Lots of signatures

Twenty-eight thousand signatures in just over 24 hours – Wow!

I’m not entirely sure why this is going so strongly – except that there are obviously at least 28,500 very sensible people out there.

If I were a politician I would have noticed this initial very strong start (in the holiday period, too) and begin to wonder how I should react to this groundswell of opinion.

Labour has reacted in advance, as it were, and that is very welcome. If Labour wants to keep High Peak, and ‘keep’ Sheffield Hallam, and win Calder Valley, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire then a look at this issue might be sensible.

LibDem/Tory marginals are going to be important in the next general election too.

And then there is Scotland with Tory/SNP rural marginals.

Maybe there won’t be any more signatures at all ( 😉 ) but if the strength of support continues for a while then this issue becomes a minor one in some seats in a general election.

Anyway – thanks for all the support and please spread the word to your friends to sign the e-petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting.


19 Replies to “Lots of signatures”

  1. This is truly a great start but 100k won’t cut it this time. This time we need to get to 250k plus. It won’t only be our and Scottish MPs watching, it will be the RSPB with their changing guard.
    Every picture ever taken of a trashed stoat in a trap, or Pine Martin, or Ring Ouzel, not forgetting the frogs, needs to be out there.
    Let us now show the land owners and their gamekeepers as much mercy as they show our wildlife.

    1. We need people to see the photo of the golden eagle horrifically caught in a fen trap IT NEEDS TO BE SEEN EVERYWHERE The photo encapsulates everything that is barbarically wrong with driven grouse shooting

  2. Yes Paul… at this rate (33K by 9 pm tonight – Wednesday!) maybe 250K signatures isn’t out of the question – and the quicker the better too!
    ps It’s great just watching the numbers click upwards and upwards!
    Mark: how long did it take first time around to get to 33K?

    1. I think that’s entirely realistic if the Labour and Green Parties, the League Against Cruel Sports, Friends of the Earth, Animal Aid in their entirety commit themselves to saying we need to get rid of DGS, and for those that already do say that to make it a priority. The Kinder Scout Trespass was about getting access to grouse moors and even today rural communities are impoverished by grouse moors. There’s a very big social justice issue attached to this that’s not as well appreciated as it should be – with 512,000 members if the Labour Party get behind this as it should you could see a massive upsurge in signatures. Hard to see how the Green party of England and Wales with a membership of 41,000 could justify NOT directly asking the membership to support the petition and why. And as others have pointed out if people like Brian May and Ricky Gervaise ask their supporters to do so that’s potentially an enormous amount of new signatures. Has this latest petition now reached a tipping point where this could happen – the incredible pace of signing suggests so. Yes it’s bloody great fun isn’t it!?!

  3. Yes Paul, let’s manipulate information to show the story we want for the uneducated public to make an informed decision

    1. No S that’s what the driven grouse shooting supporters like you have been doing for years!
      I was talking to an old friend of nearly eighty at Hen Harrier Day. He has been going into the Bowland Fells for nearly sixty years and said it is an unremitting story of persecution, persecution and persecution. I have been going into the Dales especially Nidderdale since the late sixties and it is the same there. Time it all came to a halt.

  4. Quite staggering. And it isn’t a bot, all the usual red areas on the map, (except London).
    If i remember rightly it took a couple of months to get to the 33,333 right now (well ii just missed that figure).
    Any boffins out there who can remember?

  5. Thanks Mark, I’d forgotten that.
    It just goes to show how awareness has increased so brilliantly since then…..though as Iolo said on Sunday, there are still millions of citizens who have no idea yet what is happening on the moors…..and wouldn’t know a hen harrier if one turned up on their bird table! It seems most children can’t even name a bumblebee or a blue tit these days!

    1. But they know what a Golden Eagle looks like and they can see what suffering that bird will have gone through!

  6. Mark
    I see that Chris Packham has used Twitter to tweet people like Ricky Gervais, Frankie Boyle and Sue Perkins to ask them to make their Twitter followers aware of the ban driven grouse shooting petition. Would it be feasible to do a similar thing via Twitter accounts of wildlife trusts, bird clubs, bird observatories and other natural history societies to raise awareness. Forgive me if this something you have already thought of and are planning to do.

