I received an email from someone I admire and trust last week and he (for it is a he) has agreed that I can quote him as follows:
Well done for stirring up on the subject of driven grouse-shooting. I have not been against this activity until recently but have substantially changed my opinion in the last few months because of:
1. The continuing flow of raptor persecution incidents, the low frequency with which prosecutions result and the inadequacy of the penalties laid on convicted miscreants.
2. Realization that nightime shooting, now so easy because of access tracks, quadbikes. and better lamps, including infrared viewing kit, is almost undetectable because few people other than keepers are on the hills at night. Perhaps shooting of raptors is widespread and the poisoners are the minority, who happen to be daft enough to employ a method that is likely to leave evidence.
3. Checking two former Peregrine nest-sites for the national survey, on an Estate that is heavily managed for grouse, with a virtual monoculture of heather. Total sightings of raptors were a Buzzard and a possible Merlin in 16 hours fieldwork. Lots of legal and well-cared-for snares, mustelid traps and crow-traps. But why are there so few raptors? And not a lot of other birds. My own study areas and their surroundings, elsewhere in the same county, despite being at higher altitude, hold more – they are not managed for grouse
4. Informal conversations, including conversations with keepers, that suggest to me that illegal persecution, far from being the work of a few rogues, is perhaps practiced by the majority of shooting estates.
5. Attending various conferences, the talks by the grouse-shooting interests were as influential in convincing me against their case as were the opposed talks.
6. George Monbiot’s writing on the finances underpinning driven shooting.
If you feel the same or similarly then you might well want to sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.
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