Grouse shooting industry hoping you’re as stupid as they think you are

dunceFollowing yesterday’s news that the RSPB has walked away from the Hen Harrier Inaction Plan (see here), the grouse shooting industry has responded.

Statement from the Moorland Association here

Statement from BASC here

Statement from the Countryside Alliance here

Here are the comedy highlights but you really should read the statements in full to appreciate their mastery of illusion:

According to the Moorland Association, the crimes which the RSPB listed as evidence of lack of progress (see here, here, here, here) ‘did not directly involve birds of prey and certainly not hen harriers’. And further, ‘using decoying is a legal method of corvid control’.

According to BASC, it has spent the last twelve years ‘building confidence and ensuring the future of hen harriers’.

According to the Countryside Alliance, the RSPB has ‘retreated from the task of saving the hen harrier’ and grouse moors are ‘sanctuaries for many endangered bird species’.

What these three organisations all have in common is a shared hope that you’re as stupid as they think you are.

The grouse shooting industry thinks you’re too stupid to have read the reports of raptor persecution crimes that have taken place on grouse moors this year (or those that have happened every year over the last few decades). The grouse shooting industry also thinks you’re too stupid to have read the catalogue of scientific papers and government reports that show a clear relationship, time and time again, between raptor persecution and driven grouse moor management. The grouse shooting industry thinks you’re so stupid that you’ll believe its lies, its insincerity, and its claims of victimisation. The grouse shooting industry really thinks you are very stupid.

The grouse shooting industry won’t tolerate hen harriers on the moors. Not one single hen harrier nested successfully on an English driven grouse moor this year. This is a landscape that has the capacity to support hundreds of breeding pairs. The English hen harrier breeding population has virtually collapsed, as has the credibility of the grouse shooting industry, which has more bits falling off it than a clown’s car. Hen harriers will not recover in England until the grouse shooting industry has been closed down.

64,500 people are smart enough to understand. Are you? If you are, please sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting HERE

24 thoughts on “Grouse shooting industry hoping you’re as stupid as they think you are”

  1. All as would be expected, it is going to be hard as there is huge money behind grouce shooting and that equals corruption, greed and power; however a fight must continue.

  2. Well, the wealthy and the powerful have a long history of treating the common citizen as stupid but this doesn’t make them so. Social media now allows them to gain the factually based information which was not easily accessible a few years ago. Having a barrowful of new information to dwell on will naturally allow them to make new decisions and choices in areas where they were previously misled because all information had but one source … one which was usually mendacious and always self serving. The more they try to maintain their old pathways of disinformation the more they will be exposed … and thus will help in their own downfall. Lets keep the information flowing, the pictures coming and the emails constant in our march to change the Victorian practises which have decimated our birds of prey.

  3. After several decades of dialogue and searching for mutually acceptable ways to compromise with the grouse shooting production line, patience has been broken by the one sided, self centred and self serving interests of these particular shooters. I do so much hope the RSPB will now lend their considerable weight and support to the many of us involved in gaining more signatures to the petition for a ban driven grouse shooting. Indeed, the quoted organisations above are contemptible in assuming the public are of low intellect and stupid. I really feel these bodies are more and more appearing as a blind man without a stick, losing their way with ill crafted and absurd statements, which also has the benefit of gaining our cause more support.

  4. Time for some direct action. The shooting lobby will soon get very grumpy indeed when lots of people start to disrupt their killing and land owners start to lose money. When all else fails then you are only left with one option.

  5. The answer to this particular problem is public awareness; if the public were made aware of the relentless persecution of the country’s wildlife undertaken my a tiny ‘rich’ minority, they would demand an immediate change. The actual problem is the BBC are entirely in cahoots with the nobs who kill our wildlife (in fact it’s not ours, or anyone’s wildlife) and are utterly opposed to broadcasting the facts – you’ve watched ‘Countryfile (Blue Peter for farming adults), and/or Spring/Summer/Autumn Watch. Haven’t you ever wondered why these topics are not dealt with by the nations broadcaster. It’s because the Beeb don’t want to offend the rich and powerful. And they say we live in a democracy, some democracy!

    1. I think that is a diabolical insult to Blue Peter to compare Countryfile to that esteemed show. Blue Peter actually accurately informed kids.

  6. If we are to achieve a ban on driven grouse shooting or even the RSPB’s stated goal of licensing then collectively we need to make changes to what we do going forward. The online social media campaigning is a tool but there are others in the toolbox that need to be deployed. Since the idea of Hen Harrier Day was first launched in 2013 it has garnered much support and more recently funding. Those running the campaign now need to think about putting boots on the high streets and supermarket doors to get more petition signatures. Perhaps the time for direct lawful action to disrupt grouse moor activity during the season has come, perhaps instead of protesting on nature reserves where we are preaching to the converted we need to picket the entrance to GWCT offices in London or fly model Hen Harriers from the public gallery in the House of Commons during PMQ. We need to take awareness of the issue beyond the opinion column of the broadsheets into the national conscious. We need the RSPB to get more than 6.5% of its members to sign a petition, write to their MP, make a fuss!

