Rural mental health survey – this Govt committee needs to hear from you

The UK Government’s Environment Food Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee is hosting an inquiry into rural mental health (see here) and has issued a call for evidence (here).

This is a timely inquiry as there are many in the rural community who suffer huge mental stress and don’t necessarily receive the support they need (e.g. farmers having to deal with violent hare coursers).

I note that the game-shooting industry is urging its members to submit evidence, particularly that of gamekeepers who claim to be the subject of widespread abuse (see here), and you can predict where this will lead if the Government committee only hears from this sector and not from those of us at the receiving end of abuse from the game-shooting industry and others, such as the fox-hunting lot.

The inquiry has been open since November 2021 and it closes this Friday (21st January 2022) so time is short but I would encourage you to contribute if you’re able, so the committee receives views from a wide range of people.

The type of evidence you may wish to contribute would include incidents of harassment, violence, intimidation, direct and indirect threatening behaviour, vehicle damage, pet injury/death through poisoning, shooting, snaring etc, arson, online abuse, doxxing etc. You may also want to listen to this recent recording from journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, who spoke about the effect of pheasant shooting next to her property:

Here is the link if you’d like to contribute evidence to the committee and remember the deadline is this Friday – see here.

UPDATE 19th January 2022: Online abuse from Steve Grant, assistant editor of Countryman’s Weekly magazine (here)

6 thoughts on “Rural mental health survey – this Govt committee needs to hear from you”

  1. Does Lesley Riddoch realise that there is precious little chance of that malignant assemblage in Edinburgh doing anything to alleviate her suffering. Holyrood’s sympathies and loyalties lie with the group of people that include those that shoot pheasants along with the other gun toting, wildlife killing and land abusing menaces.

    Anyone who thinks that the Scottish N. Party will change any of that needs to wake up to land reform SNP style, i.e. all changes must ensure that land ownership and use must not be unacceptable to those that own or have the right to use land. In short any change cannot go beyond being cosmetic (that is why raptor killing continues unabated).

    I have no doubt that Lesley is tormented by the gun noise. She is one of many. I reside close to a pheasant shooting area where there is also year round gun noise from local farms where people wander about taking pot shots at whatever and sometimes have clay pigeon shooting.

    There is firework noise too (nightly for three weeks around the Xmas – New Year period). That was another problem that the SNP gov. undertook to address ………. looks like some people with “influence” put a stop to anything worthwhile happening.

  2. I’m writing this comment as a shoot is taking place beside our home….

    Despite several calls and messages to the contact details on the evidence submission pages, nobody returned my calls. I would ask the RP followers to urge the Scottish Government to undertake the same enquiry and soon (despite agreeing wholeheartedly with Dougie’s comment).

    I have concrete evidence on the affect that shooting has had on the mental health of our family, the cost to the public purse for years of NHS intervention. These issues are never resolved by government therefore the mental health problems are never resolved either as there is little to no help or support available.

    The large shooting estates boast of the huge incomes from their ‘sport’, and I ask that if they are doing so incredibly well financially then they can mainline funds directly to the Scottish Mental Health service to aid those who are so damaged as a direct result of their actions.

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