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Today is a milestone, and there’s one man to thank

Today is a milestone. It’s the day that 123,077 members of the public forced members of Parliament to debate the issue of driven grouse shooting in Westminster. That’s an incredible achievement, and although we’re not expecting to hear anything more than an establishment-led whitewash today, it’s just the beginning. Whatever the outcome this afternoon, we’re […]
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Today is a milestone, and there’s one man to thank

Today is a milestone. It’s the day that 123,077 members of the public forced members of Parliament to debate the issue of driven grouse shooting in Westminster. That’s an incredible achievement, and although we’re not expecting to hear anything more than an establishment-led whitewash today, it’s just the beginning. Whatever the outcome this afternoon, we’re […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2e30DE1

Mossdale Estate under fire from local residents

We’re often told how ‘beneficial’ driven grouse shooting is to rural communities and how supportive local residents are of their nearby grouse shooting estate. There was plenty of testimony to this ‘rural idyll’ in the written evidence submitted to the Westminster Petitions Committee’s inquiry on grouse shooting. That’s hardly a surprise when some local residents […]
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Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Rowan’ found dead in suspicious circumstances

Another of this year’s young satellite-tagged hen harriers has been found dead. This time it’s Rowan, a bird that hatched at Langholm and was being satellite-tracked by the Hawk & Owl Trust. Here’s a joint statement put out by the Hawk & Owl Trust and Natural England: The body of a juvenile, male hen harrier […]
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Buzzard with shotgun injuries found in Thirsk, North Yorkshire

A buzzard with shotgun injuries has been found in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, this week. It had a broken femur. The bird has undergone surgery and is currently in rehabilitation with the wonderful Jean Thorpe of Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation. A quote from Jean: “Amazing work once again by Mark Naguib of Battleflatts vets. The shot buzzard […]
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Grouse shooting costing tax payers millions of pounds

An investigation by Friends of the Earth has revealed that grouse shooting is costing tax payers millions of pounds every year. In an article in today’s Guardian (here), FoE shows how just 30 grouse moors in England received £4 million pounds in public subsidies during 2014 alone. These estates include those owned by lords, dukes, […]
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“We are patient, reasonable people……..our patience has run out”

This morning, the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee heard evidence on the call for the licensing of all gamebird hunting in Scotland (grouse, pheasant and partridge shooting). The petition (here), submitted by the Scottish Raptor Study Group (SRSG) and supported by RSPB Scotland, raised 7,600 signatures over a six-week period this summer. A petition briefing […]
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Red kite persecution in North Scotland at same level as 25 years ago, says new report

A new SNH-commissioned report, published today, shows that the high level of illegal red kite persecution in North Scotland has not changed in 25 years. The latest report (see here) is a follow up study on a paper published in 2010 (see here) that showed illegal persecution was responsible for holding back the spread of […]
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Licensing of gamebird hunting in Scotland: petitions committee to hear evidence this morning

In July 2016, the Scottish Raptor Study Group launched a petition calling for the state regulation of gamebird hunting in Scotland. We blogged about it here. This Scottish petition differs from Mark Avery’s petition to ban driven grouse shooting because (a) it calls for licensing rather than a ban and (b) it is directed at […]
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Westminster debate on driven grouse shooting – evidence of raptor persecution

We’ve been reading through the written evidence presented to the Westminster debate on driven grouse shooting and naturally, we’re interested in the evidence relating specifically to illegal raptor persecution. 472 submissions have been published. Of these, 200 were against driven grouse shooting in its current form, while 270 were supportive of the status quo (a […]
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Petition envy

We were amused to listen to Liam Stokes (Countryside Alliance) trying to tell the Parliamentary Petitions Committee (whose job it is, to er, assess petitions) that there is a need to be “very careful” when judging public perception on the basis of a petition (see oral evidence session here). He, and others from the grouse-shooting […]
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Westminster debate on driven grouse shooting – the evidence session

As you’ll be well aware, in August Mark Avery’s petition to ban driven grouse shooting successfully passed the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a Parliamentary debate, which is due to take place in Westminster Hall on Monday 31 October 2016. In the run up to that debate, the Petitions Committee (along with the Environment, Food […]
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SNH’s General Licence restriction on Raeshaw Estate is “farcical”, says RSPB

