Just tell us how it could work

There are, it seems, several strong proponents for a Hen Harrier brood management scheme, which seem to number the GWCT, BASC, the Moorland Association, the National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Hawk and Owl Trust.

There are some people who are dead against the very idea of a brood management scheme, although not, as best I can tell, any major organisations, but I might be wrong.

In the middle (which isn’t necessarily the best place to be – but it is very British) are the RSPB and the North England Raptor Forum and myself (for what it’s worth).  We seem to be in the position of not really liking the idea of meddling with Hen Harrier nests but would be prepared to consider such an unpalatable scheme if we were convinced that it would (not could, would) do enough good for Hen Harriers (an almost-extinct breeding species in England).

It’s easy to see how a brood management scheme, depending on what it might look like, could be good for grouse shooters: if Hen Harrier chicks were taken off grouse moors then feasibly losses of Red Grouse chicks would be reduced and there could be more to shoot  (although GWCT seem to think that the Langholm study in progress is a failure so there is no reason to believe that vegetarian Hen Harriers would allow grouse shooting to be carried out there).  But it would depend on the scheme. So it is easy to see what GWCT, BASC, Moorland Association and NGO get out of it, but HOT?

It really is up to the proponents to explain to everyone else, particularly the people in the middle like me, how this scheme would be good for Hen Harriers. Andrew Gilruth of the GWCT failed in this regard in comments on this blog today. The Hawk and Owl Trust, whose Chair has got them into the position (bizarrely) of being prominent advocates for such a scheme, completely failed to explain it on their website (see here). Their credibility on the subject is currently rather low.

So the offer is open to anyone, from anywhere, to have a Guest Blog which explains the scheme and how it will work.  This blog should answer questions like:

  • who pays for it?
  • how much does it cost?
  • what happens to the Hen Harrier eggs/chicks/adults?
  • when would it start?
  • who would do it?
  • what happens if it succeeds and Hen Harrier numbers increase considerably?
  • would Hen Harrier numbers be capped in this scheme? If so, at what level?
  • how would it comply with domestic and EU wildlife legislation?

You may be able to suggest some other important questions.  I’m not looking for excessive detail but if the proposers of the scheme can’t between them sketch out a convincing explanation of what the scheme is and how it will work then they have clearly been wasting Defra’s time and that of the rest of us.

It would be surprising if Defra went ahead with a scheme whose proponents couldn’t make a decent attempt to answer these questions, so let’s hear the answers, please. GWCT? Hawk and Owl Trust? Moorland Association? Anyone?

By the way, if anyone has been telling Defra that this scheme has widespread public support then that is clearly untrue. Do Defra Ministers want to start another storm of protest just before a general election? They’d have to be pretty desperate to please their mates, or pretty sure of their ground, before they would do such a thing.

 

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41 Replies to “Just tell us how it could work”

  1. Mark – You will appreciate that in order to answer the many questions within the comments on your numerous recent blogs, a fair number of phone calls have had to be made to the relevant organisations. Which caused my delay in responding.
    1) Yes, a brood management scheme trial is a necessary component of the Hen Harrier recovery plan. As I am sure all are aware, the recovery plan is made up of six components including elements such as diversionary feeding. Interested parties cannot cherry pick which components of the recovery plan they want or don’t want. Like any package it is an all or nothing arrangement. As that long-serving and well-respected environmental journalist Charles Clover wrote in his article in the Sunday Times of 10th August last year, not accepting the brood management component of the recover plan breaks the peace plan, by imposing unilateral disarmament on the other side.
    2) Re the legality question – I spoke to Defra this morning and they tell me that as this is a trial, a licence for research can be issued relatively simply and straightforwardly under Section 16 (1a) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. The Hawk & Owl Trust Scientific Advisory Committee (Profs Newton, Thompson and Redpath) advise that a correct length of time for a research trial is likely to be five years. If the trial were to be successful a full breed management scheme could be started. If it were not successful – ie Hen Harrier numbers did not build up - that too would be a useful indicator as to the lack of effectiveness of brood management. If anyone had doubts about the legality of a brood management scheme trial, Defra tell me that they would be free to mount a legal challenge which the legal authorities say would be unlikely to succeed.
    3) Re the question about satellite tagged birds. Would any gamekeeper risk shooting a Hen Harrier in the knowledge that more and more birds were being satellite tagged? All gamekeepers must be aware of the huge amount of adverse publicity that accompanied the finding of shot birds. Who takes the risk nowadays of exceeding the speed limit when driving through a marked and obvious speed camera. Whether it has a film in it or not. The questions about the satellite tagging are somewhat technical. As we learnt at a most interesting talk at the BTO conference at Swanwick recently, technological developments in this area are moving on very fast. Which will prove to be hugely useful in following satellite tagged Hen Harriers.
    4) Re the data protection question. There is little doubt that the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Moorland Association and the National Gamekeepers Organisation have an equally strong interest in the naming and shaming of a member who broke the law and brought their organisation into disrepute. I have now spoken to all three organisations and they tell me that if one of their members member were convicted of killing a Hen Harrier, their identity would not be hidden behind protection legislation of the Data Protection Act and that they would fully co-operate with the Hawk & Owl Trust in answering any questions. But more importantly, the knowledge that the brood management scheme trial would end if this happened puts the shooting and grouse moor interests, together with the GWCT, MA and NGO, under enormous pressure to ensure that each and every one of their members is aware of this. This puts huge pressure on these three organisations. Can you imagine the enormous peer group pressure that will be put on grouse moor managers not to do the wrong thing.

