The real price of grouse: episode 8

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Here’s episode 8 in a series of videos hosted by Chris Packham about the #NotSoGlorious damaging management practices associated with the driven grouse shooting industry. Episode one (an introduction to driven grouse shooting) can be watched here.  Episode 2 (the damaging environmental effects of heather burning) can be watched here. Episode 3 (traps) can be watched here. Episode 4 (parasites, medication and the mass killing of mountain hares) can be watched here. Episode 5 (flooding) can be watched here. Episode 6 (how your taxes are helping to subsidise driven grouse shooting) can be watched here. Episode 7 (Chris Packham interviews raptor monitoring expert Paul Irving about black holes for Hen Harriers in the north of England) can be watched here.

Here’s episode 8, where Chris interviews Mark Avery about why driven grouse shooting should be banned:

Over 122,000 people have joined Chris and signed the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. We’ve passed the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a Westminster debate and we’re currently waiting to hear when that debate will take place. In the meantime, this petition is open until 20th September and the more signatures, the better. Please join us and sign HERE 

Thank you!

12 thoughts on “The real price of grouse: episode 8”

  1. I have just returned from Pennsylvania USA, and almost every time I looked skywards I saw, sometimes several at one time, birds of prey. In fact I saw many more in 12 days than I do in 12 months in the Cairngorms, where I live. Why do our governments allow this criminal activity to flourish.

  2. Yes, Chris I understand where you are coming from. I have in the past spent many walking holidays in the Pyrenees around the area of Gavarnie. All part of a national park area and birds of prey everywhere. Griffon Vultures, Bearded Vultures, Red Kites, Peregrine,Sparrowhawk and Buzzard.
    The French authorities really know what a National Park should look like and how to nurture it for generations to come.

  3. Mention has been made on a previous SRP site about the Royal Family’s shooting activities at Balmoral, and how that powerful connection with blood sports, can be used to overwhelm progress in dealing with the illegal killing of Birds of Prey and other forms of wildlife, classed as “vermin”. Many years ago, I wrote to Buckingham Palace about this enjoyment over the killing of game birds and hunting with hounds, and respectfully suggested that the inculcation of young royals into that world of blood sports, could be changed by sending them to schools attended by ordinary working class children. That would be a better alternative than the obligatory boarding schools where hunting was part of the curriculum, thereby brainwashing those who attended, with an almost indelible support for such an activity. That kind of indoctrination justifies reflex raising a rifle and shooting a Bird of Prey out of the sky. Was there not such an accusation with regard to Wills and Harry, when they were younger men? Now, there seems to be an interest in saving the Elephant by Wills.

    The former king of Spain was exposed in the Daily Mail posing beside a bull Elephant, and other Big Game, that he had shot, a few years ago. That led to an international outcry, as he was the president of the WWF in Spain. I immediately contacted WWF and cancelled three sponsorships for endangered species, for which they were campaigning. The Royal part of the RSPB should be examined, as that patronage has never been used to come out publicly condemning the slaughter of Birds of Prey and Mountain Hares. The WWF should be castigated for its previous recommendation for trophy shooting, as a way for a country to raise funds for conservation. We can now see the results of that advice, with the Donald Trump & Sons types bidding for Lions,Elephants and other wildlife to shoot, and allowed to take back home for taxidermy services. The Lion in the wild has fallen to 19,000 and falling fast. Even Zebras and Giraffes are trophy shot, and are now verging on local extinction. The Scottish Government, I am glad to see, has promised to ban wild animals in visiting circuses coming here, but they can still be used as performing animals in England and Wales, against the promise David Cameron made several years ago. Cameron is a blood sport afficionado, and anything that is for animal welfare is anathema to such people, as they see any move to improve the condition of some animal, as a foot in the door, to threaten the powerful elite that dominates what can live and die on our respective landscapes. Three vile Tory MPs talk down any attempt by more moderate of their fellow party MPs on the circus issue. We really have to have a plan to eradicate this influence, and a place to begin is in our schools to show the children that a more compassionate was of dealing with animals exists, and that blood sports are a relict of a past, which was brutal and intolerant of human minority beliefs. By the way, I am a great admirer of Her Majesty the Queen and the institution of Royalty, but do condemn what Royality perhaps cannot help,and that is, from birth an upbringing that has hunting as integral to the building of character.

