Online protest tomorrow about ongoing raptor persecution on Scottish grouse moors

Tomorrow (Friday 19 March 2021) is the online protest organised by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) and seven regional moorland groups, who represent grouse shooting estates and their gamekeepers across Scotland.

This is the protest that the SGA has been threatening since November when the Scottish Government had finally had enough with the decades of criminality in the grouse-shooting industry and promised to bring in a grouse moor licensing scheme as soon as possible (see here).

The protest has been named the Rural Workers Protest in an attempt to garner more support from other industries and will be using the hashtag #RWP21 on social media.

Here’s SGA Chairman Alex Hogg promoting the protest at the SGA’s online AGM earlier this month:

It’s still not clear what the SGA et al are protesting about, other than progress and modernisation, although I keep reading that they’re not being listened to, which is an interesting concept given the tv coverage and media column inches they’ve had this last week, as well as the vocal support of a number of MSPs and their ‘friend in Parliament‘, Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing.

We do know that Alex isn’t happy about the drink driving laws being applied in rural areas because it ‘affected social cohesion in the countryside’, according to the speech he read out at the SGA AGM a couple of weeks ago. That’s an interesting position given the display of empties lining the walls in the bothy from which Alex was speaking.

What, you don’t remember seeing them? Well that’s maybe because someone might have angled the camera to make sure they were carefully obscured. Compare and contrast these two photos….. the first one was a screengrab from the actual AGM. The second photo, from the SGA’s facebook page, shows a slightly different camera angle from the day before when Alex and his team were preparing the scene.

It’s also interesting that Scotland’s seven regional moorland groups are co-hosting the event, especially when grouse moors in five of those seven regions have been in the last three years, or currently are, under police investigation for alleged raptor persecution crimes (grouse moors in the regions covered by the Angus Glens Moorland Group, Grampian Moorland Group, Tomatin Moorland Group, Tayside & Central Moorland Group and the Southern Uplands Moorland Group). Do you think tomorrow’s protesters will be shouting about the illegal killing of birds of prey, on their grouse moors, right under their noses but apparently without any of them seeing anything suspicious? Or will they be arguing for getting licences to kill birds of prey, as we know that’s what the SGA has been campaigning for for years.

Not to worry. A number of us will be joining the online protest tomorrow, not to complain about modernisation or progress, nor to call for licences to be issued to kill raptors so more gamebirds can be produced for the guns. No, we’ll be there to protest about the ongoing illegal killing of birds of prey, on grouse moors, in Scotland. We’ll also be using the #RWP21 hashtag and we’ll be sharing information and photos with the general public who may not previously have been aware of what is going on. Join us if you can.

[This young white-tailed eagle was found dead on a grouse moor inside the Cairngorms National Park in April last year. It had been poisoned to death with a banned substance. Nobody has been prosecuted for this crime. Photo by Police Scotland]

17 thoughts on “Online protest tomorrow about ongoing raptor persecution on Scottish grouse moors”

    1. 19th As in the 19th century ? you could be forgiven for thinking that in the way these gamekeepers and their crony organisations still operate here in the 21st century

    2. Just stop the killing .outdated, out of touch, unsustainable. The attitude of its the right thing to do to go out and kill has got to be a form of mental illness and is what is wrong with society is this not the 21st century!?!?!?

  1. I hope you manage to highlight the continued criminal killing of raptors, 60 yrs after the law introduced their protection. Good luck.


  2. I just noted that they are now exercising coersive/ threatening pressure on people in their sector who have declined to take part…… True to type, bully, bully, bully.

  3. There’s no good reason for this primitive barbaric practice to be allowed to continue in the 21st century, come on everybody, grow up and move with the modern day times!
    Respect the lives of wildlife!

  4. “We do know that Alex isn’t happy about the drink driving laws being applied in rural areas because it ‘affected social cohesion in the countryside’, according to the speech he read out at the SGA AGM a couple of weeks ago. That’s an interesting position given the display of empties lining the walls in the bothy from which Alex was speaking.”

