I’ve got a few blogs to write that were scheduled for last week but the news of the two dead eagles in southern England took priority, so now I’m playing catch-up.
Remember those shot pheasants and other assorted species that had been dumped in a lay-by in Angus a week ago (see here and here)? I’m pleased to report that journalist Peter John Meiklem picked up the story from this blog and ran it as a news item in The Courier last week, which will have reached a wide audience:
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association was asked to comment for the article and a spokesperson is quoted, “It is difficult to establish the truth or motivation from photographs appearing on an anti-shooting website, so we will not speculate“, which I think implies that they think it was a set-up.
That the SGA has drawn such a conclusion shouldn’t surprise anybody. These are the people who have also said:
“Professional gamekeepers do not poison raptors” (May 2011)
“It is unfair to accuse gamekeepers of wildlife crime” (June 2011)
“Will these very large creatures [white-tailed eagles] differentiate between a small child and more natural quarry?” (September 2011)
“Raptors are thriving on game-keepered land” (July 2013)
“I strongly believe the goshawk was never indigenous to the United Kingdom and there is absolutely no hard evidence to suggest otherwise” (September 2013)
When asked whether gamekeepers are involved with the poisoning, shooting & trapping of raptors: “No they aren’t. We would dispute that” (March 2014)
“In the last ten years we have stamped out poisoning. We’ve absolutely finished it” (October 2014)
“We kill animals because probably we’re the doctors and nurses of the countryside” (January 2015)
“Grouse moors are a birdwatcher’s paradise” (December 2020)
On the need to phase out the use of toxic lead ammunition within five years, “The SGA remains unconvinced by present evidence…” (September 2021)
Whilst the SGA is busy trying to out-dinosaur some of the other game-shooting organisations, another blog reader has sent in a photograph of some more dumped gamebirds, which he tells me he ‘found dumped over a roadside gate at Sutton Bingham Reservoir in South Somerset on 20th November 2021‘.
It’s a couple of pheasants and a red-legged partridge, tied together with baler string as they often are at the end of a shoot.
Perhaps a member of the shooting party was given the birds to take home but he/she wasn’t interested in eating them, just shooting them, so chucked them over a fence and drove off.
Or perhaps some anti-shooting extremists got hold of some weapons, did a bit of armed trespass and shot the birds without anyone seeing and then tied them together and lobbed them over a random gate in the vague hope that someone might come along and see them, take a photograph and submit them for publication on this blog.