As the Yorkshire Dales National Park drags itself, with the help of a public consultation, towards the twenty-first century it may have to work very hard on some of its board members to take the journey. Adrian Thornton-Berry is a member of the YDNP Management Plan Steering group committee, a Moorland Association committee member and it looks like he’s an officer of Dalesport sporting agency (see here and here) as well as of Farmoor Services which manages shooting.
Dalesport have some grouse days still to sell this year and I noticed a good few grouse as I travelled through Ramsgill on Saturday – not many raptors though which was a shame. Just remember – shooting grouse for fun is not, definitely not, a rich person’s hobby.
Dalesport sporting agency:
‘Lastly, we recommend that all of our clients try to eat as much game as possible this season, as you will know this is an area which we as an industry need to pull together and act on now. Please do have a look at The Country Food trust and see what they are doing as a charity to encourage the eating of wild game and the feeding of hundreds of thousands of homeless people across the UK. Also I would encourage you to become an Associate Member of the Moorland Association if you have not already, to help us fight to keep this wonderful and traditional sport going for future generations. Associate Members will receive regular Newsletters addressing relevant issues within the industry of grouse shooting.‘.
This advice does not sit easily with the advice of the Food Standards Agency on eating grouse:
‘The FSA’s advice since 2012 is that frequent consumers of lead-shot game should eat less of this type of meat. ‘
Let’s just compare ‘eat as much game as possible’ with ‘eat less of this type of meat’. Yep, hardly any difference really. It’s just that the non-ministerial government department which is supposed to protect the public from food dangers says one thing and a company which makes money from selling shooting days says the opposite. Yep, hardly any difference at all.
If Mr Thornton-Berry would like to check the advice of the FSA then all he need do is pop over from Swinithwaite to see the Chair of the FSA, Heather Hancock in Arncliffe – it’s only 20 miles or so, and quite a pretty drive. In fact, I drove most of it on Saturday afternoon – damn, I could have given him a lift. Except of course, Mrs Hancock might have been out shooting (since she and her husband, who likes to be called Herbie! own a grouse moor), as might Mr Thornton-Berry of course. Maybe they were out shooting together. It’s a small world isn’t it.
The FSA advice on lead in food, which Mrs Hancock doesn’t seem to be promoting, and Mr Thornton-Berry doesn’t seem to have noticed, is what Liz Truss used as part of her excuse for not acting to protect people from ingesting lead in game meat when she failed to act on the advice of an expert committee to phase out the use of lead ammunition in England.
Nobody in the real world knows what the FSA advice is (because they’ve never heard of the FSA and have never visited its website), and nobody in the shooting world is taking any notice of it, and the FSA looks like an expensive waste of money if it allows its advice to be ignored.
In fact, the shooters are promoting lead-heavy meat like mad at the moment. How much respect can you have for an industry which makes money out of killing wildlife for fun, whose profits are underpinned by wildlife crime and which encourages the public at large to increase their intake of a poison against FSA advice? It’s a farce – and Grouse Shooter Moll and Defra have turned a blind eye to it.
Can we rely on Mr Thornton-Berry to be acting in the public interest when looking to the future of the Yorkshire Dales National Park? That’s our Yorkshire Dales National Park.