Case against Scottish gamekeeper William Dick: part 4

scales of justiceCriminal proceedings continued today against Scottish gamekeeper William Dick.

Dick, 24, of Whitehill Cottages, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries is accused of bludgeoning and then repeatedly stamping on a buzzard. The offences are alleged to have taken place in Sunnybrae, Dumfries in April 2014. Dick has denied the charges.

Today’s hearing was a notional diet and the next hearing will be an intermediate diet on 24 February 2015. A provisional trial date has been set for 23 March 2015, pending the outcome of the intermediate diet in February.

Previous blogs on this case here, here, here

SGA: “The Ukip of the natural world”

Jim CrumleyThere’s an interesting piece in today’s Courier written by Jim Crumley, discussing the number of raptors killed by wind turbine collision versus illegal persecution (see here for earlier blog post on this issue).

Crumley is no fan of wind farms, but is even less enamoured with the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, who he describes as “The Ukip of the natural world, and with whom I agree about almost nothing at all“.

Read the Courier article here

Visit Jim Crumley’s personal website here

‘Record breaking’ grouse season: but at what cost?

red grouse shotA ‘leading’ sporting agency is predicting that the 2014 Scottish grouse-shooting season will be one of the best for years, with ‘record bags’ being recorded on grouse moors across the country (see here).

It’s unfortunate that the grouse-shooting industry continues to measure a ‘good’ season based on the number of birds that are killed, not on the ‘quality’ of the shooting.

You can only get ‘record’ bags if the grouse are kept at artificially-high densities. That artificial high density is only possible if natural predators are removed (killed) on a massive scale. As we know, this happens on driven grouse moors both legally (e.g. stoats, weasals, corvids, foxes etc) and illegally (e.g. hen harriers, golden eagles, peregrines, buzzards, goshawks etc).

You can look at today’s headline one of two ways. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the names of the ‘record-breaking’ grouse moors were made public, so that their track record on raptor persecution can be cross-referenced?

Of course, the grouse-shooting industry will deny all involvement and/or knowledge of illegal raptor killing. If that was true, then wouldn’t it show that there’s no need to issue licences to kill protected species as the industry seems to be doing very well without them?