    5) Mark – As you said in your blog of 19th January the ideal partner for a brood management scheme trial would be the Hawk & Owl Trust. I am pleased that you recognise the expertise that the Trust has in this area. When the Hawk & Owl Trust was asked if it would take on the responsibility for the brood management scheme trial element of the Hen Harrier recovery plan, I phoned a number of eminent figures in the conservation world to ask their view on the recovery plan package. Just about all said that it was perfectly feasible and the best way forward for reconciling the differences and for achieving a secure future for Hen Harriers in Northern England. Strangely all made much the same comment that this would depend on good will on both sides. One thing has become clear that goodwill from many of those who comment on your blog is in short supply. The large number of phone calls I have had over the last couple of days make the point that many of those who have posted comments are not representative of the wider conservation community. Which basically wants to see more Hen Harriers and more wildlife on the moors of Northern England. And want to see this conflict resolved for the benefit of Hen Harriers.
    6) One comment (from Stewart Abbott) made the point that he had only seen one Hen Harrier in his lifetime. How desperately sad. Yesterday, when I was wrestling with the intricacies of a water culvert at Elmley National Nature Reserve, a Ringtail gracefully glided over just a few feet up. That could have been a signal to me to do my best to ensure that the one and only significant initiative to resolve this human/human conflict for the long term benefit of Hen Harriers was not derailed by those who either want to see grouse shooting banned or want to perpetuate the conflict. Or both. How desperately sad and counter-productive it is of those who want to perpetuate conflict.
    7) Mark – I see that you have taken to describing me as a landowner presumably to try to identify me with the grouse moor owners. Let me remind your readers that I am the only individual landowner in the UK that is accredited as a Natural England “Approved Body” for the management of National Nature Reserves. Exactly the same accreditation as the RSPB, county Wildlife Trusts etc. Our two NNRs (Elmley and the Swale) are below sea level in Kent – ie a very long way from any grouse moor - and no, I don’t shoot and the only meaningful time I have spent on moorland has been to see the Langholm Project, to understand the principle and practice of diversionary feeding (two visits) and the 7000 acre Fylingdales nature reserve on the North York Moors that is managed by the Hawk & Owl Trust (several visits). I like to think of myself as both a landowner and a conservationist. To create a secure future for Hen Harriers the two interests have to be unified and united. That is the only way to create a genuine future for Hen Harriers.

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    1. Philip - you haven't said what 'it' is. You haven't described a brood management scheme. You have simply told us how great it is.

      That is a 'fail' as an explanation.

      Please feel free to have another go, and the offer is open to anyone else too.

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    2. Contrasting with most of the comments on this blog, I support the H&OT position on this. They deserve congratulating for agreeing to pursue a TRIAL into the efficacy of a technique which may at last move the situation in the right direction (i.e. more HHs).

      The entrenched views from BOTH sides of this argument only serve to harm the situation further.

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    3. Philip How do you intend to.carry out brood management when there are no broods to manage?! 4 breeding pairs this year could very easily be 4 failed pairs with a poor summer.
      Also you say any proof of persecution would result in HOT leaving the process, how do you define proof? I'm sure you are more than aware of how difficult it is to pin down those responsible for these acts, let alone get a conviction in a court of law. Would an incident such as 'Bowland Betty' where the bird was murdered in grouse moor country but nobody can prove by who be considered grounds for withdrawal?