    ‘An interesting position’ indeed.

    Perhaps the bottles were the litter left by the “people and dogs popping up all over the place” that Alex Hogg mentioned.
    AH’s criticism of the drink driving laws is plausibly symptomatic of an attitude problem that prevents him and his cohorts from being dragged free of their outdated world.
    How would anyone who opposes stringent limits on alcohol consumed by drivers possibly explain the event to the relatives and friends of someone killed by an over-the-limit driver. Would it be said that it is just the ‘way of the countryside’ and anyone who does not understand that does not understand the countryside.

    After all, those of us who oppose wildlife crime and cruelty are accused of ‘not understanding the countryside’.

    It is profusely clear that ‘understanding the countryside’ has become a euphemism for supporting, or at least ignoring wildlife crime and cruelty.

  5. I’m with you! It makes my blood boil that people a) want to shoot artificially boosted numbers of Grouse out of the sky to start with, and b) Are prepared, by any means, to remove threats of predation of their favoured shot gun species, so they have more to blow out of the sky.

    A ban on shooting all birds should be made law as soon as possible. It was done with the carnage that was posh people shooting sea birds out of the sky, so that ‘ladies’ could have them on their hats (?!!!). Why this ridiculous grouse shooting anomaly been allowed to continue for so long, I will never understand.

    1. “Why this ridiculous grouse shooting anomaly been allowed to continue for so long, I will never understand.”

      I think that the concept of some people with influence over immoral people in high places provides a clue to the infinite problems.

  6. I agree that Driven Grouse Shooting should cease, preferably forthwith.
    It is abhorrent that it still continues when there is obviously not the market for all the shot birds (not even in animal feed; although I wouldn’t feed any animal something that has Lead pellets in it).
    I don’t mind walk up shooting so much, although I wouldn’t personally eat a game bird, but some folk like them so if they want to poison themselves, it’s their problem.
    Deer Stalking, I know the surplus stags need culling, and I do eat venison, but I have a love/hate mindset about it.

  7. How this reminds me of one of my favourite songs, Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” especially the end of verse four “Don’t bother They’re here” This is in no way derisory of Clowns, because as SS said in an interview it “does not mean Circus Clowns, instead they symbolise fools”

  8. I have also been heartened by zero coverage on Reporting Scotland….they have been categorised as….not news worthy.

    However I am a bit concerned that their concerted charm offensive of video clips may have hit home. But then again, today, they have slagged off the FM and the SNP, they have dismissed the Labour party, the LD and outright insulted the Greens…which leaves the tories…… and only one of them has shown interest in their work.

    Their one ray of hope is George Galloways Qannon based extremest collective….they persuaded George himself do a vote grabbing video blockbuster. But the George Galloway video isnt quite what they hoped for…..he calls the SGA a “trade union”…not a professional body, he has their measure. Those socialist workers will love that. But better still…he actually calls for the advancement of their regulation!!!!! I dont think George will be on Berts Xmas card list anymore….

  9. Apparently this blog has stereotyped Britain’s game keepers. I would suggest that they are a bit to generous to Ruth, surely they should take credit for their role in this.

    Just been into the SGA site and there is a lengthy read attacking this blog and comments from the blog, by someone called Helen Ferguson( it provides no information as to who she is or what he experience/role is) . However at no point does it provide any counter point to the issues raised by this blog.

  10. SGA say they represent 5500…….they have fair whipped up a storm of enthusiasm for #RWP21 in the wider rural community. Its nearly midnight and Facebook says….”1.1K people are posting about this”.

    Only one fifth of their own membership….. maybe this pathetic display of solidarity with their misguided cause will make them realise that its time to give up.

    They need to realise that the reason that people are not jumping on their band-wagon is very straight forward….most people want to live within the law.

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