RSPB review of game shooting policy noticed by pro-shooting organisations – shock!

Daily Mail –
Daily Telegraph –

I’m glad the Telegraph and Mail noticed something was happening but I suspect they only noticed when a press release from the Countryside Alliance arrived in their inboxes.

It’s good to see Tim Bonner at his emollient best:

Disappointingly this seems to be the final step in the RSPB’s long journey to becoming an anti-shooting organisation. It displays the organisation’s bizarrely warped priorities in the face of so many other pressing concerns that face the countryside we know and love.

No pre-judging of the outcome there then, Tim!

The only so-called countryside organisation quoted is the Countryside Alliance which is a countryside ‘sports’ organisation rather more than it is a countryside organisation. Tim Bonner’s quote is identical in both papers, including the annoying split infinitive, and so probably comes from a CA press release rather than a couple of searching interviews. That’s presumably why it say ‘countryside organisations’ (plural) – the Countryside Alliance has never been much good with numbers. It’s probably also the reason why both pieces of cut and paste journalism have the sentence ‘However, it is now using environmental concerns as a reason to review its policy.‘ – note the rather perjorative use of the word ‘using’.  

I’m quoted, from this blog (see here and here), and described as an anti-shooting activist by both the Telegraph and Mail – I am an activist rather than inactive, but to describe me as anti-shooting is a bit unfair. I wonder whether that came from a CA press release too? It looks like it probably did as both papers use almost the same words to describe me.

So, my guess is that this was just cut and paste journalism uncritically using a press release sent out by the Countryside Alliance. Well done Helena Horton and Joel Adams.

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20 Replies to “RSPB review of game shooting policy noticed by pro-shooting organisations – shock!”

  1. Why the shock and horror in the Mail and Telegraph at this news story. It is the Royal Society for the PROTECTION of Birds after all.
    What do they expect. Plenty of organisations support shooting interests.

    In my view, the RSPB should finally distance themselves from any ambiguity that has built up over the recent past on this issue. Their review will give them the time and space to do just that.

    Conservation, the environment and highlighting illegality on shooting estates are all areas where we need the RSPB to make a robust difference and they can if they choose to.

  2. It's clearly and admission of guilt. Clearly their game is up and they know it. Now they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with accusations of being "anti-shooting". They may as well be claiming the RSPB is "anti-cruelty".

  3. How in heavens name did it take the RSPB so long like a century at least to get to understand that any bird shot was cruelty in the extreme.

    1. Make no mistake these pro-shooting outfits are tough and ruthless and will go to any lengths to maintain their barbaric so called “sport.” The shooting organisations rap up their activities into soft sounding words such as “country sports” and “looking after the countryside”, but let’s be quite clear on all of this, their interests are to kill our wildlife for fun. Killing and maiming, (those that are killed are the lucky ones), is not sport at all. So if the gloves have got to come off to really show up all their very cruel and nasty works and gross environmental damage let it be so. We shall stop their activities in the end.

    2. Please don't insult gutters like that; for the Daily Heil and Torygraph, to rise to the level of the gutter would require a supreme effort and a massive increase in standards.

  4. It is absolutely astonishing that a organisation like the RSPB have been so fantastic at reintroduction of several species of birds and also managing to increase numbers of several species of birds could at the same time be so weak in condemning so much cruelty to several of our raptors.
    I look forward to their future attitude.

  5. Having just watched a YouTube video of Martin Harper in the Peak District really going to town about the activities on grouse moors I have to say how good it came over and how welcome the tough stance is.
    As a long time critic of him I have to say how much I admire his role in what appears to be a change in the RSPB attitude.
    Well done Martin I admire your attitude.

  6. This makes for very interesting viewing by field sports TV
    Watch from 21:08

    Follow the money RSPB £75 million pension hole.

    1. Very little substance to that. Even this layman can see that there's lots of loaded language, distraction, selective reporting of data and unsupported mud that they hope will stick. Some of it is really quite desperate,

      There are some frankly bizarre claims - "stoats are a problem in Orkney because there are too many geese eating the grass, so famers have to import grain, which contains stoats". I can't find any evidence for that line of causation.

