Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (2)

WARNING: For those of a sensitive disposition this post will contain examples of grossly offensive material so if you’re likely to get upset by reading it I’d suggest you don’t go any further than this point.

Today’s post is a follow-on from last week’s post (Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (1)) where I documented some of the abuse and harassment that has been levelled at me over the last six years because I campaign for an end to the illegal killing of raptors on game-shooting estates. Today’s post will focus on some of the abuse that’s been directed at my colleague Chris Packham and his step-daughter, Megan McCubbin.

These posts have been prompted by a recent campaign by gamekeepers complaining, with straight faces, that they are the victims of unfair abuse (see here).

Chris is no stranger to receiving harassment from the game-shooting and hunting industries for simply expressing his views and campaigning against animal cruelty and environmental destruction. The abuse has been going on for years:

The abuse comes from a variety of individuals with links to these industries, including these examples from Geva Blackett, former parliamentary officer for the SGA, married to Invercauld Estate’s factor (now retired), an SNP Councillor in Aberdeenshire and the former Deputy Convenor of the Cairngorms National Park Authority:

A common theme of attack has been in the form of petitions calling for the BBC to sack him (e.g. here) or ‘rein him in’ (e.g. here) and formal complaints being made to the BBC Trust (but not being upheld – see here and here) and much of this has been led by shooting industry groups such as the Countryside Alliance, Moorland Association, GWCT and BASC.

It’s little wonder, then, when the industry’s ‘leading’ organisations and prominent players are pursuing a hate campaign against Chris that gamekeepers and their supporters would also join in. One example was a gang of gamekeepers and their supporters who gathered outside a venue where Chris was working in Harrogate, shouting through a loud hailer about perceived job losses and who were so threatening that venue staff called the police to attend (see here). The irony of protesting about perceived job loss from an industry that has campaigned for Chris to lose his, wasn’t lost on any of us.

The abuse has certainly increased since Wild Justice launched in 2019 and some of that is well-documented, (e.g. see here but beware, it’s particularly unpleasant) and has included dead animals tied to his gate at home (e.g. see here and here), dead animals dumped on his drive (e.g. see here), human excrement sent through the post as well as a menacingly chilling death threat letter (see here).

His address has also been circulated on social media as have photographs of his driveway and gate.

All of this harassment, and other things that can’t yet be publicly divulged due to ongoing legal action, has been reported to the police.

More recently, the abuse has spread towards his step-daughter, Megan, and again this is likely to have been prompted by a particularly nasty attack on Megan published on the BASC website last year (here).


This libellous post was written by Bert Burnett, a former Director of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and a current columnist for the SGA’s quarterly rag for members, who routinely targets Chris, me, Wild Justice, RSPB and the Scottish Raptor Study Group:

Here’s Bert Burnett again with his vile, misogynistic language. Note the entry from ‘Glen Ample’ – this is the Facebook account of one Mike Holliday, a gamekeeper from Perthshire and a BASC Working Group member who recently wrote a letter of complaint to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the online abuse he and his colleagues had apparently suffered from ‘animal rights extremists’. I’ll be writing more about Mr Holliday and his own behaviour on social media in due course.

The following repulsive examples are from individuals who identify themselves as gamekeepers or are associated with the gamekeeping ‘profession’:

This one is from Ronnie Kippen, a gamekeeper from the Strathbraan area of Perthshire and apparently a committee member of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association who has also featured in some recent GWCT propaganda. He published this appalling post on 3rd Feb 2021:

Can you imagine being Chris, or Megs, or their family members and friends having to read this malicious abuse every single day? Where are the leaders within the game-shooting industry, standing up and you know, leading?

Thankfully there is some humour to be found amongst all this depravity. The gamekeeper who posted this wasn’t quite up on world affairs and genuinely thought he was on to something, until his more informed mates pointed out the obvious:

I think that’s probably enough for today.

There’ll be further blogs in this series coming soon.

UPDATE 18th July 2021: Organised crime, harassment & intimidation – another day on the grouse moors (guest blog) (here)

27 thoughts on “Gamekeepers lead disgusting hate campaign against conservationists (2)”

  1. Wow, I guess Chris is going to be a very rich man once he’s sued them all for defamation. The calls for physical violence are surely a matter for the police. I hope you passed them on and notified the employers of the ones making the threats.

  2. XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX Nutjobs with guns !! Dangerous to Wildlife and to Chris by the sounds of it and all because he loves nature. The police should sort these people out before they get out of hand. If anyone else did this to someone not on TV they would get seriously in trouble.