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    4. Philip - if the readers of this blog are unrepresentative of the wider conservation community, I very much look forward to seeing this community line up behind the Hawk and Owl Trust. Speak up, conservation community! Please name the 'prominent figures' in this community, and the organisations themselves. Where are they all hiding?

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    5. Philip: just clarify one point for me - what satellite technology is emerging that'll enable one to be at the side of each and every harrier at the very point it's shot in order to gather the evidence that it's been shot before it gets shot?

      Beam me up Scotty

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    6. Philip, I respect (I think) your motivation, but this gets ever more surreal. If the HOT trustees gave this the careful consideration you indicated, why did you need to make any phone calls at all to answer Mark's questions? And then not answer them?

      If I understand your underlying position correctly, it is that hen harriers get killed because the incentive equation as perceived by gamekeepers drives that, despite that killing hen harriers is illegal. And that if the incentive equation were to be changed in the right direction then fewer hen harriers would be killed. With which I more or less agree.

      But your apparent conclusion that brood management is an important or even necessary part of that is, well, I'll use the word I used before - bonkers.

      One half of your conditionality for a scheme is based on satellite tagging. But it seems to me that you are either (a) irrationally optimistic about the relationship between tagging and prosecution - thus risking a charge of being naive, disingenuous or both, or (b) against the evidence, correct, in which case the incentives to illegal activity are sharply altered so why would we need a brood management scheme?

      And of course there are other and probably more realistic and less costly ways to change the equation, vicarious liability being but one of them.

      By the way, on (2), when you say 'legal authorities' you mean (at most) lawyers advising Defra and more probably, 'what Defra officials say their legal advisers would say if they were to ask them'. Curiously, the courts often seem to disagree with the advice government legal advisers give to the government. Certainly to the extent that HOT would be mad not to seek it's own legal advice.

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  2. Just obey the law and stop meddling. Let HHs recover on their own, and then if required re-introduce them to areas of the country where they do not spread on their own. Look to the success of the red kite!

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  3. All good questions relating to brood management but I'm also keen to hear how The Hawk and Owl Trust propose to address persecution before pursuing BM (their caveat). Have they discovered a new fangled method that hasn't been tried before (clearly the law itself hasn't prevented persecution)? The recent custodial slapped on Mr. Mutch, though welcome, is the exception rather than the rule.

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  4. Sorry Phillip,I cannot believe how such a clever person can be so naive and then try to make it sound realistic.
    Sat tagging will not stop a gamekeeper killing Hen Harrier,they almost certainly have done and taken no notice of the tags.just because it is not proven does not mean it has not happened.
    You say if a estate is convicted of a crime while doing brood management you will pull out.
    That is really rich,have you any idea of the loads of crimes they have committed and because they are in places it is difficult to police then they fail to get convicted.
    Your stance on this is just unrealistic and unworkable,Grouse Moor estates will not allow any Hen Harrier chicks when fully grown on their ground.

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  5. I'd like the HOT to explain how they feel those who are involved in the Grouse Shooting industry have changed their behaviour since the following statement was made... https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/hawk-and-owl-trust-official-statement-on-their-exit-from-hen-harrier-dialogue/
    I've asked this on Twitter twice but have been ignored....

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    1. You will not get a reply any time soon, the message will go up the chain of command then passed back down to the mouthpiece that is Lin Murray

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  6. Re. "capping" of HH numbers - surely this would be at odds with Andrew Gilruth's endlessly stated desire for "more Hen harriers"?
    Except, of course, BM isn't about increasing HH numbers; it's about creating socially (and legally) acceptable limitation of their impact on the grouse industry's bottom line. It's a greenwash.

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  7. Philip you seem to suggest that some of us that are against BM are trying to derail sensible solutions, the simple fact is if the Hen Harrier was left alone it would recover without the need for expensive schemes such as this one. The Hen Harrier is being percicuted, as are many of our raptors, at a devastating rate. If the landowners and gamekeepers stopped killing them they would recover. If BM was to work and increase Hen Harrier numbers what then? Calls from the shooting estates to cull or destroy nests? By letting the Hen Harrier recover at its own pace shooting estates would have more time to adapt their practices to live with greater numbers. Having said that I don't believe for one second that they would tolerate higher numbers, they can't live with 4 pairs now. I'm sorry but you are trying to climb into bed with an industry that has no interest in wildlife what so ever. It's all about the money, money, money.