  4. Quite, Mr Greer Hart, senior. You say ‘… from birth an upbringing that has hunting as integral to the building of character’.

    Some readers will know that Animal Aid has a school speaker programme and welfare/rights issues are discussed with the students (including primary, but this of course deals with respect and care for animals in a very general sense)

    At a school near Lancaster, at which I had been asked to talk about xenotransplantation as they were reading a book on the subject, half a dozen students left the room; the teacher said she had had to ask parents’ permission for their kids to attend, and some had refused saying I would no doubt be brainwashing them against hunting.

    It’s a big job of work we have before us.

    1. Marian, it is disgusting that children were allowed to leave the room like that. That is the whole point of a school – a place of education. Those parents should be forced to take part in an adult education class themselves. I worked for 22 years as a primary school teacher and never once made any apologies for countless projects on conservation, habitat loss, intensive farming, animal welfare, persecution etc. I saw it as an essential part of my job.

      They are the ones guilty of manipulating young minds.

      1. I’m not in favour of forcible re-education of adults, and I would support the right of a parent to have their child excused from a classroom activity provided by an external lobby group whose aims they found objectionable.

        I merely mention this in case anyone happening upon this site is left with the impression that those opposed to raptor persecution are all of a totalitarian mindset.

    1. I notice that the wording of the pro grouse shooting petition has changed.

      It looks like the stone curlew no longer enjoys their patronage and protection.

      What happened? Did someone consult their Ladybird book of Grouse Moor Birds?

  5. The rock on which this campaign will founder is in finding an alternative use for grouse moors and I would respectfully suggest that energies should be devoted to finding a workable solution to that issue rather than simply reiterating the problems associated with driven grouse shooting.

  6. There’s an Elephant in the room!

    I don’t wish to sound paranoid however after reading Joe Dimbleby’s editorial comments in this week’s comic Shooting times and how he boasts about being given the opportunity to write a column in the latest edition of the RSPB magazine and how he cleverly chose a picture to suit what he wrote about (songbirds feeding at a seed hopper placed out for game birds) I can’t help getting the feeling there’s an enemy within.
    I’m pretty sure Martin Harper has not read a copy of the shooting times for some considerable time, if it was not for the RSPB there would be little to read in the magazine some weeks such is the criticism it comes under.
    Despite the fact over 40 million non native pheasants are released annually, Harper believes progressive shoots are good for the countryside, there seems to be no perception of the environmental damage this causes.
    Going back to Dimbleby’s notes after his boast about his piece in the RSPB magazine he tells of a close friend who recently lost his prize cockerel to a dog Otter (this was after it had already fended off a fox) and watched another of his chickens fend off a Sparrowhawk attacking it’s young. There is of course a simple solution that most of the civilised world and third world countries have already grasped and that is to pen your livestock in securely, it has never been so easy to do. Dimbleby’s tone comes through quite clearly though, it’s time to get out the otter hounds or sit waiting with the loaded gun for the sparrowhawk to return
    We have done brilliant to get over 120.000 signatures don’t let the RSPB cock it up now by pretending they were there all along and trying to get Grouse Moors licensed, all that will achieve is at least ten more years of the same

    1. I find the attitude of the RSPB towards shooting both baffling and infuriating. I don’t know whether they really are the enemy within, or they are too stubborn to admit that their over-chummy relationship with shooters in the past was a mistake, or whether they’re simply wetter than a wet haddock’s bathing costume (to quote Blackadder) and terrified of upsetting anyone.
      As well as probably not reading the Shooting Times, I wonder if Martin H has read the paper from the GWCT that showed that the proportion of grain put out in hoppers to feed pheasants during the shooting season that is actually eaten by songbirds was 0.0%. The majority of the grain was eaten by ‘non-target species’, mainly rats and pigeons (see Sanchez-Garcia et al, 2015). Just what our countryside needs!

      1. Martin Harpers praise of pheasant shooting being ‘good for the countryside’ was the reason that I cancelled my membership of the RSPB after many many years. I was both horrified and disgusted that a society that is meant to protect birds should spout such nonsense.

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