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Post Info TOPIC: Raptor Persecution


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RE: Raptor Persecution


I wonder if he's a member of the Countryside Alliance?

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As if raptors didnt have enough on their plate with illegal persecution, a letter in The Times today from Andrew Millar of Wallingford, Oxon calls for a consideration of control measures to be implemented on the Red Kite population. He reports seeing them taking ducklings and baby birds. Apparently letters in the past few days have commented upon Red Kites taking leverets. No doubt blaming Kites for the decline in Brown Hares, despite this species declining across the country including areas devoid of Red Kites.

-- Edited by dave broome on Wednesday 27th of December 2017 09:11:51 AM

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Went to see the Pallid harrier yesterday .
Perhaps,just perhaps things are changing , but I wouldn't put my house on it yet.
Whilst viewing the harrier we saw - a pair of buzzards, peregrine and kestrel.
This is the most raptors I have seen in Bowland in a long time. Fingers crossed it is a sign of things to come.



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Andy Bissitt wrote:


 Steve,

I know you would not put any bird in peril on purpose. I suppose I thought that a buzzard attempting to take a grouse was not behaviour that is commonly witnessed, and so should be kept secret (I would not have put them down as being particularly troublesome to grouse) but, as you have said, anyone whose job it is to maximise the productivity of moorland shoots is not going to worry too much about whether they take the odd one, or hundreds. I just wish everybody and everything could live in harmony. Just a small wish then!!!

Cheers,

Andy

 

 





Andy,

yes, I thought the Buzzard behaviour to be unusual. Mark Avery quotes grouse moor owner (and Hen Harrier hater) Richard Waddington "The buzzard I have never known to attack grouse of any age". I would imagine this Buzzard was searching for other prey, put up the grouse and decided to have a go at them. No chance - Buzzards are not the most sprightly of birds!

And keep wishing!

Steve


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Steve Suttill wrote:

Steve Suttill wrote:

Couple of hours strolling on t'moor this afternoon.

Very quiet, with nothing but Meadow Pipits and a couple of singing Skylarks, until a pair of Ravens appeared over the hill from the Diggle direction. Their presence brought up a couple of pairs of Curlew which tried to chase them off or distract them from nest sites. Then a Buzzard appeared from the same direction and had an unsuccessful attempt to take a Red Grouse.

No sight, nor sound, of any Golden Plover.


Andy Bissitt wrote:

Steve,

Then a Buzzard appeared from the same direction and had an unsuccessful attempt to take a Red Grouse.

Please don't give the hunting mob ammunition like this. They don't need much encouragement.

Cheers,

Andy


Hi Andy

Point taken, but I don't think I'm providing ammunition for anyone (literally or metaphorically). If there's going to be a proper debate about grouse shooting and raptor persecution, I think we need to be open about the facts, just as Mark Avery is in his book "Inglorious".

Hen Harriers do kill young grouse, as do other raptors. Peregrines, Buzzards and other raptors will take birds as well as lots of small mammals. They eat them to survive. Some humans (and I use the tern loosely!) kill creatures purely for fun.

It would be foolish to think that gamekeepers are just stupid idiots who blast at anything and everything. They kill what they regard as predators, mostly legally but sometimes not, because they are paid to do so. Most of them know their moorland birds as well as we birders do. They know what birds are are present on the moor without reading this forum. That said, I won't be posting details of all the Hen Harrier nests that I find...



 


 Steve,

I know you would not put any bird in peril on purpose. I suppose I thought that a buzzard attempting to take a grouse was not behaviour that is commonly witnessed, and so should be kept secret (I would not have put them down as being particularly troublesome to grouse) but, as you have said, anyone whose job it is to maximise the productivity of moorland shoots is not going to worry too much about whether they take the odd one, or hundreds. I just wish everybody and everything could live in harmony. Just a small wish then!!!

Cheers,

Andy

 

 



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Steve Suttill wrote:

Couple of hours strolling on t'moor this afternoon.