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  8. This seems to me like an age old conflict where neither side wants to budge an inch (we do not negotiate with terrorists!), at least it appears the Hawk & Owl Trust are prepared to try and make something happen to improve the lot of Hen Harriers, rather than fence sitting and nothing changing.

    In this country we seem to always want to manage nature in every aspect (not something I agree with, unless perhaps it is controlling numbers of people who are the root cause of all the worlds issues), so why would we treat HH differently? If managing them with BM (without fully knowing what that would mean in terms of numbers etc.) allows there to be more in England then it has to be seen as a good move, yes many of us (me included) would rather see HH allowed to fully recover to levels that nature dictates (and many would like hunting fully banned) but at present that is not going to happen so we need to look at the next best solution until a time comes when we can move further.

    Compromise is not always a bad thing, perhaps starting with BM will allow for future changes, you never know the moorland managers might realise that the threat is not as big as they imagined and change sides (yeah I know highly unlikely).

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    1. Compromise is not always a bad thing...

      But then sometimes it is. If something's wrong, it's wrong. Slavery was wrong, so we abolished it. Discrimination on race grounds was legal but wrong, so we changed the law. Homosexuality was illegal, but this was wrong and now we have gay marriage.

      Managing a landscape for the production of a single species so that it can be shot in absurd numbers for fun and at the expense of so many other species is wrong. It's not just hen harriers; this is where the H&OT have perhaps understandably got it wrong, with their focus being on just increasing the number of hen harriers by even a tiny amount ("more than we have now") at any cost. The whole business needs to end. Brood management is a fig leaf for an indefensible sport/land use and the H&OT are collaborating in this. I am still a member, but not for much longer unless they can explain themselves quickly. Philip Merricks's efforts thus far have increased my disillusionment. I don't want to "perpetuate conflict" and reject his framing of my objection to driven red grouse shooting in this manner. I just want what's wrong consigned to history.

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  9. Comparisons with Northern Ireland sadly accurate. It's time to get the same mediators in. Brood management can only be part of a deal that includes total cessation of violence.....towards hen harriers.

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  10. It's interesting to see that the Hawk and Owl Trust have just closed the 'comment' facility on their web site 'brood meddling' post. Closing down the debate? Cheesed off with the robust comments they were receiving? Not keen on receiving or responding to robust questioning?

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  11. Accepting that HOT is well equipped to undertake brood management, I don't understand why Point 1 of the response is that BM is an essential part of the plan and that it has six parts which cannot be cherry picked. That presumes that there is an agreed plan that everyone knows about. If, as I understand it, the plan is still at a draft and negotiable stage then in fact nothing is fixed and discussions need to continue on brood management and other issues before anyone can talk about cherry picking or not.

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  12. It's mentioned that no gamekeeper would risk shooting a satellite tagged Hen Harrier, that didn't stop Skye & Hope not so long ago vanishing without trace on a grouse Moorland or is that simply forgotten now?!

    It just seems all BM will do is bring more Lambs to the Slaughter - surely it needs to be shown that the birds can survive before BM could work ?!

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  13. A few more questions:

    1. How far away from the nest sites on grouse moors will juvenile birds be released?

    2. Will the evidence standard necessary for confirming the effects of ongoing persecution be agreed in advance (avoiding the usual nonsense arguments about no convictions = no evidence being played out retrospectively)?

    3. Will sufficient monitoring resources made available to meet this evidence standard - noting that this would involve monitoring settling adults, foraging adults, harrier roosts and not just monitoring juvenile dispersal?

    4. If not all the stakeholders accept monitoring potential persecution as a key element of the scheme, as opposed to just those elements involving the movement of harrier chicks, will the scheme be cancelled - as its only lawful purpose is as a trial to increase harrier numbers (and not to protect grouse stocks)?

    If BM did fail due to persecution, it would be clear representatives of moorland groups could not speak for, or control, the individual owners and keepers who make up their membership. It would also be clear to a much greater sector of society, and just not an interested minority, that driven shooting of grouse was sustained through criminality. I hope it would work but, if done correctly, failure could also be a positive result.

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  14. Sat tagged harriers have been killed over grouse moors. How many of these incidents have resulted in prosecutions?

