Rule of six? Hit for six!

It was such a bad move from the shooting industry to lobby for exemption from the Rule of Six for gamebird shooting. Drawing attention to yourself when you are in such a poor position is never a good idea. Just now, and it may only last for a while, millions of people are sensitised to grouse shooting in a way they never have been before.

This evening there was an excellent Channel 4 News item (well done, Luke Steele!) on the Goathland Goshawk incident. It was introduced with a warning that the clip contained images of animal cruelty – not very helpful for the image of a traditional rural pastime. Here’s a quote;

Some ‘keepers clearly killing anything, everything, to produce one thing, grouse

A lot of tweed-clad young men feigning ignorance of the Goshawk case was hilarious. But the important information was that even the Duchy of Lancaster is considering moving away from grouse shooting as there are other more promising and potentially more lucrative, and definitely less reputationally damaging, land use options.

Then there is Nicola Sturgeon distancing herself from grouse shooting (see here on RPUK); not for her any guff about the importance of grouse shooting to the rural community, she knows this is an increasingly toxic subject in the minds of voters.

This Guardian article about the Wild Justice gamebird challenge would never have got in the paper if it had not been linked to the Misrule of Six exemption.

And this further Guardian piece on heather burning, peatlands and DEFRA’s inertia on the Climate Change Committee’s call for a ban on burning might not have seen the light of day if ‘Rule of Six, grouse shooting’ were not in ediitors’ heads right now.

So we must thank the Countryside Alliance and BASC for all their work to get their exemption – enjoy it while you can, fate is closing in on grouse shooting.

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20 Replies to “Rule of six? Hit for six!”

    1. yes estates have been doing it for years to diversionary feed Goshawk and Peregrine, the new thing is the "crow traps" nearby which will inevitably catch Goshawks attracted by the pigeons.

      1. And yet you need a license to diversionary feed HH (note not just a schedule 1) and a further license would be required to use live animals to trap birds. I'd be interested to hear what exemption makes it legal (rather than they've been doing it for ages).

        1. Diversionary feeding of Hen Harriers may involve disturbance of a Schedule One breeding
          A Pigeon loft could operate year round, not necessarily near a nest site, often on a moor edge, or an area where gamebirds are not required.

  1. Progress is being made, so slowly, but definitely surely. And we are now certainly being helped by the intransigence and arrogance of the dgs brigade. Doubles all round!

  2. That was a fantastic feature!!!! The shooters were given a chance to have their say and just made complete arses of themselves. What a great change as well to see the actual local community get a chance to speak rather than the tweed community tell us how much they love DGS. Rather nice that someone actually bothered speaking to locals directly, even better if they don't have to set up an action group before that happens. How close are the grouse moor owners from feeling the game is up and there's a complete loss of confidence then collapse of this piss poor industry? Rather than a bulwark against the anti field sports lobby, how long before DGS is seen as a millstone for the whole shooting community?

      1. Cheers. They will hardly be better off when they're trying to justify the mass release of pheasant and partridge each year - millions of road killed, landfilled birds, native wildlife hammered etc. Defending that as well as DGS will be an enormous challenge, two extremely weak fronts to fight on.

  3. Duchy of Lancaster is considering moving away from Grouse shooting. Could this be Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, getting involved?

  4. Well done Channel 4 . The real nastiness, cruelties, and illegal activities associated with DGS are now reaching the media. This can do nothing but boost the arguments and public support for banning the horrible practice.of DGS. In the end with more media reporting of the atrocities associated with DGS, this Government’s public alliance with and support for, the shooting brigade will become increasingly untenable. In addition even Natural England, may be forced to support nature and wildlife a little bit instead of being allied with the shooters on every single issue.
    In the end with support from reasonable Governments, the revolting practice of Driven Grouse Shooting will be banned.

  5. Paul Fisher, you make an important point. Capitalism will tell us when the turning point comes, only the ones who sell “their” moors first will get the decent price they can boast about to their mates at the club.

  6. Great piece of journalism. With the TiTs (Tossers in Tweed) claimning no knowledge of a widely known persecution event on this estate, filming the camera team on their mobiles as if they are filming antis and then belligerently telling the journalist they cannot follow. Running like the cowards they are! Great PR at the right time. All angles covered persecution, intolerance, burning, local objections alternative uses of moorland..

    1. If my understanding of the location is correct, there is actually another public right of way just a short distance from the private farm in question that avoids the farm and re-joins the same track further up. So the C4 team could actually have followed them if they'd wanted to and were quick/organised enough.

      Not sure what that would have achieved though, as the hostility to criticism was already clear enough at that point.

  7. I could hardly believe my eyes watching C4 news last night - the combination of the interviews with the arrogant shooters, the footage of the trapping and killing of the goshawk (and the casual tossing of the dead 'bait birds' into the stream) and then the document from the Duchy of Lancaster was almost too much for me to take in. Is there a way in which we can show our collective appreciation to C4 News for a quite outstanding piece of TV journalism?

  8. You keep banging on about how terrible shooting is at every opportunity and take legal action via WJ but in reality what have you ever actually achieved? Nothing springs to mind! DGS, GL’s, Game shooting, all still business as usual.

    1. John - thanks for your support. Driven grouse shooting should feel the water lapping against its feet now, soon its knees will be wet, and not too far away in time, it will be washed away. But its participants haven't started to build a life raft yet. Fine by me.

    2. It speaks volumes that those who seek to justify the degredation of our natural heritage can't - in the face of incontrovertible evidence - come up with any actual defence of their worthless hobby, and rather than address the issues highlighted by C4 News simply resort to a childish boast...

      "we're still at it, and you can't stop us, so nyaah nyaah nyaah!"

      Well you thought wrong...

  9. Mark, I am no supporter of of any type of shooting that allows the illegal killing of raptors to go on and the game keeper if found guilty deserves all the punishment they get. Looks like environmental financial benefits to the land owner is more likely to bring an end to dgs than any other means, as it’s all about the money.


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