  3. The question as to why others in the so called shooting industry don’t stand up and condemn this abuse is quite simple really they lap it up and think any attack on those who oppose their views, or the criminality and cruelty within their so called sport are fair game for this even though they themselves wouldn’t say it. A shooting “friend” sent me Burnett’s pointless and inaccurate diatribe about the Langholm nature reserve and seemed shocked by the way I described Burnett and thought it rude and offensive even when I pointed out why ( compared to the stuff described here it was neither). Its like persecution really some do it, the rest keep their stupid mouths shut because they think it benefits them all.

  4. See how the xxxxx can’t comprehend a stepdaughter’s love for her stepfather – they have to twist it into something sordid.

    Our wildlife has to encounter these bastards on a daily basis – we need to remove gamekeeping from the U.K for good.

    How is gamekeeping even allowed in the most nature-depleted country in Europe?

  5. What surprises me the most are some of the names on the posts as I recognise them as regular contributors to a well known Rewilding FB site and are accepted as genuinely interested in the debate. It’s both extremely annoying for those who have been on the wrong end of their abuse on other sites and detrimental to the debate as a whole in my opinion.

    1. George I copied in and pasted the last RPUK post about Leadhills on that very same FB page and they came out of the woodwork as they do when anybody posts similar ones on that page. They pretend to be interested in debate, but clearly they are just trying to undermine arguments for rewilding especially with new people who are now taking a genuine interest in the subject. One of these scunners obliquely referred to Chris Packham as vermin, but I’m glad to say the admin deleted that. xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx Yeah a few familiar names being shown up for what we suspected they were all along.

  6. Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 makes it an offence for a person, with the intention of causing distress or anxiety, to send certain items to another person which convey an indecent or grossly offensive message or are themselves of an indecent or grossly offensive nature, or which convey a threat or information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender.

    Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send through a ‘public electronic communications network’ a message or other matter that is ‘grossly offensive’ or of an ‘indecent, obscene or menacing character’. The same section also provides that it is an offence to send a false message ‘for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another’.

    Research has indicated that criminals who commit more serious crimes, are frequently involved in anti social behaviour or break the law in other ways.
    Could engaging in cyber bullying/trolling, virtual mobbing or sending ,malicious and offensive communications be an indicator of an individuals propensity to commit crime?
    If so, could the type of messages highlighted in this blog offer an explanation as to why raptor persecution takes place or why other wildlife offences are committed?

    It would certainly be an interesting study to look at those who are convicted of crimes and what they post on social media. If a link is found, could this help the authorities with offender targeting or crime reduction strategies?

    1. Unfortunately the ever present problem of there technically being an offence and actually getting someone to do anything about it is a hindrance.

  7. There is more than enough evidence of harassment, plus stalking, for the Police to arrest and charge those responsible for these vile messages etc. I once lived quite close to the BASC HQ in Rosset. They could be described as Neanderthals but that is an insult to our ancestors who were far superior beings. The content of some of these messages is such that they should be banned from social media.

  8. Somehow I seem to be constantly saddened by the nasty, vicious and downright abuse experienced by people who genuinely care for nature. Our society should be able to stop this, particularly online? As for leaving awful stuff on someone’s drive, gate etc…. What goes on in these ‘people’ s heads is so shocking I sometimes can’t get my head around it. I have children, grown up and lovely grandchildren and I want a much better life for them and an ability to love the countryside. Don’t these vile people have a conscience and children too? I know the answer and it’s depressing.

    1. “Somehow I seem to be constantly saddened by the nasty, vicious and downright abuse experienced by people who genuinely care for nature.”

      The thugs are in a corner and are surrounded by right minded decent people. They are using the only weapons they have left.
      They cannot present any logical coherent argument in defence of their pursuits and actions because there simply is no material in existence to support their behaviour.
      We can take strength from knowing that the more these villains persist with their lawlessness the more they will fall victim to their own criminality.

  9. Obviously they don’t like the truth exposed. Thank you all for researching the revolting revelations of a sick criminal industry. Thank you for doing it with dignity.
    It is a major concern those who make these abusive comments own firearms (or sleep with someone that does). They should be investigated.

  10. [Ed: Hi Harry, thanks for your message. I don’t have any other further info other than what has been published on the blog, sorry. But I think what you’re proposing is a great idea and there’s surely enough evidence to do it now. Best wishes]

  11. I think it’s really important that you have published this, raising awareness of the sickening levels some people will stoop to- and people who are connected to the industry, whose opinion unfortunately matters in some circles. And I’m all for standing up for Chris and Megs: it is a real shame that individuals get targeted this way and I am glad this post speaks up for them.

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