Very quiet, with nothing but Meadow Pipits and a couple of singing Skylarks, until a pair of Ravens appeared over the hill from the Diggle direction. Their presence brought up a couple of pairs of Curlew which tried to chase them off or distract them from nest sites. Then a Buzzard appeared from the same direction and had an unsuccessful attempt to take a Red Grouse.

No sight, nor sound, of any Golden Plover.


Andy Bissitt wrote:

Steve,

Then a Buzzard appeared from the same direction and had an unsuccessful attempt to take a Red Grouse.

Please don't give the hunting mob ammunition like this. They don't need much encouragement.

Cheers,

Andy


Hi Andy

Point taken, but I don't think I'm providing ammunition for anyone (literally or metaphorically). If there's going to be a proper debate about grouse shooting and raptor persecution, I think we need to be open about the facts, just as Mark Avery is in his book "Inglorious".

Hen Harriers do kill young grouse, as do other raptors. Peregrines, Buzzards and other raptors will take birds as well as lots of small mammals. They eat them to survive. Some humans (and I use the tern loosely!) kill creatures purely for fun.

It would be foolish to think that gamekeepers are just stupid idiots who blast at anything and everything. They kill what they regard as predators, mostly legally but sometimes not, because they are paid to do so. Most of them know their moorland birds as well as we birders do. They know what birds are are present on the moor without reading this forum. That said, I won't be posting details of all the Hen Harrier nests that I find...





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A Spanish farmer has been found guilty of using poisoned baits on his farm killing 11 Red Kite plus Buzzard and Raven.


"The Criminal Court number 3 of Santander has sentenced a farmer to two years in prison , two years of ineligibility for the profession of farmer or any other related to animal husbandry and four years to exercise the right to hunt as the author of a continuing offense against wildlife by use of poisoned baits (Article 336.2 of the Criminal Code ) in competition with other crime continued over the death of endangered species (Article 334.2 CP )"


Bit more of a deterrent than our slap on the wrist stuff.

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Re raptor persecution raptors will always be discouraged and breeding attempts foiled if possible mysterious moorland fires disturbance etc without the trapping poisoning and shooting of birds more dangerous to the estates and keeper not because of the numbers of grouse taken but because of the disturbance of grouse caused by juvenile raptors learning to hunt at the height of the shooting season therefore shooting estate openly state we have no anti raptor policy but will not say to the customers awaiting grouse to shoot sorry we are going to rebeat the moor due to grouse flushed by hen harrier

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I see Ian Botham is trying to save the Hen Harrier by offering £10,000 to anyone who can save the abandoned eggs!

No mention of when you can tell when the nest is abandoned or how to raise the youngsters without them imprinting on humans! I would think best way to save them is to stop the illegal persecution and let the adults raise the young!

I too wish the RSPB will get a bit tougher on this issue but when they do they get threatened with being sued for liable !!


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According to Wikipedia Mr Page doesn't seem to be a Tory anymore. He did go to UKIP and various other parties. Seems he doesn't really know what party he supports. Not sure that really matters.

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Robin Page once stood as a candidate for the Referendum Party (remember them?) but also expressed his admiration for Tony Benn! Obviously lacking logic in any matter he chooses to express his opinions on.

The Guardian article to which Craig refers can be found here:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/should-we-drop-protections-for-birds-of-prey

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Robin Page is a 'Countryman' and farmer, and I believe Conservative MP or councillor,or something to do with the Tory's. Pretty much just about the worst combination you could find. As Doc says, there has been a huge backlash on Facebook and on Twitter. There was also a rather good, and considerably more sensible article in the Guardian following the Mail article. Unfortunately I suspect Mail readers don't read the Guardian.


I also suspect we have five more years of similar **** to put up with.


(Although I must admit that I would pay to go to a place where Red Kites actually come and take meat off your BBQ. Must be stunning).

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Thursday 14th of May 2015 11:15:01 PM

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Sorry, I missed these gems...

I refuse to read a "newspaper" owned by a tax-dodger and edited by a grouse moor owner who backs idiots like Ian Botham who waste the time of the Charity Commission by making pathetic complaints against the RSPB.


-- Edited by Steve Suttill on Thursday 14th of May 2015 09:02:26 PM

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Misinformed Clown seems a bit of an understatement Vic !