It’s good to see environmental journalist Rob Edwards following up on SNH’s pointless General Licence restriction imposed on a grouse moor estate in the Scottish Borders for alleged raptor persecution crimes. Read his article in today’s Sunday Herald here We’ve blogged extensively (see here) about the General Licence restriction on Raeshaw Estate, near Heriot, which […]
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Stop killing mountain hares! Protest at Scottish Parliament, 17 November 2016

As many of you will know, thousands of mountain hares are massacred on Scottish grouse moors every year, including inside the Cairngorms National Park. These killing sprees are unmonitored, unregulated and uncontrolled. The grouse shooting industry justifies the slaughter on the following grounds: Hares can affect fragile habitats through grazing pressure Mountain hares can cause […]
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Outstanding Achievement award for Chris Packham

Yesterday Chris Packham was awarded a Wildscreen Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 2016 Wildscreen Festival. The Panda Awards, dubbed the ‘Green Oscars’, celebrate and honour the very best in wildlife filmmaking and tv presenting. David Attenborough presented the award which Chris received to a standing ovation. His award was given in recognition of […]
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When a satellite-tagged hen harrier dies of natural causes

Question When a satellite-tagged hen harrier dies of natural causes, what happens next? Answer The satellite tag continues to transmit, leading investigators to find the dead bird and determine the cause of death. The tag doesn’t suddenly stop transmitting and the bird’s corpse doesn’t suddenly vanish in to thin air, even several days after death. […]
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Bright future for white-tailed eagles in western Scotland

It’s not often that we can report good news stories for raptor populations in Scotland, and it’s equally rare to find a raptor-related SNH press release that hasn’t been coated in a thick layer of varnished, propaganda-fuelled tosh. But yesterday we had both a good news story AND an accompanying unvarnished SNH press release! SNH […]
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Public consultation on future of grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor

Bradford Council is consulting on a draft management plan for Ilkley Moor, which includes the future of grouse shooting after the current licence expires in 2018. Local campaign group Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor has been lobbying for an end to driven grouse shooting on this public land for several years and they are now […]
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More moor burning at Moy – it’s simply perverse

The gamekeepers at Moy Estate are continuing to set the moor alight as part of their grouse moor management strategy. Here’s a photo taken from a train yesterday showing a fire on the Moy grouse moors. This fire isn’t as extensive as the one at Moy we blogged about last week but it’s just as interesting. […]
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New YouGov poll shows strong support for ban on driven grouse shooting

The message is definitely getting out there! A new YouGov poll, commissioned by Animal Aid, shows that 48% of those polled (2033 people) last month would support a ban on driven grouse shooting, compared to 28% who would oppose a ban. When counting only those who expressed a view, those in support of a ban […]
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Time to stop demonising the Langholm buzzards

Raptors have long been accused of ‘eating too many’ red grouse, and none more so than at Langholm. Sure, we all know that some raptors can eat a lot of grouse – during the Langholm 1 study it was shown that raptor predation reduced the autumn grouse abundance by 50%, leading to the cessation of […]
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Extensive fire damage from Moy grouse moor ‘hair cut’

The muirburn season has re-opened (1 Oct – 15 Apr) and it hasn’t taken long for the grouse moor hairdressers to splash around the fire accelerant and bring out the blow torches. This is a photo of a fire on the Moy Estate grouse moor at 21.43hr on Wednesday night (5th October 2016). For perspective, […]
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Peregrine shot dead in Yorkshire Dales National Park

A female peregrine has been found shot dead (5 October 2016) in Hebden, near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. No further details available. If anyone has any information please contact PC Crossley at Skipton police station quoting incident #12160181442
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Baited pole trap found next to pheasant pen in Devon: appeal for information

RSPB press release: Reward for information after baited pole trap discovered on east Devon farmland The RSPB and Devon & Cornwall Police are appealing for witnesses after a trap designed to kill birds of prey was found on farmland, next to a pheasant release pen. Police attended a location near Dunkeswell, in the Blackdown Hills, […]
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Heads up for Hen Harriers: the ‘partnership-working’ sham

Last week we blogged (here) about the results from this year’s Heads up for Hen Harriers project, a so-called ‘partnership-working’ initiative aimed at better understanding the threats faced by hen harriers in Scotland. We were pretty scathing about this project. Everyone knows, thanks to years, in fact decades, of scientific evidence, that the main threat […]
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