Well, well well. Now here’s a turn up for the books. Over 200 Scottish landowners/shooting estate owners have written a letter to Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham, to condemn illegal raptor poisoning and to call for the “full weight of the law” to be brought down on those who commit these crimes. http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1747106/?UserKey=
This is a real change of strategy from the landowners, because usually after a persecution incident, they bleat on about how gamekeepers are ‘unfairly blamed’ and that the body of the dead golden eagle/white-tailed sea eagle/kite/buzzard/peregrine/harrier/sparrowhawk/short-eared owl/kestrel/tawny owl/goshawk or whatever other species has just been persecuted, must have been planted by ‘animal rights’ activists to cause trouble for the gamekeepers. They’ve been denying any involvement for years, as demonstrated by these two links below. Regular readers of this blog will know better, of course.
Now, whilst this new public condemnation of illegal persecution is to be applauded, I can’t help but ponder over the motive. It wouldn’t be anything to do with the speech that SNH Chairman Andrew Thin made recently about ‘pompous and selfish’ landowners, would it? http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7120640.ece
Or the growing calls from the general public for shooting estates and gamekeepers to be licensed, so that when they commit wildlife crime, they can be properly penalised where it hurts (by having their licence revoked) instead of the pathetic admonishments and fines that they currently get.
Or perhaps it’s the latest brainchild of the SGA, who think that if they can demonstrate good behaviour and stop any criminal activities, the government would be more inclined to provide them with legal licences to kill raptors – licences that SGA Chairman Alex Hogg has been pursuing for over ten years now – fortunately with limited success so far:
Whatever next? Full disclosure of the names of estates where illegal raptor persecution incidents have been discovered? No, thought not. Nice try landowners, but to be convincing you’ll have to do better than simply writing a letter.
One thought on “landowners condemn raptor poisoning”
Yes..sadly the motive for this is unlikely to be a major turnaround on raptors…Ive been seeing statements like this from SLF in the 1980s – when they slowly realised conservationists werent going away and had massive public and growing political support; then the same from Moorland Gamekeepers Association in the late 1980s; then the same from Scottish Gamekeepers Association in the 1990s and more recently …exactly the same from SRBPA.
The result?…persecution as bad as ever…
I will never tire of saying this…the problem is in collusion between/fear of repercussion from or a mix of apathy and politicking within the police when they meet the landowning/shooting community.
Ive seen areas of Scotland where raptor persecution was rife – Islay and Arran spring to mind – where the only thing that made a change was going in hard with Media and the Law…and always close cooperation [spare me the “Partnership” word which has now been considerably cheapened by overuse and lack of results]with experts in conservation and welfare, namely RSPB and SSPCA.
Heres a revolutionary thought for the Police and Government…there are some groups so closely tied to crime that they should never be allowed into a partnership with public bodies.It can be just as effective to isolate trouble rather than water every principle down in a partnership…