    1. Totally agree. We must make the general public more aware of all the detrimental factors surrounding driven grouse shooting and, most importantly, how it might affect THEM in the future. Of course, we are primarily concerned with the wholesale slaughter of raptors and other species on these moors and it is paramount that DGS is banned for this reason alone. But many other people might not share our concern for birds of prey but maybe more worried about the slaughter of mountain hares, about muir-burning and the effects on CO2 emissions. Or about drainage causing increased run-off and increasing the likelyhood of flooding downstream. Or about the utter ‘rape’ of OUR uplands with huge areas fenced off and ‘motorways’ carving a route over the grouse moors to ensure that corpulant shooters don’t get their feet wet, or suffer a heart attack whilst travelling to the butts! However, it will all come to nothing unless the general public are informed of ALL these factors concerning DGS and we can gain their support.
      We have great Ambassadors in Chris Packham and Mark Avery which is a start, but we have to try and find ways whereby their message can reach more people, more quickly. Leaflets, flyers, posters. Any ideas anyone?
      Over time I have watched with amusement as the attitudes of the pro-shooting lobby towards us has changed. At first it was irritation. Now it is fear! They are frightened of us because of the arguments we are putting forward against DGS being permitted to continue. They are beginning to see that the end of this annual bloody massacre might be about to loom large over the horizon! They know that what they are doing is immoral. They are increasingly unable to dispute the scientific evidence against it, so, all they can resort to is hurling insults at us, however cleverly they might be worded. They have lost and in their hearts they know it!
      We have the moral high ground and we should all strive together to keep the initiative with us now to push them off the hills for ever! But in order to do that we need to involve the whole country.
      AND, when it is all over, the landowners involved must pay to return our hills back to their pristine glory!

      1. AND, of course, the public must be made aware of how much it is costing THEM by way of grants etc.

      2. Mark Avery & Co have cards to give out – for Yorkshire Dales (if any left); Bowland; and a general one. I have pushed over 400 through letterboxes in villages in the Y. Dales and given out more to friends & acquaintances. Not sure how many recipients are prompted to sign the petition but at least if they read the cards they will be a little more informed and maybe the seeds of knowledge are planted for future reference. Its all about getting increased public awareness of the issues and counteracting the false propaganda of the grouse shooters.
        The cards have been paid for by supporters contributions and I’m sure more funds would be welcomed to print off more posters, cards etc.
        I also bought a bottle of Hen Harrier beer today (and I don’t like beer!) to support the Clitheroe Brewery which is supporting the campaign.

      3. I’ve always maintained that a series of adverts informing the public of the criminal realities and environmentally destructive practices of grouse shooting, placed in the newspapers, would reach an audience that would normally be unaware of such things. This could prove very valuable in our fight.

        I would also like to see the televised RSPB adverts take on a hard-hitting approach, covering the same topics.

        1. That would be great Marco – but what newspapers would take them? The Daily Mail certainly wouldn’t!

          1. Perhaps, perhaps not, but even if the Mail rejected the idea, papers such as the Sun, the Mirror, and the Metro would all reach a wide audience.

  7. Who are they kidding?! The moors would be devoid of all life, except the poor grouse, if they had their way! It should b e banned! But if that doesn’t happen soon, then they need to be licensed, and that license removed for ANY violation! Charge the owner of the land, and the inability to earn money should concentrate the mind!

  8. The usual disingenuous nonsense from the moorland ass. No mention of the hundreds of incidences of wildlife crime that takes place on their members land. If they were serious about the following statement,

    “The onus is on every estate to ensure every employee is working within the existing law. Nothing less will do.”

    Then they would be asking for, no, lobbying for, VICARIOUS RESPONSIBILITY to be introduced ?

    1. When Richard Benyon MP was a DEFRA minister, he answered a question about why the banned poisons, used by many gamekeepers, were not illegal to have stocks of? With they are banned and that is sufficient. On the matter of “vicarious liability” he said it was not necessary in England and Wales. I am sure this was to protect his own shooting estates and those of his mates.

  9. Hi there my name is Ciaran Dunne i follow your posts constantly. I was a volunteer for the golden eagle trust before my circumstances changed unfortunately . Im just wondering if theres any way people from Ireland can sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting?

    1. The only people would may sign are British Citizens or who live in the UK.
      If the petition does reach 100000 signatures there will be checks done.
      If you are not eligible please don’t sign, and if you are, please don’t sign multiple times or with false credentials. Please fight the criminals, don’t become one.

    2. Ciaran there’s nothing stopping you signing this petition to get a licensing system for gamebird shooting in Scotland, as an irish citizen it will probably carry less weight with our parliament, but you will be making a statement –

      I would say that you could still do a lot to support Mak Avery’s petition even if you can’t sign it yourself, think of any UK resident you know in any capacity that you can contact and ask to sign and share. Contacting Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth, plus the UK Green Parties suggesting that they should promote the petition to their members wouldn’t hurt. The League Against Cruel Sports has done this and it has added thousands of signatures. The massive scale of grouse shooting its terrible impacts re animal welfare, ecological and social harm (increased water treatment charges and flooding), biodiversity loss and illegal persecution surely mean they should all be as supportive as LACS.

      If your email was the one that finally convinced Greenpeace UK to do this it could add tens of thousands of signatures overnight, literally – worth trying! all the best to you!

  10. just from walking around areas where pheasant shoots go on, I see blocked setts, snares and other traps. the aim of the game keeper is to kill all wildlife to protect the pheasant shoots and its the same with the grouse. its shameful that landowners are such a horrible bunch of gollums.

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