      The narrator claims that an email from OneKind tells their hoax videoer "not to tell the police". The email can be seen to say "it's up to you whether you want to report this to the Police. Unless you are able to say with confidence what bird species it was, however, I don't think this would go anywhere." That's really not the same thing.

      Convictions for gamekeepers are so rare that to suggest that a drop in convictions represents evidence of a drop in persecution is dubious.

      The (entirely unevidenced) allegations of foul play against Terry Hill, the whole circus section, the interview with the Tarvie character simply come across as more water-muddying with a healthy dose of paranoia. Anybody can find a crackpot with a grudge or a conspiracy theory.

      The narrator finishes by suggesting that people "follow the money" if they want to find the RSPB's motivations. Irony alert. And then follows up with a plea for donations. Why not just ask Crispin Odey for some more cash?

      1. Yep
        “Anybody can find a crackpot with a grudge or a conspiracy theory.“

        Works both ways, three of them run wild justice.

        Or as my old dad used to say they are well balanced with a chip on both shoulder.

        1. "Works both ways, three of them run wild justice."

          Well if by grudge you mean being totally pissed off by a small minority of people who persistently flout wildlife law in pursuit of their own narrow interests, then yes they probably have a grudge but there is absolutely nothing crackpot about that position.

          As far as chips on shoulders go it sounds as though you might have some greasy potato on your own shoulders.

        2. Really, those three serious minded people who devote the time and energy to making challenges where it is thought and to date has been proven that existing laws are not been followed?

          Or who use scientific evidence to challenge activities that are detrimental to the environment?

          I see no evidence of either of them being a "crackpot", neither do I see any evidence of them bearing a grudge or spreading conspiracy theories.

          Is it perhaps your own prejudice and unwillingness to recognise that there are a substantial number of people from all walks of life who find it unacceptable that an activity that relies upon criminal actions and environmentally dubious practices to exist is unwilling to change its ways?

          The shooting industry seems to think it should not be held to account for these dubious practices and appears to be represented largely by organisations and individuals who not only disseminate lies, and half truths but also resort to personal attacks and disgusting abuse.

          You seem to be of that ilk, resorting to childish comments and abuse, which is often the ploy of those with a very weak argument for their actions.

          Of course the RSPB has been cautious, if it starts to be more active in condemning these practices, it will tread on the toes of some very influential people, many of whom consider themselves to have some inalienable right to do as they please, and could make things awkward for the RSPB. But times are changing thanks to Wild Justice and others shining a light in some very dark corners in this country.

  7. Shock horror! The RSPB is using 'environmental concerns' to review its policy; - concerns such as 'the ongoing and systematic illegal persecution of birds of prey such as hen harriers on some sporting estates; the ecological impact of high numbers of game birds released into the countryside increasing the density of generalist predators; the mass culling of mountain hares in some parts of our uplands; the use of lead ammunition; the impact of burning peatlands and medicating wild animals for sport shooting.'

    In what sense does the DT think this is at odds with the RSPB charter?

    I was also rather perplexed at this statement: '... earlier this year [the RSPB] urged the government to more closely licence driven grouse shooting.' What precisely is that 'more closely' supposed to mean?

  8. Well that livened up the otherwise dull blog, don’t think we will ever agree with each other’s views but I would think the fake countrymen spend more time in the countryside and more money towards its upkeep then any other group do.

    1. The arrogant pretence of supposedly representing rural dwellers and "The Countryside", while exhibiting a woeful grasp of ecology and complete disregard for scientific fact. Fake in every sense.

    2. What spending time blasting the wildlife out of existence and ruining the ecology? Yes that sounds like the normal activities of fake "countrymen"

      As for agreeing with others views, well I know there are both shooters and farmers who do not agree with the sentiments being expressed by you and the representatives of the shooting industry so I'm sure it is entirely possible for there to be agreement, even though that would not suit the extremists, which exit on both sides of this debate.


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