Here are just two of his learned gems ......

"Paul Sargeantson, a builder and smallholder in Oxfordshire, has had all his free-range chicks and ducklings taken by kites. They even attack the meat from his barbecue as soon as it gets on the plate".

If you think that is a slight exaggeration, try this one .....





"The RSPBs latest obsession is hen harriers, one of our most beautiful birds and one of the most efficient killers.

There are 600 breeding pairs in Britain, but the RSPB wants its numbers to soar".


Enough said !


Roger.




-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Thursday 14th of May 2015 07:02:03 PM

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vic chatterton wrote:

Did anybody read the full page article in the Daily Mail on Monday May 11th under the headline " Do-gooders letting killer birds terrorise our countryside", by some misinformed clown called Robin Page? He advocates the culling of gulls in towns and cities. But he saves his most vitriolic drivel for birds of prey.

He supports gamekeepers "seeing off" Hen Harriers not to mention advocating reducing Buzzard, Hen Harrier and Sparrowhawk numbers by disturbing them at the nest.

It would be laughable but for the sad fact that people believe this ****.
In reply a letter in today's paper from Epsom in Surrey alleges that "hordes of Sparrowhawks and Peregrine Falcons" are decimating the birds in his garden! It beggars belief.

I thought we were fairly lucky in the North West as regards to seeing Peregrines but people should get down to Epsom where the sky is black with them - sadly I've never seen more than 2 adults in the air at any one time!





Yes I did see the article, Vic, absolute drivel at its best. The cause has been taken up on numerous Facebook birding groups and there is a huge backlash on there against it. So hopefully that will do some good and highlight it for the crass journalism that it is furious

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Did anybody read the full page article in the Daily Mail on Monday May 11th under the headline " Do-gooders letting killer birds terrorise our countryside", by some misinformed clown called Robin Page? He advocates the culling of gulls in towns and cities. But he saves his most vitriolic drivel for birds of prey.

He supports gamekeepers "seeing off" Hen Harriers not to mention advocating reducing Buzzard, Hen Harrier and Sparrowhawk numbers by disturbing them at the nest.

It would be laughable but for the sad fact that people believe this ****.
In reply a letter in today's paper from Epsom in Surrey alleges that "hordes of Sparrowhawks and Peregrine Falcons" are decimating the birds in his garden! It beggars belief.

I thought we were fairly lucky in the North West as regards to seeing Peregrines but people should get down to Epsom where the sky is black with them - sadly I've never seen more than 2 adults in the air at any one time!

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Yes, probably correct Mike. However, I think its just a cumulative impact of a number of things that have me considering my future support. For some reason they seem to be holding back in a few different areas at the moment. This is just the cherry on top.

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The latest news is understandably depressing and does now require a considered tougher stance from the RSPB.
Two years ago, I wrote a long three page letter to Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB, in which I was highly critical that the Hen Harrier situation in the north of England was not being addressed with sufficient vigour by his organisation and complaining that the RSPB magazine for the previous 5/6 issues had made no mention at all of the problems facing our raptors.

I did receive a decent sympathetic and mildly encouraging reply, and was heartened to see that immediately afterwards, subsequent issues of the magazine did focus to a far greater extent on the Hen Harrier situation. (I'd like to think that my letter played some small part in this).

I can well understand that change is often a long time in coming and that the approach of RSPB at the sharp end of the dialogue is based on a degree of necessary diplomacy in dealing with the shooting interests. The stance of the RSPB appears to be to achieve progress based on "mutual understanding" and compromise with the aim of Hen Harriers existing alongside shooting interests in some kind of idealised wildlife utopia.

However, the main focus of my reasoning in my letter had been that the criminal elements within the shooting interests had no respect for the law, and that this could only be changed by bringing in the principle of vicarious liability, very harsh punishments for those subsequently convicted, and a huge publicity drive to achieve these aims. The RSPB with a million members remains the obvious vehicle to drive things forward and to lobby the government. (Should the government turn out to be other than a conservative government, the chances for change may well be considerably enhanced).

