To Andy Sawford MP
I hope this finds you well.
I am writing to enlist your support in getting some information out of Defra – in fact, I wonder whether you could check whether anyone is at home in that department.
I have made several FOI requests to Defra via my blog and Twitter which have not received a reply nor even been acknowledged, so I wonder whether you could ask Defra for the following information, please?
Please supply me with copies of any communications (emails or letters dated 1 April – 14 October 2014) between Defra and the participants in the Defra Hen Harrier Sub-Group of the Uplands Stakeholder Forum concerning Hen Harriers and/or grouse shooting and/or the progress on the drafting of a joint report.
Did a Minister see and approve the Defra response to John Armitage’s e-petition on the licensing of grouse moors? If so, which Minister?
Did a Minister see and approve the Defra response to my e-petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting? If so, which Minister?
What interests, financial or otherwise, do current or past Defra Ministers have personally (including through close family) in grouse shooting in the UK? Please cover the period 2012 to the present.
I’d be very grateful for your help at getting to the bottom of what Defra’s doing on the subject of protecting the Hen Harrier in England through answers to these questions. There should be over 300 pairs of this bird nesting in northern England but this year there were just four. The difference, over 300 pairs of a fully protected bird, is due to illegal persecution by grouse shooting interests. This might well be a subject for the Labour Party manifesto – how about a ban on driven grouse shooting? Over 18,000 people have signed my e-petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting mentioned above. You’ll find that it is the 19th most-signed of all e-petitions currently available for signature on the No 10 website.