More smoke & mirrors from Moorland Association on raptor persecution

Following the publication of the RSPB’s 2017 Birdcrime Report on Tuesday (here), the Moorland Association has issued not one, but two public statements in response. Blimey, Police Supt. Nick Lyall must have made quite an impact last week.

The first response, published on the same day as Birdcrime, was as follows:

It’s the usual flannel from Conjuror-in-Chief Amanda, carefully written to highlight the superficial positives and avoid any mention of the more damning statistics of ‘missing’ satellite-tagged hen harriers that are, without a shadow of doubt, being illegally killed on driven grouse moors across the UK.

You’ll note also the rather strange reference to the RSPB, implying that the RSPB doesn’t ‘work constructively’ with other partners.

This theme reappears in Amanda’s second statement, published the day after Birdcrime 2017 was released:

It’s not the RSPB refusing to work collaboratively – it’s the Moorland Association, and others from the game shooting industry, who still haven’t managed to promote the RSPB’s Raptor Crime Hotline which was launched in February! What’s the problem? There’s no cost to the Moorland Association – the hotline is run and managed by the RSPB whose Investigations staff provide around the clock coverage to answer calls about suspected raptor persecution incidents. If the Moorland Association et al are as determined to eradicate raptor persecution as they’d like us all to believe, publishing and promoting this hotline amongst their members would be a no brainer.

The spiked references to the RSPB aren’t what really caught our eye though. We are fascinated by the following line in Amanda’s second statement:

Grouse moors are embracing the most modern land mangement practices within the law to ensure healthy populations of birds of prey“.

Eh? And what “most modern land management practices within the law” are those, then? Does Amanda have any examples she could share that would help us to understand?

Here are some recent examples of ‘management practices’ that have been used on grouse moors, none of them modern, none of them within the law, and none of them designed to ensure healthy populations of birds of prey:

Gamekeeper filmed at an illegal poisons cache on East Arkengarthdale Estate, Yorkshire (here)

Gamekeeper filmed setting illegal pole traps on Mossdale Estate, Yorkshire (here)

Unidentified armed individual filmed setting an illegal spring trap at a peregrine nest site on Bleasdale Estate, Lancashire (here)

Unidentified armed men filmed shooting at a nesting marsh harrier and removing eggs from the nest on Denton Moor, Yorkshire (here)

Gamekeeper filmed setting illegal pole trap on Swinton Estate, Yorkshire (here)

Gamekeeper filmed shooting, then stamping on two short-eared owls then burying their corpses on Whernside Estate, Cumbria (here)

Gamekeeper cautioned for setting an illegal trap on Lilburn Estate, Northumberland (here)

And of course this list doesn’t include the never-ending tally of shot, poisoned and trapped raptors that are found with depressing regularity on grouse moors, nor the catalogue of satellite-tagged hen harriers that vanish in highly suspicious circumstances on grouse moors, the latest three reported just two weeks ago (here), news to which the Moorland Association et al couldn’t even be arsed to respond (here).

Real progress” being made in the fight against illegal raptor persecution on grouse moors? Sorry, Amanda, your propaganda doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

19 thoughts on “More smoke & mirrors from Moorland Association on raptor persecution”

  1. From Police Supt. Nick Lyall’s statements I’d guess that it may inspire the Mlorland association to make different statements shortly if it doesn’t want to be submerged by new NGOs on the RPPDG.
    Anyone with no knowledge at all could be fooled by the 60% on land managed for grouse shooting. Why did she not celebrate the 0% on privately owned grouse moors as many of her members presumably did? Another successful year for them surely.

  2. Rather than spend public money on the various trusts that allegedly support wildlife surely it would be better to just buy the areas such as grouse moors and leave them to nature rather than experts ( both sides )

  3. ‘If the Moorland Association et al are as determined to eradicate raptor persecution as they’d like us all to believe, publishing and promoting this hotline amongst their members would be a no brainer’
    as would having members install video surveillance as a requisite for membership.

  4. The usual bullshit but the fact that they are bothering to wheel out this shite indicates something is worrying them. This gives me some hope. Will we have any raptors left by the time we secure a sea change though?

  5. Can we have detailed explanations of what the most modern management techniques are please, (perhaps there is a handbook available?) and then examples of where there are healthy populations of birds of prey as a result of these being embraced.

