The RSPB really is in a pickle over its line on bird of prey persecution.
Having welcomed the Hen Harrier inaction plan, welcomed the pathetic statement by the Moorland Association and disappointed many (except the Chief Exec of Songbird Survival) with its line on the Hen Harrier breeding season update, more and more people are voicing their concerns. Whilst the RSPB is used to being robust about criticisms from the ‘other side’ it is now facing an ever-increasing amount of disquiet from many long-standing members. It’s not a disaster, it’s not an earthquake, but it is unusual and it should be making RSPB Council think again.
I mentioned last week the criticisms of the RSPB line from the North of England Raptor Forum and from Birders Against Wildlife Crime and now comments on the BAWC blog are uniformly backing up the unease about whether the RSPB is being tough enough on the matter of illegal persecution of birds of prey on grouse moors. Here are some quotes:
The RSPB Council, is putting its staff and the Society in an uncomfortable position by not taking a long look at this matter. Already it is clear that the RSPB welcoming the Defra Hen Harrier inaction plan does not mean that RSPB members, and certainly those closest to the subject, feel any warmth to it whatsoever. Next time there is a Hen Harrier group can the RSPB really claim a seat at the table? Probably not without winning back these members and supporters.
The RSPB is in danger of positioning itself, completely unnecessarily, as part of the problem rather than the main organisation likely to deliver a solution. When our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting gets to, say, 60,000 signatures without RSPB support it will be obvious that with RSPB support the whole subject of driven grouse shooting would be debated in the Westminster parliament. Surely that is what the RSPB wants? Isn’t it?
You have to dance with the one who brought you RSPB. Shania Twain would tell you that.