  7. The RSPB, WTs and the other NGOs are in some respects restrained by things like ‘politics’ which makes them nervous of campaigning, it could put them at risk from a legal challenge or put funding in jeopardy. That said I’d like to think that their staff and trustees would want this petition to succeed and ensure that the topic remains in the public gaze.

    So, it’s down to inspirational organisations like Wild Justice and ‘extremists’ who read their blogs to use social media to spread the word and make sure that facts and the science about the wider impacts of grouse moor management as well as the associated wildlife crime are known. We can raise the issue (and that of c.60m pheasants being released without assessment) with our MPs. The more personalised correspondence MPs receive the better and the more chance that those sat on fences will realise that they will have to engage.

    Have no doubt that they will spend obscene amounts of money on PR spin to try to make our cause seem petty or unscientific, they will use every opportunity to try to discredit the campaign. We all have a part to play and critical mass of community campaigning will win the day.

    One of the big issues they will struggle to be able to overcome is the amount of sheer waste, potential food is dumped in stink pits or otherwise destroyed. This in itself ought to be enough to generate an outcry in the current austerity hit economic climate. That game which is shot for ‘sport’ puts consumers at risk if it has been shot with lead ammunition is another aspect that they will struggle to justify. That lead is then left on the upland moors to pollute land and water is another negative for us to keep in the public eye.

    Here’s to day 2, already at 35,500 – flying faster than the poor grouse towards blood lust and the guns:)

    1. The RSPB etc do not need to campaign on this issue. All they need to do is inform their members that there is a petition and the reasons why. A picture of the distressed golden eagle would help. A picture paints a thousand words.

      I hope Wild Justice will not accept royal patronage apart from the odd CBE!

  8. I have an idea why this petition is doing so well.

    I think the feature on C4 News the other night, probably shocked many members of the public who saw it. Remember, 95% or more of the public, including most conservationists, really have no idea what happens on most managed shoots. Most snares and traps are set on strictly private land with either no public access, or in areas very few members of the public ever go. No estate or keeper is ever going to be honest about this, because if the public found out about it, there would be a massive scandal and a call to ban shooting.

    I remember a long time an estate worker telling me about all the pet cats and dogs they caught in snares on the estate, and how they quietly buried them. Initially I thought it was just exaggeration, but then when you think about just how indiscriminate snares are, and how many cats and dogs go missing in the vicinity of managed shooting estates, it started to sink in that this wasn’t just a shock story for attention down the pub. Anyone who sets snares on a daily basis must come across lots of horrible suffering, and the by-catch of pets, protected species and far more.

    Any working keeper using snares and traps, and this is the vast majority, must regularly catch lots of protected species, pets and come across horrible suffering that they’d far rather most people didn’t know about.

    I’d suggest highlighting this far more, and bringing it to the attention of the public. It’s becoming pretty clear that the shooting industry is completely recalcitrant and will never voluntarily self-regulate. They believe they can manage this with smear attacks on conservationists and disinformation. If we want much better regulation, then we need to bring public pressure to bear. The best way to do this is more exposés on what happens.

    The shooting industry has demonstrated that they are adroit at using propaganda tactics, much of it dishonest. Conservationists can respond in kind, not by being dishonest, but revealing the truth. What goes on in the name of shoot management, would utterly shock and repulse the public if they became more aware of it. The shooting industry is fighting dirty, and it’s about time we took the gloves off, and countered this, but with honest exposés.

    1. I tried to find it just now, but couldn’t – there is an issue of the Scottish Ornithologists Club newsletter that has a co-authored paper about capercaillie being caught in snares. Apparently they have a terrible predilection for putting their heads through a wire noose. One of the paper’s authors was an ex gamekeeper who had been thoroughly alarmed by what he’d witnessed (I believe the other is a commentator on this blog). You have to wonder why he waited until he was retired until he raised the issue – I suspect his ‘colleagues’ would not have been very supportive if this had been published when he was still in the industry. Good guy for doing this at all. I believe the newsletter is one of the 2000 – 2002 ones, I just couldn’t reach it on the SOC’s archive at the moment. It’s well worth looking out for pretty devastating analysis and one I came across purely by accident.

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