DEFRA ignores 10,000+ voices calling for grouse moor licensing

Bowland Betty2
Bowland Betty, a young satellite-tracked hen harrier found shot dead on a North Yorks grouse moor in 2012

Thousands of you will have received a message in your inbox this morning from DEFRA. Thousands of you will not have been the tiniest bit surprised by the content of the message.

DEFRA’s message was one they were forced to send because the e-petition calling for the licensing of grouse moors and gamekeepers had reached the 10,000 signature trigger mark (see here). Thanks to e-petition rules, they were compelled to issue a response. They needn’t have bothered.

For those who haven’t read DEFRA’s response to the e-petition, you can find it here.

In a nutshell, DEFRA thinks that conservation policies for birds of prey are working well (er….Hen Harriers??!) and thus they have no intention of restricting sport shooting in England.

In other words, get lost you plebs and leave us and our chums to get on with our fun.

Their response really shouldn’t come as any surprise to anybody who has been following the Westminster government’s wildlife policies of late. Badgers, buzzards, bees, fracking….

Was it worth our time and effort to sign the petition? Yes, it absolutely was. Anything that raises public awareness of the raptor persecution issue is well worth the time taken to type your name in a box and click ‘send’. Awareness- raising over the next 14 months will be particularly important as England approaches the next General Election in 2015….

Well done again to John Armitage (who started the e-petition) and to the 10,000+ of you prepared to stand alongside him. Onward..

8 thoughts on “DEFRA ignores 10,000+ voices calling for grouse moor licensing”

  1. The reply could have been written, in every detail, by the Countryside Alliance or the SGA.

    It will reinforce criminal activity.

    1. Totally agree with you, and I happened to mention this on another forum.

      I read with interest of the propagandist nonsense about increasing raptor populations, especially the Red Kite, a species that had to be re-introduced because it was virtually wiped out by the landowners and the shooting estates!

  2. pretty much reitterates what is already blindingly obvious, there will be no respite from illegal persecution nor any effort to stamp it out under this government

    1. Absolutely correct – gov. petitions are a public con. They are an attempt to convince us all that our opinion matters. Bottom line is that our opinion matters jack shit. What matters is that the land owners are permitted to do what they like.

      If wildlife crime regurlaly happens on private land then taking such land into public ownershisp is the best solution.

  3. I sent them a reply this morning, pointing out the English Hen Harrier problem and also the Scottish Black Isle Red Kite disgrace, pointing out the difference between this and the Chilterns. Not expecting them to get back to me though!

  4. A lot to be said about all this garbage in the message from – by the way – shouldn’t it be DEAFRA!

  5. The government response is a vague and confused sham. The petition was not an attack on all shooting, it was a request for a level of control over one type of shooting….where there is a scientifically proven problem. It really is open to challenge.
    Which department wrote it?
    Which research is it based on (good for the environment!?)
    Why did it ignore the plight of the hen harrier which is the raptor most severely impacted by grouse moor management?

    It must be challenged by forcing them to expose the unjustified opinions on which it appears to have been based. The response came as a “no reply” e-mail. Where do we send our questions?

    1. I suspect you’d have to ask your own MP those questions and hope they actually bother to ask onwards. You can contact your MP via, whether you’ll get a straight answer is anyone’s guess thogh.

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