    Harrier shot, carcass recovered, tag destroyed, carcass buried....No evidence, no crime, no harrier. It is rank stupidity to believe that this will not continue to happen. In your analogy of the speeding cameras, you over looked the fact that the game keepers would speed past the camera, then go back and destroy the camera. Duh!

    Please explain... if harrier brood management is implemented how will this increase the other wildlife of the moorland... HOT believe there will be a few more harriers... but you have also suggested that other species will benefit. What other species and how?

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    1. Circis- I think red grouse is the other species that Philip has in mind - although their benefit would be short lived, so to speak.

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      1. So, acceptance of brood management condemns our entire moorland ecosystem to a existence as a biodiversity dessert (where's the concern about the many other species that they eradicate?), it promotes the release of sequestered carbon and will exacerbate flooding.
        Hen Harriers are only a small (but totemic) part of a much bigger problem.

        Conservation efforts need to be focussed at a much bigger scale and any acceptance of brood management for harriers simply diverts attention away from the bigger issues.
        Marks petition is the first real challenge to this unsustainable management, if the Hawk and Owl Trust were truly a conservation organisation then they would be seeking to conserve the habitats rather than trying than trying to maintain the status quo.

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        1. I think the Hawk and Owl Trust's proposed brood meddling will entrench, not merely maintain, the status quo.

          Essentially, you have an intensifying land-use - very high-yielding grouse moor management - being conducted within high-biodiversity nationally and internationally-important wildlife sites. This intensified land-use conflicts with the biodiversity value of these areas. Rather than moderate land management intensity to mitigate its impact upon one of the key features for which these sites are valued, the Hawk and Owl Trust is proposing to reduce this key biodiversity value to a level that is compatible with the intensive land use.

          There's a hard-won principle at stake here, which is that some areas are of sufficient wildlife value that we identify them and seek to moderate our activities within them in order to protect these wildlife values.

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  15. Mark - Sorry, I don't have much time to get involved with your blog today but am very willing to give quick answers to your eight questions listed above:
    #. Defra will pay for it.
    #. The cost will not be that much. Nowhere near the amount that one someone posted as a comment on your blog. The Hawk and Owl Trust's Scientific Advisory Ctte (Profs Newton, Thompson and Redpath) have suggested a figure to Defra but I am not sure that I am free to put that into the public domain.
    #. Chicks would be removed from a HH nest at about a week old. Then taken to a heated aviary for approx two weeks (until they can thermo-regulate). Then taken out on to the moors into pens sheltered at one end and netted at the other so that they can become socially imprinted on to their release sites. Then released at approx ten weeks.
    The big advantage of this method is that it is likely that four or five chicks would be raised to fledging whereas naturally, probably less that one would be, and if the nest was persecuted none would be. It seems pretty obvious as to what method of being raised the the HH chicks themselves would choose!
    #. Timing would be as soon as Defra wants. Could well be this breeding season.
    #. To be carried out by Hawk and Owl Trust staff who have long term experience in this work with other Raptor species. The Trust's Scientific Advisory Ctte tell us that this form of raptor translocation has never (or it might have been has very seldom) failed with all other raptor species around the world.
    #. If it succeeds and HH numbers increase considerably, we would think that was wonderful and I hope that those who were so hostile to it (and to the Hawk and Owl Trust) might say sorry.
    #. HH numbers would certainly not be capped by us.
    #. See my comment in post above re Defra's advice on this being compliant with EU and Domestic legislation.

    Please don't forget that this a trial. Advances in conservation rely on research.

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    1. But Phil, you said:

      'addressing raptor persecution is a pre-requisite of our talking to Defra and landowners. Until this issue is addressed in a satisfactory manner, any form of management of Hen Harrier is impossible.'

      But above you seem to be saying that discussions are on-going!

      Has raptor persecution suddenly been addressed? Or are you making this up as you go along?

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    2. Advances in conservation rely on research! What a ridiculous statement to make in connection with your proposal...It certainly is not CONSERVATION. And it certainly not an advance.

      Messers Newton and Thompson will be at the Scottish Raptor Group Conference.... I don't think they will find it particularly warm in Battleby.

      My fag packet says ....2 people for 3 months on minimal wage looking after the unnecessary orphans....£6.6K. You would also need at least 2 folk monitoring the wild nests...so there goes another £6.6k.... before you have added any materials or accommodation, or transport or food..... Then comes the sat tags...£2.5k a pop... then comes the sat time and the downloads...then analysis.... £25k does not seem unreasonable start point in terms of cost. Then there is the HOT profit/admin fee.....

