A response, of a kind, from Defra

1408 p001 cover_with comp v2.inddOur e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting passed 16,800 signatures yesterday. Thank you to all who have signed.

Yesterday also saw Defra’s response to the e-petition – earned when the 10,000th person signed the e-petition (but it has taken a while).

I’m not much impressed by the response. Are you? I’ll tell you why not later in the week (probably Friday) as I am a bit busy just now.

This evening I will be ‘debating’ with Andrew Gilruth of the GWCT on the subject of driven grouse shooting.  Tickets may still be available but I know they are going fast.


13 Replies to “A response, of a kind, from Defra”

  1. A rather odd response that does not once directly address the central proposal of the petition. To state: “our position is that people should be free to undertake lawful activities should they wish to do so” may be true as a generalisation but it rather avoids the fact that the petition is asking for a change in the law; clearly the Government is not opposed in principle to changing laws as it does so quite frequently, so they should say why in this case they do not consider a change necessary (given that they clearly do not wish to make a change).
    It seems to me that the response is full of diversionary tactics. Yes it is great that Red Kite, buzzard and Peregrine numbers have gone up (though increases in the latter are well away from grouse moors!) but it is not relevant to why Hen Harrier numbers are so low or to the role of grouse moor management in this. Likewise it is good to know that there is an intent to restore peatlands but this does not address the question of whether heather burning for grouse management is detrimental to peatlands, water quality and flood risk.

  2. Disappointing but just what was expected from a government that doesn’t care about environment. It reads as though they are doing everything possible to put things right, all the usual drivel about the joint plan, all the usual statements about how well the Hen Harrier did this year. Doesn’t fill you with confidence but we have to keep fighting for this magnificent bird, so keep spreading the word and let’s push for 100,000 signatures.

  3. No, I’m not impressed either. Defra is clearly in thrall to the shooting industry. Much of this response reads like it’s been copied and pasted from a GWCT press release. It might as well be renamed Department for Rural Landowners and Business.

  4. Spouts hearsay and ignores science evidence.

    There is general acceptance in peer reviewed science that the generic term “grouse moor management” includes raptor persecution and that overall, it is bad for biodiversity and therefore bad for conservation.
    We need to challenge their enormous assertions and stop this drivel being repeated as Government endorsed fact.

  5. If you are having a chat with the great body of conservation knowledge that represents the moor burners of this world…please ask where our juniper has gone? Have any of their biodiversity improvements ever benefited a single plant…other than Calluna vulgaris? Do plants not count?

  6. Let’s have a break down on the £250 million and see where it really comes from and you will find it is mostly from our tax.

  7. This Government doesn’t care about our wildlife & the land it resides on. Look at fracking. We need a government that is going to protect our natural world. The time to change in the GE 2015, so if any MP’s are reading this get your act together and start getting it out there so people can see what your policies are. We will never have change while the Tories are in power because I’m assuming most of the landowners and people who shoot support them.

  8. Bland reiteration of stuff we mostly already know, rather than addressing the specific concerns put forward. Typical of the kind of policy repetition I get from my own Tory MP when responding to my letters on environmental issues. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if for once there was a more mature “promise to consider the issues further, with a view to taking some new actions to help solve this serious problem”!!

  9. Concur with Jonathan Wallace. I note that Defra’s first comment was about money! That says it all really.
    Whether on purpose or just out of ignorance, Defra just don’t understand environmental issues. Their attitude to wildlife is frankly reckless. I too hope the petition reaches 100,000 but it seems a long way off at the moment.

  10. A minor thing but don’t you just love it when they say they are spending billions on agri environment funding when it all comes from Europe courtesy of effective lobbying by RSPB and partners

  11. Mark, I hope many of your followers will be interested in reading the reply to Defra’s response to your e-petition published yesterday by Raptor Politics. I feel their reply is rational and factual. To make the point that raptors on moorland where red grouse are shot are not safe at all, Raptor Politics have published a selection of my own images depicting a proportion of the peregrine eyries that had been occupied until 2009/2010 on just a single moorland region of England where red grouse are shot. These disappearances are taking place throughout all moorland regions in northern England where red grouse are shot, and not just here in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, we should all be concerned.

    Of the 18 sites that existed just 4 years ago in Bowland, this year only 5 peregrine sites remained active of which only one nest was productive. The number of sites images published does not represent the complete number of abandoned territories in this Lancashire region, at least 4 additional breeding sites are missing for some reason. Having viewed these images I am confident your readers will get the picture.


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