The mistake being made by RSPB in its dialogue is that it conducts itself as if dealing with reasonable and honest people on the other side. That is to say an "other side" that in the meantime continues to wage war against our raptors.

The ultimate sanction should be that once vicarious liability is established in England, any landowners who are convicted, face the possibility of having their land confiscated and facing jail time as well. I agree with Andy Bissit below as regards the size of meaningful fines; - why not £50,000 for a first offence?

In short, the time for pussyfooting around is over; the RSPB should now be urged to adopt the mailed fist and a very hard line, so Craig, please do not terminate your membership, write to Mike Clarke instead.

Regards,
Mike P.

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Is this the so called brood management coming into force?



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I have to say that the decision to release this news today, the day before the general election, baffles me. It is either very clever (though I can't think why - if anyone else can enlighten me please do) or incredibly naive, as there will be precisely zero press coverage. I have been a long time member of the RSPB, but their tactics over the whole Hen Harrier issue have baffled me even more. I'm sure posters on here are/were very aware of the petition set up by Mark Avery to ban driven grouse shooting last year. The RSPB did not back it or encourage their members to support it either, favouring the continuation of 'negotiations' with the shooting fraternity. This is the result. I really am re-considering my membership of that organisation now.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Wednesday 6th of May 2015 10:12:25 PM

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More bad news no

http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/martinharper/archive/2015/05/06/bad-news-from-bowland.aspx

Cheers John

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Andy Bissitt wrote:

Mike Passant wrote:


Bell was found to be in possession of enough carbofuran (toxic pesticide) to kill "thousands of birds," in addition to strychnine and alphachloralose.


Why is the purchase/ownership of poisons such as these not monitored in the same way as you might watch people who buy substances that might be used to make incendiary devices and such (i.e. terrorists)? After all, in the wrong hands (which they generally are), they could be used to kill many people never mind birds. Anyway, is £5000 a lot of money to a landowner who might make several times that from one days shooting? It needs another nought at the end.




I think it was the keeper rather than the landowner who was fined £5000.

However, before his conviction Stewart's Single Farm Payment had been withdrawn for breach of Statutory Management Requirements (aimed at ensuring land is maintained in good environmental condition).

According to his defence agent (David McKie): "He had already been penalised substantially via a high five-figure deduction to his single farm payment".

https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/subsidy-penalty-for-convicted-vicarious-liability-landowner/

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Andy Bissitt wrote:

Mike Passant wrote:


Bell was found to be in possession of enough carbofuran (toxic pesticide) to kill "thousands of birds," in addition to strychnine and alphachloralose.


Why is the purchase/ownership of poisons such as these not monitored in the same way as you might watch people who buy substances that might be used to make incendiary devices and such (i.e. terrorists)? After all, in the wrong hands (which they generally are), they could be used to kill many people never mind birds. Anyway, is £5000 a lot of money to a landowner who might make several times that from one days shooting? It needs another nought at the end.




To my knowledge Carbofuran was outlawed about 7 or 8 years ago if I remember correctly. At the time it was perfectly legal to own and use, so people have kept stores of it. Not that I spend much time making incendiary devices but I believe that a perfectly good device could be made from a number of household products. Similarly perfectly good poisons can be bought from various places. I guess the difficulty is working out who's the criminal. confuse

It would be nice if English judges showed the same level of competency (wrong word but I can't think of the one I want) when passing sentence in England.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Tuesday 5th of May 2015 10:49:15 PM

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Mike Passant wrote:


Bell was found to be in possession of enough carbofuran (toxic pesticide) to kill "thousands of birds," in addition to strychnine and alphachloralose.


Why is the purchase/ownership of poisons such as these not monitored in the same way as you might watch people who buy substances that might be used to make incendiary devices and such (i.e. terrorists)? After all, in the wrong hands (which they generally are), they could be used to kill many people never mind birds. Anyway, is £5000 a lot of money to a landowner who might make several times that from one days shooting? It needs another nought at the end.


