GWCT disregards police investigation into alleged wildlife crime on Van Cutsem’s Norfolk estate

Last week I wrote about how former Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, and landowners’ lobby group Scottish Land & Estates had shown complete disregard for the sanction imposed on Moy Estate after raptor persecution crimes had been recorded there (see here).

This week it’s the turn of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) to seemingly turn a blind eye.

Have a look at this event currently being promoted on GWCT’s website:

Regular readers will know that Hilborough House is the home of William van Cutsem. In May this year, police raided the estate after video footage emerged of alleged raptor persecution.

The footage, captured on a secret camera installed by the Hunt Investigation Team, appeared to show a crow cage trap in woodland alleged to be on the Hilborough Estate. The trap had been baited with live pigeons (this is an offence) and a young goshawk was attracted to the bait, entered the trap and then couldn’t escape. A masked man is then recorded entering the trap, pinning the goshawk to the side netting with a stick so he could grab the bird, and then removing it from the trap and walking away with it (also an offence). The goshawk’s fate is not shown.

As far as I’m aware, the police investigation is ongoing.

Mr Van Cutsem hasn’t commented publicly about this investigation although in a classic attempt at diversion, the Mail on Sunday ran a piece quoting ‘an unnamed source close to Mr van Cutsem’ who questioned the relationship between the Hunt Investigation Team and the RSPB:

What also is interesting is how close HIT works with the RSPB. It would be good to understand how a mainstream charity is working with a shady group’. 

Oh the irony!

6 thoughts on “GWCT disregards police investigation into alleged wildlife crime on Van Cutsem’s Norfolk estate”

  1. Yes, that’s how it works. Shooting sympathisers in league with one another pretending ot be neutral and objective while trying to make connections in the that do not exist simply because certain views are shared.
    They know fine that Charities cannot take these potentially libellious claims in regards to co-operation between HIT and the RSPP to court as they and their media savvy friends would be the first make the case for wasting money given to the charity to protect birds.
    A devious lot indeed.

  2. They are wilfully blind in the case of successful prosecutions, never mind current investigations of probable members and benefactors.

  3. Makes you wonder where the MOS got the RSPB/HIT notion from. Whether it’s true or not, it shows that someone out there regards it as something to be concerned about.

  4. ‘What also is interesting is how close HIT works with the RSPB. It would be good to understand how a mainstream charity is working with a shady group’.

    One might also wonder what conclusion we should draw from Van Cutsem’s obvious association with the Daily Mail and the Windsor family, both of whom have some very shady history, especially in the 1930s. But that might come close to Godwin-ing the thread…

    Doesn’t do to start casting nasturtiums, does it now?

  5. The reason why GWCT are such a rotten organisation is because they portray themselves as ‘neutral’ and solely concerned with ecology, when their whole existence is reliant on the ‘success’ of game shooting, so when issues inherent to that industry are exposed, like raptor persecution, it becomes a complete conflict of interest for them. This is why they constantly push for predator control, constantly frame driven shooting in a positive light, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and say absolutely nothing about instances like the above. They aren’t neutral,brhey aren’t a charity, they are a glorified shooting industry lobby group and have only become more detached and dogmatic as each year passes. This ‘charity’ can’t even bring themselves to call for a moratorium on shooting woodcock and snipe!

    1. I believe they (the GWCT) have called for a delay in the shooting ‘season’ for Woodcock, but it is Defra which claims that shooting is not relevant to the decline of the breeding population of Woodcock in the UK.

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