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    3. I'm sorry Phillip, but did you realy just state that " It seems pretty obvious as to what method of being raised the the HH chicks themselves would choose!"?
      I think if they could choose, they would prefer to be with their parent birds in the nest, and not in a lab somewhere being fed via a syringe.
      What a ridiculous thing to say!

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  16. Survival of over wintering satellite tagged harriers on grouse moors is currently ZERO.
    No keepers prosecuted.
    BM is not an essential tool of Harrier recovery now and may not be in the future is supplementary feeding is used widely.
    BM is to limit harrier density to reduce grouse take.
    Even if we agreed to a trial we need a sign of good will from the criminals that persecution will cease none of the organisations Philip has spoken to on this can deliver!
    There MUST be a viable growing population FIRST indicating a considerable reduction in persecution.
    This must not lead to a quota system for harriers.
    Still listening Philip but still opposed.

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    1. The Hawk and Owl Trust states that:

      'addressing raptor persecution is a pre-requisite of our talking to Defra and landowners. Until this issue is addressed in a satisfactory manner, any form of management of Hen Harrier is impossible.'

      So, to be clear, the Trust position is that any (further) Trust discussion about a trial of brood management will not take place until raptor persecution is addressed, correct?

      And, once illegal persecution of raptors has been resolved......

      - Will the Trust agree only to participate in any brood management scheme after the full details are published for public consultation, including both the scientific and legal evidence base, and when I say legal evidence, I refer to protected site as well as species legislation, i.e the need to conduct an Appropriate Assessment.

      - Do you agree that any brood management scheme at a particular site can only proceed once alternatives - notably diversionary feeding - have been tried and have failed to mitigate impacts of harriers upon the grouse surplice?

      - Given that the Trust has the benefit of a well-informed scientific advisory committee, could the Trust please tell us what satellite technology will enable one to a) alert the Trust to a hen harrier killing event in real time, thus b) enabling a rapid response by a presumably very close-by law enforcement team to apprehend the culprit and evidence before both vanish? [nb I appreciate that the Trust contends that such interventions would not be required due to the deterrent effect of satellite tagging. But such an effect has not worked to date: increasing numbers of harriers have been tagged and have vanished under mysterious circumstances. A genuine deterrent effect requires a high likelihood of being caught]

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  17. To some extent we seem to be getting the cart before the horse concerning brood management (BM) of Hen Harriers. How thw mechanics of the operation will work is one thing and at what levels of Hen Harrier numbers it would be triggered is another.
    However there are many other questions to be sorted first such as, what about all the other species of raptors on grouse moors, eg. golden eagles? what about other so called "predators" such as mountain hare!? what about all grouse moor owners obeying the law? what about grouse moor owners managing the moorland susatainably without polluting run offs.?
    In my opinion apart from the principles of when BM might be considered in a particular situation, the details of BM iare something to be sorted later. If we concentrate too much on BM details now we run the risk of not addressing the fundamental questions for the shooting industry, such as those above.

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    1. I tend to agree, Alan. Trouble is that the Hawk and Owl Trust has now put brood meddling very much on the table, so we sort of have to consider it, inevitably in some detail. If we ignore the fact that the Trust is promoting and facilitating it, it'll just happen anyway!

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  18. Philip Merricks met with the leaders of the CLA, Moorland Association, GWCT and the National Gamekeepers Association in summer 2014 and claimed that the Chairman of MA wanted more HH on their moors. HOT states that the HH BM trial is 'To be carried out by HOT staff who have long term experience in this work with other Raptor species.' Show me evidence of this? HOT have made some serious mistakes in taking on its new Chair

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  19. If HH are going to be satellite tagged, then obviously gamekeepers must also be satellite tagged. The GK found to be closest to a HH at its time of death is the one prosecuted for it. Simples.

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    1. ffroglet mel - that made me laugh, thank you! Yes, how about voluntary satellite tagging of gamekeepers. Who would be up for it?

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  20. Mark,at least 20,617 of I guess,the latest total on your/our e-petition,well done.
    Cannot wait to see where Hen Harrier day will be as we will try and arrange visits to friends and relatives if it is at Ladybower/Howden reservoir.

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