The latest, blog #5, in Ruth Tingay’s series of Guest Blogs on the fascinating meeting organised by the GWCT back in November was notable for its revelation from Mark Oddy of Buccleuch Estates that the estate, for he said he was speaking as Buccleuch Estates, want lethal control of raptors, initially under licence.
So Langholm 2 will end with the grouse shooters calling for wildlife protection to be lifted so that they can pursue their hobby of shooting birds for fun, just as Langholm 1 did. It hardly seems like progress – and it hardly seems that the science or the efforts of conservation organisations have been worth it, does it?
Oddy said ‘…we have to now grasp the nettle and try and put forward a case, which probably in the first instance under licence, will allow some type of lethal control…‘.
From what he says, it seems that Buccleugh Estates, is fed up with diversionary feeding of Hen Harriers and can’t stomach even thinking of diversionary feeding of Buzzards.
We have to assume, in the absence of any evidence either way (except that Oddy said he was speaking as Buccleuch Estates) that he was expressing the view of the Duke of Buccleuch, the UK’s largest private landowner. So it seems that we have the UK’s largest landowner wishing to kill birds of prey on his land in order that grouse shooting (in which it is said that His Grace himself is not very interested) can continue ‘profitably’. What sort of world do we live in?
Next we’ll hear, will we, that the Duke of Westminster, the only UK-born person in the top 10 of Sunday Times rich list, is desperate to be allowed to kill birds of prey at Abbeystead, his grouse moor in Lancashire?
Mr Oddy’s frankness (thanks to Ruth’s reporting of it here), is a clear indication that the grouse moor industry is not for compromising and wants to be able to do legally what has been done illegally on too many grouse moors for so long, and that is to kill birds of prey because, and only because, they eat things that people want to shoot for fun, and because those days of fun can be sold for lots of money.
As I spell out in Inglorious, in a way they are right. They are right in the sense that we all have to choose because you cannot, practically, have driven grouse shooting with the bags that the industry demands and have natural levels of birds of prey (or mammals of prey either). It’s one or the other.
Not surprisingly, the grouse shooting industry chooses grouse shooting at the expense of wildlife. I choose wildlife at the expense of grouse shooting (‘The logic is impeccable‘ – The Independent).
Which do you choose?
Whereas the landowners can have cosy chats with ministers north (see what Mark Oddy said) and south (see for example Inglorious pp152-53) of the border, your options are more limited. But what you can do, realising that you have a say in these things, and that you have a choice, is to choose to sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.