  6. So Anderson just proves that she is a clown, if the issues weren’t serious you would find her amusing, but I don’t find her amusing I find her toxic, she knows that crime is being committed at industrial levels on grouse shooting estates but chooses to bury her head in the sand, she is a disgrace

  7. The MA really has excelled itself this time! Does AA really believe all the tosh she writes? The bit that caught my eye was ‘Gamekeepers and landowners are working with Natural England to monitor the satellite-tagged birds’ movements and report sightings and this level of collaboration is fantastic to see’. So how widespread is this, then, and where is it happening? There’s yet more patting themselves on the back for repairing damage to moorlands – but no reference to who caused the damage in the first place.. As for the ‘voluntary ban’ on the burning of deep peat, we all know why they agreed – to stop it becoming a legal requirement.

    1. I guess it is sort of accurate. There does seem to be some people very carefully monitoring the satellite tag birds and making sure the tags stop responding in a non incriminating manner (legally speaking as opposed to the “why isnt it odd that all these tags magically fail in these couple of grid squares”).
      There has got to be a point where the law abiding members of the shooting community draw a line in the sand between themselves and the criminals and start reporting them. Personally I am not opposed to shooting so long as it doesnt have a negative impact on the wider environment and given our low level of apex predators I think shooting makes up for some of it. However with the current level of killing of anything which may lower the crop of targets I am going to end up in the keep it simple and ban it all camp sooner or later.

  8. Wow! Two statements. That’s impressive. Funny how when there’s an appeal for help all we get is a deafening silence (Denton Moor anyone?). I quite like them being commited to a “representative assemblage” of raptors though…..that’s probably as close as we’ve come to them admitting that there is no such thing at present (I wonder why?!). A bit like BASC admitting there was an issue with illegal activities. Step 1 of a 12 step programme…..

    1. That’ll be a ‘representative assemblage’ on whose terms, I wonder? Reckon I’d only need one guess. Maybe there’s room for another talking shop here – ‘The Collaborative Committee for Sustainable Representative Assemblages’.

  9. For as long as the grouse shooting industry continue obfuscate, it is clear that they have no intention of ending raptor persecution.

  10. Is there anyone out there who can take Amanda Anderson seriously? Flannel and flummox are the order of the day in her world. Every grouse shooter, gamekeeper, and every other person with even a little insight to the activities of grouse moor management, knows full well that her writings amount to defence of the indefensible. Unfortunately, the lack of response from any government department or law enforcement agency suggests that some very clever people, in control of society, are either taken in, or complicit with the criminality which is so obvious. Wildlife crime doesn’t go away because Amanda Anderson says it is already in continuous decline! Or that “real progress” is being made, without any assistance from RSPB. She’s like a character from George Orwell’s 1984. The sooner grouse and other game shooting, with the associated persecution of wildlife are consigned to the history books, the better our society will become. It can’t come soon enough for some of us.

  11. ” Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer ” as the saying goes.
    Apologies for the clumsy paraphrase.
    Having spent nearly half a century in raptor research and protection, I also therefore number amongst my closest aquaintances many keepers, land owners, shooters, fox hunters etc.
    The reality of the effect on large raptors of 21st century DGS and some lowland keepering is worse than most people’s worst nightmares.
    Remember that AA is simply part of the paid response team so don’t expect anything to change from her mouth [or pen ].
    As I have stated many times, only political change will bring the changes that we all know to be essential for raptors in these areas.
    As I’ve also said many times, just look at the massive positive change in the UK fortunes of large raptors [ and fish – eating raptors ! ] outside these killing zones in the last 50 years.
    Things do get massively better in time !
    Don’t expect change from the politicians who represent the landowners and their poor slaves [ keepers being the slaves – for those who don’t know the industry ! ].

    Keep up the pressure !

  12. Hi, I think you might have a problem with your website, it appears to be redirecting to an ads site.



    On Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 15:33 Raptor Persecution UK, wrote:

    > RaptorPersecutionUK posted: “Following the publication of the RSPB’s 2017 > Birdcrime Report on Tuesday (here), the Moorland Association has issued not > one, but two public statements in response. Blimey, Police Supt. Nick Lyall > must have made quite an impact last week. The first res” >

    1. Hi Kevin,

      This appears to be a WordPress problem (not something we can control) across its platform, especially when accessing the blog via a mobile phone. When it’s happened in the past WordPress has usually sorted it out within a few days.

    2. I’m getting some very peculiar and inappropriate ‘ads’ appearing as footnotes. I hope WordPress sorts this out. They can distract from the serious nature of the blog.

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