the RSPB so I don’t believe one single word of it.

    RSPB making an advantage for themselves probably.

    Premier Icon csb
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    The shooting industry knows that the evidence of their complicity in wildlife crime and flood exacerbation is now very compelling.

    It feels like they’ve seen covid as an opportunity to eradicate their raptor problems en masse, almost like their industry bodies have said go for it.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    It’s a devolved matter. It will happen in Scotland

    Not while Fergus Ewing is still in Government. 😁

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
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    Let me start by emphasising that I am utterly against the practice of Raptor Persecution. It is utterly abhorrent and unnecessary. It’s a legacy of greed and callous disregard for nature, and I am aware that it does persist in certain areas. The majority of the UK’s shooting organisations oppose it vocally, and encourage their members to report and disassociate themselves from estates and organisations where such criminality is suspected.

    That said, take a moment to think about a slightly different perspective. Organisations such as the RSPB, Raptor Persecution UK and LACS have a history of deliberate misinformation. Their agenda is to stop the practice of game shooting, and have gone about this in a number of ways. Raptor persecution has become a poster boy for further attempts to draw public opinion towards their stance, and at a time when the shooting community is trying to put its house in order, this current release smacks of just such an example.

    At this time of year farmers and sporting landowners are waging a campaign of predator control to protect livestock, crops and indicator species such as ground-nesting birds. Corvids and foxes can and do cause immense harm to lambs, nesting songbirds, poultry, and ground nesting birds such as plover, curlew and grouse. Trapping and shooting foxes and corvids are perfectly legal, albeit regulated by means of legislation.

    The above organisations are aware that due to the lockdown, a great number of people have been taking exercise in the countryside, and are seeing, perhaps for the first time a Larsen or ladder trap, fox trap or even perhaps tunnel traps to catch rats and mustelids.

    By releasing reports of “increased persecution” LACS and Raptor Persecution know only too well that the general public will conflate the two issues, and report the placing of traps as “suspected raptor persecution.” Whatever the outcome of any investigation into the placing of the trap, the organisations will use the “increased reports” as evidence that the problem is worsening. They will also use the lack of prosecution as a means to further their conspiracy theories that the landowners are “getting away with it”.

    jimw
    Member

    Methinks one doth protest too much.
    Conspiracy theories abound on both sides of the argument

    ‘Organisations such as the RSPB, Raptor Persecution UK and LACS have a history of deliberate misinformation’

    Cite?

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    Let’s be clear, these gamekeepers (for that is who is doing the killing) aren’t the brightest buttons and there is evidence through stink pits, tagged carcasses and smashed trackers that raptor deaths are happening. It’s not speculation. The statutory agencies do know what’s happening.

    Premier Icon rhinofive
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    I live and ride in a part of the country with both more game birds (mainly pheasants), rabbits and birds of prey of all shapes and sizes than you can shake a stick at; its only when I go riding in Yorkshire or Northumberland that it hits me that I never see them as roadkill at home as I do there…….either my local wildlife is so much better at not getting run over or something is keeping numbers of birds of prey* down up there?

    *yes I know about crows

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    There is no misinformation from the conservation side

    There is from the shooting side

    The data is clear and precise and proves beyond doubt that raptors are killed on grouse moors

    Premier Icon ajaj
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    It came from the RSPB so I don’t believe one single word of it.

    report the placing of traps as “suspected raptor persecution.”

    The RSPB are reporting 15 confirmed shootings. That should be easy enough to verify, is unlikely to be accidental and that particular part of the story isn’t about traps. They don’t say whether that is an increase on normal.

    The statutory agencies do know what’s happening.

    If they know who’s shooting then one should be asking hard questions of the firearms licensing.

    Premier Icon Caher
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    Happens a lot in south-west Ireland also, as they have been trying to reintroduce the sea eagle and the farmers poison them, as they fear their lambs will be taken.

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Ajaj knowing and proving in court are two different things

    Premier Icon dannyh
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    Did you think all of those path closure signs were about preventing infection?

    I didn’t. It was mainly to do with taking an opportunity to exclude people. Either for NIMBY reasons or to engage in nefarious practices out of sight.

    I’ve a real concern that as we get back out into some ‘wild’ places, paths will remain ‘closed’ and some landowners will use the opportunity.

    This will definitely happen in some places.

    Organisations such as the RSPB, Raptor Persecution UK and LACS have a history of deliberate misinformation. Their agenda is to stop the practice of game shooting, and have gone about this in a number of ways. 

    That could really do with a citation of some kind.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Fannying around with failed prosecutions for raptor killing is only skirting around the edges of the problem anyway. It’s about time these upland deserts were eradicated.

    Premier Icon OwenP
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    I understood the issue to be a bit of a challenge about identifying those actually responsible too – I might be a bit out of date on this though.

    I remember reading quite an interesting discussion that estate owners/managers would essentially push their workforce towards illegal practices, but disown them if caught or prosecuted (but then replace them and start again). Rural workers, according to this discussion, didn’t have much choice but to please the estate managers when practices like raptor eradication were suggested/insinuated, as their ability to be employed elsewhere was limited and housing and other benefits could be tied to the job. Not sure how many cases this applies to, but seems plausible.

