Zanussi engineers called in to help SGA stuck on spin cycle

spin2There’s an article in the Scotsman today about Scottish gamekeepers offering to help the fire service put out fires, started by, er,…well it depends on whose opinion you accept.

According to the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, the fires weren’t caused by gamekeepers involved in muirburning activities. Oh no, apparently they were caused by ‘camp fires getting out of control’ and ‘garden fires’.

However, last week the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service clearly thought that landowners were at least partly responsible as they issued a threat to prosecute those involved with muirburning activities in unsuitable conditions (see here). Why issue such a warning if they believed the fires were caused by careless campers and gung-ho gardeners?

Is the point of the SGA’s press release an attempt to portray a ‘caring sharing’ attitude, impressing us all by riding to the rescue as the fourth emergency service to put right the misdeeds of others? Dream on.

Later in the article the SGA accuses the RSPB of ‘scaremongering’ after they predicted the wildfires could potentially have a huge impact on golden eagle breeding success this year. This is quite an amusing accusation considering the content of the SGA’s Hogg Blog this week (see here), which includes this statement:

Many interesting subjects have been spoken about [with his chums at various meetings], not least the huge numbers of badgers, ravens and buzzards which are having a detrimental effect on our wildlife and livestock“.

Er, and the evidence for this ‘detrimental effect’ is what, exactly? And they call the RSPB the scaremongerers!

SGA chairman Hogg is further quoted in the Scotsman article talking about the golden eagle population and he implies that there’s no need for concern about its conservation status. He trots out the usual line about the population’s ‘stability’ at around 420-440 pairs but fails to acknowledge that this ‘stability’ is wholly misleading, given the accepted scientific evidence shows that the species only has favourable conservation status in 3 of 16 regions, the population is being kept suppressed by illegal persecution, and there should be a minimum of 716 pairs overall (we blogged about this the other day (here) and we’ll keep blogging about it for as long as the spin cycle lasts).

Scotsman article here

7 thoughts on “Zanussi engineers called in to help SGA stuck on spin cycle”

  1. This is typical of the sort of nonsense they trot out and I find it surprising there isn’t apparently anyone in their organisation that realises how ridiculous some of their statements appear.

    I’m left with the depressing thought that they do know but are so arrogant as not to care; which doesn’t give much hope of change.

  2. Probably worth a mention here about the “philosophical” differences in their view of nature between the average SGA member and the average conservationist – which leads to such outpourings.

    Gamekeepers and many in the shooting and landowning industry are on the “control freak” side of human nature – nothing worries them more than the idea of “uncontrolled” nature…such as badgers, ravens or even golden eagles reaching the carrying capacity of their whole environment.That’s all wrong to them – everything is a product of their efforts, they “tolerate” a certain amount of predation and they “cull” the rest.

    Your average informed, intelligent modern conservationist – [thats recognising that conservation has also attracted some extreme, not quite so bright individuals with other agendas] recognises that man may have to manipulate what remains of a natural environment in order to conserve it for the future but such interference has always got to be done with extreme care. The ultimate goal is self-sustaining nature. That includes predators and prey, that includes predators killing each other occasionally. Sadly that occasionally means killing animals such as deer which have been allowed and encouraged to multiply, by feeding and protection, until they destroy their environment.

    So, what this entire Blog is about is showing the result of a dispute which could be summed up, crudely, as “who gets to say what lives and dies in our countryside”…Since the game laws of the norman conquest through the disgraceful land grab of the enclosures up to the present day attempts to have “culls” of predators our “superiors”, the landowners and their servants have had it all their way.

    Time for a real change. Lets make them respect our Laws.

  3. The gamekeepers have reached a previously unatainable level, a phenomenon that was thought impossible, not any more, they have achieved a level that is lower than the lowest level.

  4. I’ve heard that the Scots are a hardy breed but am astonished to be told that they have been out camping during (probably) the coldest “spring” for many years. You could hardly blame the campers for lighting fires, However, I would doubt that this suggestion is has veracity. So , could the cause have been uncontrolled garden fires, then? This one is also less than convincing, Exactly how many gardens are there on the grouse moors? I suspect that forensic investigation might help to indicate where the fires started – always supposing that the authorities could be sufficiently concerned to call in the fire brigade’s investigation teams. My money, were I a betting man, would be on an incompetent gamekeeper being the perpetrator. Just a thought: would the term “incompetent gamekeeper” count as tautology?

    1. I’m very interested in that too John – someone in the Fire Service must actually have a record of all those fires, with reports from the attending officers. Can those be obtained by a Freedom of Information request..or even just a polite inquiry?…If their statement was a misrepresentation then lets not just sit back and take it.Where are the journalists who should be looking into this kind of thing? This cost the taxpayer many thousands of pounds.

  5. Wait till the SGA gets wind of the fact that spiders occasionally predate butterflies and bees!! – cue mass hysteria and calls for an immediate cull!!

  6. It may be me but I can’t help noticing that these so-called “controlled” muirburn fires always seem to happen about the same time every year, you know the beginning of the nesting season. It’s strange that this just happens to coincide with the annual so-called traditional muirburning activity that has gone on uncontrolled for generations, it’s a well known tradition I’m talking about, bottle in the hip pocket, stroll on up the hill, take a swig, throw down a few well placed lit matches, take another swig then go and sleep it off in some worthy’s bothy until the fire brigade etc, show up and attempt to put out the out of control huge expanse of heather ablaze from one horizon to the other. Far fetched, not a bit of it, I’ve seen it happen so many times up here in the far north that the heather will never grow again. And still nobody has ever been prosecuted for it, strange that seeing how it’s arson.

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