The Mail on Sunday ran a story yesterday suggesting that the RSPB was responsible for the catastrophic decline of the English hen harrier breeding population. It went like this:
You might think this article was the handiwork of the grouse shooting industry’s propaganda machine, You Forgot the Birds (YFTB). It’s got all the hallmarks – anti-RSPB rhetoric, dodgy use of science, published in the Mail etc. But there’s no quote from YFTB favourites, Ian ‘King of Bollocks‘ Botham or the equally scientifically-illiterate Ian Gregory.
Instead, there’s yet another idiotic quote from Andrew ‘More Crayons than Credibility‘ Gilruth of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), who suggests that the cause of the collapsing hen harrier population is the RSPB not killing enough predators. This disingenuous gibberish from Gilruth is akin to ivory poachers arguing that the loss of elephants in Kruger National Park is down to the failure of the National Park Authority to protect them – and nothing to do with illegal killing for profit.
So did this Mail on Sunday article originate from YFTB or from GWCT? It’s pretty hard to tell just from reading it, but what you might not know is that YFTB issued an embargoed press statement to journalists in late October 2017 (that wasn’t published) that went like this:
Gosh, spot the similarities?
Is the GWCT’s Andrew Gilruth now moonlighting for YFTB?