    Might explain some of the complexity around securing prosecution and driving down the bad practices, got to get to the right people? Some of these cases will just be sheer bloodymindedness and stupidity though.

    rydster
    Member

    **** game hunting. Same as fox hunting. It’s a dinosaur practice.

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Scapegoat

    You do know that estates where gamekeepers have been successfully prosecuted remain members of the various shooting groups

    I’ll post up the proven cases of raptor persecution later

    I’d like to see some evidence for your assertion that the conservationist make stuff up

    Premier Icon failedengineer
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    Surely the way to stop this once and for all is prison for the gamekeeper AND his boss? That would concentrate their minds? Do they need a licence for a shoot? If so, permanent loss of that, too.
    There are millions of pheasants round here (Brampton, Cumbria) at the moment, the roads are littered with corpses. The raptors should be having a field day. There are a few buzzards, but not that many. I saw a Red Kite this morning, being chased off by a curlew though, which was nice.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    It’s about time these upland deserts were eradicated.

    Absolutely.

    I would shoot 3/4 of the deer and end the grouse moor/keeping immediately. They can also stop shooting the hares, help reintroduce beaver and consider some very large enclosures for boar and lynx.

    It would also need a 20 year grant scheme to keep the workers employed and estates building a more balanced environment, to the benefit of us all.

    After that, another 10 years of support for sustainable tourism and innovative land use.

    **** game hunting. Same as fox hunting. It’s a dinosaur practice.

    Not even close to similar, it may attract a similar crowd but absolutely not the same.

    Premier Icon dannyh
    Subscriber

    Has anyone got back with examples of conservation groups making stuff up yet?

    No?

    Given the vested interests of grouse shooting estates, their clientele and their connections in the establishment, I think it would have been a double page spread in the Torygraph or Mail and/or a high profile court case or two.

    I smell something fishy. And I’m not talking about the contents of a recently deceased, poisoned osprey’s stomach….

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    @OwenP Isn’t that the whole point of licensing the property rather than the people?

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Yes
    The point of licensing is that it’s both vicarious liability in raptors killed on the estate you lose your licence and it’s a civil burden of proof not criminal
    Law abiding estates and there are some have nothing to fear
    The criminals lose their business

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Same lying criminal mentality squirrelking

    Er, what? Last I checked it was perfectly legal to shoot game (in season) for one. For another game shooting doesn’t chasing it down with hounds before killing it. Then not actually eating it.

    So, in response to the original point, no, not at all similar.

    And extra points for tarring all with the same brush, bravo. Resorting to lazy generalisations is always a good way to present a convincing case.

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    Then not actually eating it.

    That isnt necessarily true of game shooting either. With the overstocking and changes in eating habits prices have plummeted and been plenty of cases of the birds just being thrown away.

    Surely the way to stop this once and for all is prison for the gamekeeper AND his boss?

    Scotland has Vicarious liability (no prison for the boss though and very unlikely for the gamekeeper). Sadly it doesnt seem to have had much effect.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    It came from the RSPB so I don’t believe one single word of it.

    RSPB making an advantage for themselves probably.

    I’m still waiting for a verified citation to back that statement up with some facts.
    The slaughter of raptors is based on the claim that they cause huge losses of birds bred to be shot by rich people for sport first, food second.
    Has anyone been able to obtain real figures to support any significant financial loss due to predation? By this I mean exact number of birds raised per year, minus exact number accounted for by shooting, because there are always going to be significant numbers that have been bred but escape being shot, so effectively remain on the moors, so any predation would really only impact that latter number. Frankly, I’m not at all convinced that predation impacts on the shooting estates bottom line at all, or not to any great extent, because, as a business, they must know how many birds are shot per year, so they know how many to breed to allow for ‘wastage’, ie escapes plus predation; if they can’t work that out, and even I ought to be able to do that, given information gathered over years of operations, then they really don’t deserve to keep going! I mean, just how difficult is it to breed pheasants and grouse in large commercial quantities? They manage to breed chickens and turkeys by the million, there’s little difference, so being able to breed game birds in large enough numbers to sate the blood-lust of entitled ****wits with guns and leave more than enough to cover losses through predation shouldn’t be bloody rocket-science!
    I’m sure slaughtering raptors is just a habit they enjoy and refuse to give up, because that would be persecution and denial of their traditions as ‘country folk’.
    Bull-fighting is increasingly seen as an anachronism, and will cease to be pretty soon, it’s time that game shooting as an entitlement for the wealthy should go the same way.

    I mean, just how difficult is it to breed pheasants and grouse in large commercial quantities? They manage to breed chickens and turkeys by the million, there’s little difference,

    Sorry, whilst I agree with your overall point that’s just nonsense and shows a great deal of ignorance (and I know next to sod all). For one grouse are not bred in captivity, they can’t, so are kept out on the hills. The problem with this is they pick up parasites which can adversely effect them, more so after mild wet winters. This in turn reduces numbers.

    Of course that in itself is an argument that they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    I mean, just how difficult is it to breed pheasants and grouse in large commercial quantities?

    Pheasants not very. Hence why they are bred and released in their millions (no one is quite sure how many are bred and released in the UK but figures vary from 35-50 million between them and partridges and its mostly pheasants). Vast majority of pheasants you will see are captive bred and released although there is a small population from those which make it through the season.
    Grouse on the other hand very. Even on a small scale people find it hard and certainly not at the commercial level. So the only real way is to manipulate the environment around the native population to ensure that as many chicks as possible live long enough to get shot and then keep enough back for the next years shooting.

    On the predation front. One fairly convincing argument I have seen is that the gamekeepers dont want the raptors around come shooting time since a raptor overhead at the wrong time might spook the targets in the wrong direction or just have them keep their heads down.

    dyna-ti
    Member

    Were it grey squirrels, that would be perfectly acceptable it seems.

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