What they say 4:

On yesterday’s Countryfile programme: Richard Ali, Chief Executive of BASC (c15mins 30secs into the programme):

‘...it’s not an enjoyment based on killing, it’s an enjoyment to respect the countryside. Shooting is about not just the history of Britain, it’s about an innovative future.’

Although it was delivered with an earnest tone and a deeply serious demeanour, that was a pretty incoherent answer to the point that some people will just regard killing wildlife for pleasure as simply wrong.

I feel some sympathy for Richard here – I’d struggle to explain why I am mad keen on watching wildlife, but I think I’d do better on that subject than he did on explaining why some are mad keen on gunning it down.

Shooting living targets is not how I would spend my leisure time, nor is it the way I would ‘respect the countryside’, but, to a large extent, each to his own. And yet the overall impact of one particular form of game-shooting, driven grouse shooting, is negative for wildlife populations and for landscape, on the whole, said the RSPB in the same programme.

That’s why, allied to the deeply intransigent attitude of grouse shooting to the negative impacts of their ‘respect’ of the countryside, I believe we should ban driven grouse shooting – that is a truly innovative future.  If you agree, then please sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.



13 Replies to “What they say 4:”

  1. typical from BBC – gives advocates of those with an interest in conserving a lifestyle of fun-killing, plenty of air-time but those with a logical, science-based arguement, far less.
    It’s a bit like the Tobacco industry doing whatever it takes to keep their revenue streams running – we just need to wake up as a nation and stop believeing that our country will come to a halt if so called predator, pest & vermin isn’t controlled. The fact that it’s been happening for centuries doesn’t make it good. Bit like centuries of ivory poaching or abuse of those most vulnerable.
    At the root of this is a sector of society who enjoy what they do and believe they have a right to do so irreespective of the impact this might be having on ecosystems. Now clay shooting or target shooting is a completely different ball-game in my opinion.

    As for the BBC – another great big boo-hiss from me.

  2. The BBC totally failed to look at the whole picture. When the guy was explaining how they help wildlife, the question back should have been “& a diversity of species thriving?”.
    The shooting industry is selective in the answers.
    Song birds have thrived alongside natural predators for far more years then we have been around. You mess with habitat, chemicals, predators, rear & release, etc., you mess with the whole balance of nature.
    Humans – we muck about, take it all as a right to do with as we please, and almost always mess the whole system up!

  3. Of course it’s about enjoying killing! There may be other enjoyable things about shooting such as talking animals &c but you don’t have to pull the trigger. Shoot with a camera not with a gun!!

  4. If people are against shooting wildlife then surely it’s only right to consider and promote not shooting it? (Mark – if you still think this is not relevant feel free not to publish it.)

    People who use practical alternatives to killing wildlife are not ‘murderers’ but the fact is such an approach does tread on the toes of people in the wildlife protection industry.

    I have received some very venomous responses from pro shooters – including one that comments on here – for my ‘no kill’ approach to wildlife. However nothing like the blistering attacks I get from people who are against killing.

    In my opinion suggesting that maybe as an alternative to going out with ten men with shotguns and gunning down herds of wild mammals – not killing any might in some circumstances be a better approach – is highly relevant to the issues being discussed on this blog.

    You won’t like this Mark [Mark – I don’t mind it Giles]- but the fact is sometimes in some circumstances wildlife can be managed better without gunning it down.

    People should watch this video and ask is this really necessary or should ways of managing wildlife that do not include the use of guns at least be considered?


    1. I actually think Giles is talking a lot of sense here.

      “the fact is sometimes in some circumstances wildlife can be managed better without gunning it down” – who would disagree with that?

      And what is going on in that video is terrible.

      Isn’t there a ‘shoo not shoot’ initiative? Ie just scaring problem wildlife off rather than killing it?

    2. Keep going. Laws an ass. You’d be welcome over this end coursing hare anytime.

  5. I thought it was about par for the course from both BASC (Who are supposed to be the good guys in shooting) and Countryfile who only ever scratch the surface and their researchers must be poor because Tom Heap rarely asks the right questions.

  6. Yes he seemed a little too good to be a neutral unless he shoots only clays or the programme was very well cut!

  7. National Hunt racing is a cruel sport. I struggle to understand why some people still pay to watch it.

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