RSPB consultation on gamebird shooting

The Wild Justice response to the RSPB consultation can be found here.

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12 Replies to “RSPB consultation on gamebird shooting”

  1. The last para from Wild Justice sums it up very well:-

    "This isn’t a debate that is starting with this RSPB consultation; there is a lot of background and history with which the RSPB has not adequately engaged"

    One could argue that inaction in the past by the RSPB has meant that Wild Justice and other groups have filled the void left behind. The RSPB would do well to heed the submission made by WJ on behalf of its supporters. It is firm but fair. The route that WJ has chosen to follow is a breath of fresh air and that is why ordinary folk are happy to provide financial support. The shooting industry and its record needs to be challenged.

    In my opinion, apart from their excellent Investigations Team, the RSPB have been pretty woeful in tackling the damage done over very many years by the shooting industry. It is time for change - it is never too late.

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    1. Mike I totally agree with you. WJ is the reason I am engaging with this issue these days. And I have given WJ a (small) few quid. Regards the RSPB, for years (and *disclaimer* I confess this shows up a lot of my own ignorance about lots of projects they run) I went along with the "willful ignorance" (re raptor persecution / intense game shooting) frame of mind in the area I live because nobody other than a few local "eccentrics" dared oppose it. I believed that other than a few under-resourced but dedicated "investigators" the RSPB was mainly set up to cater for gentle souls to sit in hides on their own reserves, and turn their backs on the daily slaughter in the rest of the countryside. Sadly I always thought the RSPB wasn't worth giving money to for that reason. If changes are afoot and the RSPB are going to engage in real battle for the flora and fauna of the wider countryside (ie. grow a set!) then I sense it's membership will increase.

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  2. The key message here is not only the Wild Justice observations entirely correct but that currently shooting live quarry in the UK is apart from the season setting almost totally unregulated and this must change.

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  3. A very good set of comments from Wild Justice with which I fully agree. If I were involved in this very important subject I would want to examine each issue in detail, a time consuming matter, but I am not so I have not done so.
    However I do have a few general comments. Firstly, I don’t like the use of the words “some” and “should”. These are subjective words open to interpretation. Their ought to be avoided as obviously the shooters will adopt a position favourable to them if these words are used.
    Secondly, while I know the RSPB has to be careful in these matters because of its charter I think examples of environmental damage which are not permitted because they seriously damage the natural habitat and hence wild bird populations should be quoted such as moorland drainage and burning.
    Thirdly there there needs to be a proper license system with independent inspection for any culling of predators such as foxes, and stoats. It needs to be made quite clear what species can be culled and to what extent under any license and what cannot, such as mountain hare.
    Clarity in all this is very important.

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    1. Alan - good point. Unless it has changed recently the RSPB's agreed policy is to seek the phasing out of l;ead ammunition - but it really doesn't seem to be pursuing that policy with any vigour.

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  4. Anyone can draw up a set of principles - that’s the easy bit.

    But, as is often said, principles count for nothing until they are put to the test.

    The RSPB needs to specify a) what “effective” measures it proposes and b) what responsibility it will take in ensuring they are implemented.

    Thereafter, it needs to launch - and lead - a dynamic campaign for action, not hide behind the skirts of much smaller organisations.

    The chief executive needs to be the signatory to the Set of Principles, once approved, and to accept that it is her responsibility to be accountable and to lead the fight via a robust (angry if need be) presence in the media.

    Will any of this happen? Most unlikely.

    The RSPB’s recent history is of punching well below its weight.

    It will provide the bullets for someone in the trenches to fire, while it sits on the sidelines and watches which way the wind blows.

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    1. James - rather unkind, I think. My criticism of the RSPB would be that it has been very slow to have a good think about this issue, and a year to do a consultation and change direction (or not) is a long time too. But if thee is a change of direction announced at the AGM in October then you can be sure that it will have been agreed by RSPB Council and the Chief Executive will be right behind it. We have about five months to wait.

      I think that having consulted the RSPB will find it now more difficult not to change than to change, and change can only occur in one diretion., so the question is really minor change, reasonable change or big change?

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      1. To quote Marge Simpson, "It's true, but he shouldn't say it"? James might be unkind, but he isn't exactly wrong.

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    2. The problem is that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has shifted to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. If it wants to keep the old Royal Charter, then it cannot risk upsetting Brenda or her ministers too much, and they all love shooting birds. With all the associated damage that comes with that industry. The RSPB is keeping its head well down because of that.

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      1. Random22 - well you might be right because I haven't worked at the RSPB for just over 9 years, but for the 25 years before that, it wouldn't have been true. Too simplistice and erroneous an analysis by half.

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  5. To return to an observation you made in the past.

    It seems that the historic term, ‘gamebird’ remains accepted by the RSPB along with the shooting lobby.

    That can’t be right.

    It carries with it the presumption that grouse, partridges, ptarmigan etc are birds whose status in nature is chiefly as creatures to be shot for sport.

    That means they effectively condemned by labelling even before the debate starts.

    Surely there ought to be a neutral term for the group - one that does not predispose the member says of it to death by gunfire?

    If the RSPB or some oneone else could come with an acceptable alternative, that could be the 8th Principle.

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