Following on from yesterday’s blog where I wrote about DEFRA Minister Lord Richard Benyon’s wilful blindness when it comes to tackling the illegal killing of birds of prey on gamebird shooting estates (here), there was a further exchange in the House of Lords about gamebird shooting, including several Lords’ unfounded claims that lead-shot gamebirds are ‘healthy‘ and ‘about the most nutritious food that you can possibly eat‘ (!!) and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Natalie Bennett’s) well-informed question to Lord Benyon about the environmental impact of releasing 60+ million non-native gamebirds in to the countryside every year.
There was an additional exchange between Lord Newby (Dick Newby, Leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords) and Benyon:
I find it totally implausible that a DEFRA Minister, with a long-term personal interest in gamebird shooting (he owns a pheasant-shooting estate in Berkshire and a grouse moor in Scotland and was a former Trustee of the GWCT) would ‘not have any evidence’ of pheasant-dumping, especially given several high profile incidents in recent years, the most recent featuring on ITV news just last week!
Benyon told Dick Newby that if evidence could be produced he’d be ‘happy to discuss it with officials and with Natural England’.
So I tweeted Dick Newby this morning and gave him a link to this blog post which documents widespread pheasant dumping incidents in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North York Moors National Park (here) and even more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), and again in West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here), Lincolnshire (here), Somerset (here), Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park (here), Suffolk (here), Leicestershire again (here), Liverpool (here), even more in North Wales (here) even more in Wales, again (here), and in Wiltshire (here).
Within just four minutes of receiving my tweet, Dick Newey responded with this:
Impressive. Let’s see how he gets on.
For those interested in the full exchange in the House of Lords yesterday, the Hansard transcript can be read here.