By Squidocto – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

BASC former Chief Executive, Richard Ali, was dismissed for gross misconduct (full report with lots of gory details).

Remember BASC is not a charity, so the Charity Commission holds no sway here.

These people have guns.


By FriedC (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Robert Ince says:

    As you know from my comments on your blog last year I resigned my membership to BASC . I'd joined in 1965 when John Anderton was head of The Wildfowler's Asscociation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Then an organisation of wildfowlers and rough shooters.

    I always thought it was a mistake to let in the driven grouse & pheasant poppers and their ilk. From an organisation that essentially represented the "one for the pot" community it expanded to represent the mass slaughter of wildlife brigade.

    John Swift was a good CEO as was John Harradine their director of research. Sadly, men of that calibre seem not to have been replaced.

    I no longer shoot for the pot but I have no argument with those that do. BASC needs to return to its roots and that means divorcing itself from the those that shoot ridiculous numbers of driven birds for fun.

  2. I'm rather concerned by the part in the report that says "On or about
    February 2013 Jane Harris passed away". Do they seriously not know when one of their staff died? Too busy remembering where the poisons are buried, perhaps?

  3. Watching With Interest says:

    Quote from Peter Glenser from the Press Release: "I am happy to report that the association has enjoyed an outstanding year." I'd hate to think what a bad year at BASC would be like...

    • Random22 says:

      Reply to: Watching With Interest.
      A bad year would be one where they actually have to face the full consequences of their various misdeeds. Sadly there are few prospects of them having a bad year.

      Not sure if this will post in the right place. I hit the reply button but the page reloaded itself and bounced me to the bottom of the page and the main reply article box instead of the reply to comment. I've reloaded again and hit the button to pause the page before the redirect/reload was complete so hopefully this will reply to the comment.

  4. Jonathan Wallace says:

    Hmmm - an unseemly tale to be sure but I am not sure how relevant it is to nature conservation and the campaign to eradicate illegal and harmful game-keeping practices, the use of lead shot or other issues pertinent to the well-being of wildlife.

    It is theoretically possible for staff bullying and poor HR practices to occur within, say, the RSPB but were that to happen it would not change in the smallest degree the fact that it is illegal, harmful, morally wrong, despicable and in no way justified to kill hen harriers. Personally, I'd prefer to attack BASC for their position and policies relating to the impact of shooting on wildlife.

  5. Michael Whitehouse says:

    Jonathan - you make a very correct point which I fully support but people with guns shooting themselves in the foot shouldn't go unreported.

  6. Northern Diver says:

    Actually what intrigues me is the movement of retired senior Police Officers over to BASC . Also, add in Duncan Thomas, ex-Wildlife Crime Officer of Lancashire Police, now BASC North representative. There were [complaints] against him too, I believe, concerning raptor persecution investigations (or lack thereof) in Bowland.
    [ ]

    This comment has been edited by Mark Avery.

  7. C says:

    Would giving death threats be a reasons for someone's gun licence to be revoked? I really hope so. Of course, I have no idea if any of the people mentioned in the report even own guns.

  8. jbc says:

    Staff where I work received a credible death threat from a bonkers landowner last year. He received a visit from the Police and a formal warning - not sure if his shotguns and licence were removed or not, but it was certainly taken extremely seriously in marked contrast to how BASC seems to have behaved. And I note that the person who did the threatening was a former senior police officer, which makes it even more reprehensible.

    I do recommend reading the BASC report (available on their website) , it's a very sorry tale indeed of a total failure of management and governance. Perhaps it explains why the Trustees have not paid the considered attention they might have to the growing concerns and pressure about the HH/Grouse issue.

    It'll be interesting to see if a new CEO realises its time for a rebranding and a move away from the Nasty Club image.

  9. Merlin says:

    I think its childish to laugh and snigger at the misfortunes of others, especially the needy greedy nasty brigade. I wonder what was the reason for the verbal outburst, probably had coffee spilt on his new moleskin breeches, oh I am glad I'm childish so many inappropriate jokes.

  10. Paul V Irving says:

    It is a sad carry on if ever there was one. Whenever I think of how far BASC has fallen and boy has it fallen even if they fail to recognize it, I think of John Swift a man of decency and honour, a man I didn't always agree with but nonetheless and true gentleman. One wonders how he feels about all this. Yes it is sometimes good to gloat about one's enemies but under John BASC wasn't an enemy, some of his members were. I must say I agree that to regain the trust of many BASC must return to its roots and dump the grouse and pheasant shooting brigade of scoundrels, criminals and their apologists.

  11. John Cantelo says:

    Schadenfreude is never an admirable trait but there are times, and this is one, where it seems so unavoidable that it cannot be denied. Whilst it may well be inadvisable to draw any wider conclusions from this incident, it does seem extraordinary to me that such foul-mouthed abusive language and threats of harm did not result in instant suspension at the very least. In many professions, it would have resulted in instant dismissal. It hints at a macho culture that sits ill with gun ownership.

  12. Christopher upton says:

    BASC have lied to the police and had my phone blocked . Curtis and Ashton and Ali and other fat cats hatched a plan to have my guns taken of me . They totally lied and misinformed the Devon and Cornwall police . I had to go to court I won the case outright . There was no evidence put forward because it was a total fabrication . I made a official complaint to BASC it was never investigated. It cost me £5.000 court costs . BASC should hang there head in shame . I'm a Gundog trainer . Curtis and Ashton tried to ruin my good name . Ali backed them .

    Mark writes: thank you for your comment.

    Would you be this Christopher Upton? and this one and this one ??

  13. Hope You Won Loada Cash @ Cheltenham says:

    This is going to get lost in your old comments but no doubt you've got some similar main post planned.

    What is the future for BASC with their new CEO?

    More fighting? Even less scientific credibility?

    I hope not.

    Or an organisation building on the wonderful tradition of their wildfowling clubs, providing leadership for sustainable hunting in the UK, championing the need for bags stats, and forging ahead with a member-funded licencing system which, without unnecessary bureaucracy, funds the aforementioned bags stats monitoring.


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