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Nature's Home, (RSPB magazine) reports in its Summer edition on page 41 that a Galloway landowner has received the FIRST EVER vicarious liability conviction. He is named as Ninian Johnston Stewart and pleaded guilty to being liable for 4 offences committed by his gamekeeper Peter F. Bell.
Stewart failed to prevent his employee from killing a bird of prey (in this instance quoted - a buzzard).
Bell was found to be in possession of enough carbofuran (toxic pesticide) to kill "thousands of birds," in addition to strychnine and alphachloralose.

Bell was fined £4,450, and Stewart £675.

This is a good milestone along the way to meting out meaningful punishments, and it would represent real progress if any further similar offences committed in Scotland leading to convictions, were to result in jail time, (which would also serve notice to all that the law is there to be respected).

Roll on the day when we can get the principle of vicarious liability onto the statute book in the rest of the UK?

(George Mutch's conviction and imprisonment is also reported, but that has been mentioned at length earlier on this thread).

-- Edited by Mike Passant on Tuesday 5th of May 2015 04:48:19 PM

-- Edited by Mike Passant on Tuesday 5th of May 2015 04:49:21 PM

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Keith/Ian,
I totally agree with you too! The outcome of this case shouldn't be underestimated as it COULD have positive effects down the line as far as Raptor protection goes. Infact any outcome of any case for any crime for that matter shouldn't be taken lightly or underestimated, as it only takes one case to provide the resulting landmark ruling or punishment that the other cases gone before we're hoping for. History 'generally' says they only let so much go before the law is changed.

I think you're right in that licences for hunting, firearms possession etc probably will be looked at more closely now, and Andy could well be right too in that someone somewhere will employ him in the same capacity. But it will be in an area well away from the headlines or any suspicion, and he might only need poison and traps....

BUT...if the firearms aspect of persecution is indeed more heavily scrutinised and laws are changed as a result of this case (and that is only an IF) then they probably will start using more poison and traps, and it is only a matter of time before the laws and the punishments relating to the illegal use of poison/traps are reviewed, so hopefully they will start thinking twice about doing that.
So it comes back to what you said in your original comment.
...Personally you wouldn't underestimate the effects of this conviction and sentence.

Cheers
Rob


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Ian Campbell wrote:

keith mills wrote:

The RSPB Scotland states that Mr Mutch's sentence should be a ''turning point'' in
the struggle against Raptor Persecution.
George Mutch is in prison and now has a criminal record, which will put any Firearm/Shotgun Licences that
gamekeepers usual hold in jeopardy.
His professional association, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is quoted as saying that he is no longer a member.
A letter to the Guardian states that he has ''apparently lost his job with the estate'' and the Guardian article...(He was)
''deserted by the estate and his professional association''.
Possibly the estate will not be happy, as well, because of the Scottish law of vicarious liability for this crime.
Personally I would not underestimate the effect of this conviction and sentence.
..........................................


For what it's worth I totally agree with you Keith.

............................................................................
Cheers Ian, much appreciated.






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Ian Campbell wrote:

keith mills wrote:

The RSPB Scotland states that Mr Mutch's sentence should be a ''turning point'' in
the struggle against Raptor Persecution.
George Mutch is in prison and now has a criminal record, which will put any Firearm/Shotgun Licences that
gamekeepers usual hold in jeopardy.
His professional association, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is quoted as saying that he is no longer a member.
A letter to the Guardian states that he has ''apparently lost his job with the estate'' and the Guardian article...(He was)
''deserted by the estate and his professional association''.
Possibly the estate will not be happy, as well, because of the Scottish law of vicarious liability for this crime.
Personally I would not underestimate the effect of this conviction and sentence.
..........................................


For what it's worth I totally agree with you Keith.
Cheers Ian






Positive intentions, it seems, but they are only words in a newspaper at the moment. I'm sure some estate in the Peak District will snap up someone who does their job with such alacrity. He doesn't need a gun. Just poison and a few traps.

