The Raptor Persecution UK Marsh Harrier revelation

I can’t remember Raptor Persecution UK getting a story badly wrong – admittedly their spelling and grammar are sometimes a bit suspect but their facts and news are spot on.  And so I’d be very surprised if they have been misinformed about the desire of grouse moor managers to bump off Marsh Harriers revealed today.  Read their blog and see what you think.

Let’s see whether the Moorland Association denies the story – and they’d better move quickly to do so if that’s what they are going to do.

And what will be the response of BASC? This will be a test of their fine words a few weeks ago – yes they said there was too much crime in shooting, will they say that this is a legitimate goal for shooting because it involves licensing? Let’s see.

What will Defra say? Maybe this is what they meant by ‘problem species’ in their response to Gavin Gamble’s e-petition? First Buzzards, then Marsh Harriers, then the rest?  The argument will be that Marsh Harriers are no longer rare so bumping off a few of them won’t drive the population to extinction. And it won’t.  But this marks another step in the raptor-cleansing mission of the grouse shooters in the uplands.

The choice is pretty clear, it’s a choice between uplands that are intensively managed for the benefit of the few – grouse shooters – or ones that are managed for a range of species including wildlife but also naturalists, hill walkers, etc

If you thought there was a middle way then think again. Please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting – unless we rid the uplands of this lot then no wildlife will be safe.

And I hope the RSPB will respond with something a bit tougher than a wish for dialogue with the good guys.  If the RSPB shows weakness now then there will be men in tweed walking down to the reedbed at Minsmere to sort them out. I joke of course, but is the RSPB going to draw a line in the sand or continue to have sand kicked in its face?

The Raptor Priority Persecution Delivery group is certainly living up to its name in delivering raptor persecution…


Added later, at 0800:

Amanda Anderson has just tweeted:

That’s hardly a denial and even Twitter found it inexplicable with that ‘Translate from Italian’ tag!!

Keep an eye on Amanda’s Twitter account for any more detailed and fulsome denial (rather than a comment on a Tweet) and watch the Moorland Association website for more news.

I’m off out for the rest of the day so there won’t be updates on this from me, but if Amanda would like to post a comment here then I’ll certainly be able to moderate that.

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  1. Ian Carter says:

    I'd like to know why it is 'complete nonsense'. They are openly seeking a managed solution for hen harriers when there are only a handful of pairs in the whole of England. If they would not also seek a managed solution for marsh harriers then what is the logic for treating the two species so very differently? I think we should be told.

  2. Steve Preston says:

    I'm sure all will be made clear once the minutes from the meeting are released.

    I couldn't find anything on other than Defra Press releases, but then has hardly made information more accessible......

  3. SteB says:

    Mark, I sense a really deep feeling of anger about this. It needs to be capitalised on and focused. The exact truth of this is difficult to fathom. However, this is the whole thing and which is why this has created this collective feeling of anger. So much raptor persecution is out of site. The satellite tagged birds which just keep disappearing over the same managed shoots. The dead raptors that get found. The rare prosecutions. The lack of successful breeding Hen Harriers. It all hints at very widescale persecution.

    Yet the arrogant shooting lobby and their apologists keep on peddling the false narrative of one or two rogue gamekeepers. This is just so absurd. The arrogant shooting lobby treat us as if we are stupid. Conservationists, birders, ecologists and naturalists know infinitely more about the natural world and how it operates than these arrogant people who insult our intelligence.

    I think this is the straw that broke the camel's back because regardless of the truth of this story the shooting lobby are arrogant beyond belief. They think they can not only carry on before but they are so full of hubris that the believe that they can step up the persecution because they are so deeply embedded in the establishment.

    It's time to really take on these arrogant people. Conservationists have tried to work with them. Now it's time to say no more, you cannot be trusted. There can be no more attempts to work with shooters because they are taking the mickey. Shooters have long peddled the idea of ethical shooters who are also conservationists. If such people exist, then why are they not speaking out about what is happening?


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