No, not those nice people who fix your car by the side of the road, not those nice people who help you give up the booze, but those people, who sent me thousands of postcards disapproving, in no uncertain terms, of the RSPB’s position on culling Ruddy Ducks many years ago – Animal Aid.
Animal Aid have published a report, updating a previous one, on the ills of grouse shooting – called Calling the Shots 2014.
Animal Aid’s two campaign aims are to remove public subsidies for grouse moor management and to licence grouse shooting estates. They’ve gone a bit soft since the old days!
But isn’t it interesting how suddenly things are changing, and a swell of opinion is building. It’s as though lots of people have been too scared to talk about grouse shooting and its ills for ages and now they all feel a little bit empowered to do so.
So we have:
- the National Trust changing management on their land in the Peak District away from intensive grouse shooting because they need to deliver public goods rather than what their tenants want from life,
- the RSPB saying that the nett impacts of driven grouse shooting are negative
- M&S conceding that they should bow to consumer demands (and the difficulty of sourcing Hen-Harrier-friendly grouse) and take it off their shelves,
- the Ethical Consumer magazine calling for boycotts of companies associated with grouse shooting,
- hundreds of people planning to attend three Hen Harrier Day events across the country in 10 days or so,
- millions of people going to receive social messages about the plight of the Hen Harrier on Hen Harrier Day,
- Birdwatch magazine putting ‘Stop killing our Harriers’ on their August cover
- Animal Aid want subsidies removed from grouse shooting
- a petition to ban driven grouse shooting gaining more public support than two previous petitions on vicarious liability and licensing. Please sign if you haven’t already.
And the response from the grouse shooting community is…?
No realisation that they have to change. No admission of error. No public sign of contrition. Just silence…
…silence…the sound of intransigence.
…silence…the sound of arrogance.
…silence…the sound of the world leaving them behind.