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keith mills wrote:

The RSPB Scotland states that Mr Mutch's sentence should be a ''turning point'' in
the struggle against Raptor Persecution.
George Mutch is in prison and now has a criminal record, which will put any Firearm/Shotgun Licences that
gamekeepers usual hold in jeopardy.
His professional association, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is quoted as saying that he is no longer a member.
A letter to the Guardian states that he has ''apparently lost his job with the estate'' and the Guardian article...(He was)
''deserted by the estate and his professional association''.
Possibly the estate will not be happy, as well, because of the Scottish law of vicarious liability for this crime.
Personally I would not underestimate the effect of this conviction and sentence.
..........................................


For what it's worth I totally agree with you Keith.
Cheers Ian




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Vicarious Liability (VL) is not so straight forward in this case, I guess this highlights one of the reasons why VL is probably not a way forwards

http://www.andywightman.com/?p=4024

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The RSPB Scotland states that Mr Mutch's sentence should be a ''turning point'' in
the struggle against Raptor Persecution.
George Mutch is in prison and now has a criminal record, which will put any Firearm/Shotgun Licences that
gamekeepers usual hold in jeopardy.
His professional association, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is quoted as saying that he is no longer a member.
A letter to the Guardian states that he has ''apparently lost his job with the estate'' and the Guardian article...(He was)
''deserted by the estate and his professional association''.
Possibly the estate will not be happy, as well, because of the Scottish law of vicarious liability for this crime.
Personally I would not underestimate the effect of this conviction and sentence.




-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 18th of January 2015 10:15:02 AM

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Another thought occurred to me relating to the prison sentence. The offender received a four month term. With good behaviour, it will be cut in half at least bearing in mind that many prisons are at bursting point, which could see him out again in perhaps 6 weeks. Now ask yourself how long is it since you last saw a goshawk? Whilst someone being incarcerated for a wildlife crime of this sort might seem like a step forward, the perpertrators will see it as a small price to pay in the war against wildlife that these miscreants are waging. Make it an 18 month sentence and some just might start thinking twice.

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The Guardian today in it's App for mobile phones:
''Grouse shooting and the future of Hen Harriers'' A good read with some diverse comment.
Also on the Guardian App today:
''Gamekeeper jailed in Scotland's first custodial sentence for killing bird of prey''
More about the case of George Mutch, plus a splendid photograph of a Goshawk.
I can recommend this Guardian App. It is good for all the latest news, and free!

Pity they dropped the ''Manchester'' though.



-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 17th of January 2015 06:49:12 AM

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Originally posted today by Phil Kelly:

BBC science news -
Scientists from Dundee can now recover fingerprints from feathers of birds of prey .
This could help police to identify suspects of illegal poisoning, shooting and trapping.
"one small step."





Is this technique really necessary? The prints all over them are those of Cameron and his country-toff chums. If they hear of this, they will be cutting police numbers even further so that they have no time to investigate the tweed brigade's anihilation of birds of prey (and ravens). Can't stand in the way of a good business wheeze.

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Originally posted today by Phil Kelly:

BBC science news -
Scientists from Dundee can now recover fingerprints from feathers of birds of prey .
This could help police to identify suspects of illegal poisoning, shooting and trapping.
"one small step."

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Three full pages in today's Guardian about Hen Harriers on grouse moors:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/13/-sp-mystery-of-the-missing-hen-harriers

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The old story I was referring to was the original one about Richard Benyon. I realise that the Much case is very current and that raptor persecution is, unfortunately, still occurring.

Cheers John

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Here's a link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-30777299

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John,
The landmark George Mutch case is very current.
My understanding is that he was convicted in December 2014 and sentenced Monday, 12/01/2015(yesterday)
This is what my previous post is about, but I used this existing thread as it seemed to fit.

-- Edited by keith mills on Tuesday 13th of January 2015 07:27:33 AM

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Rumworth List 2018:Species to date: 88 Latest: Redstart,  Little Egret

Peregrine, Greenshank.



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Matt Potter wrote:

A very sad story!

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/fury-at-minister-richard-benyons-astounding-refusal-to-ban-deadly-bird-poison-8215803.html





This is a very old story. In fact the article quoted in the above link is actually dated Thursday 18 October 2012 (strange though that the Indedendent seem to have only picked it up today).

Richard Benyon was, in fact, sacked in a cabinet reshuffle in October 2013. Someone has got their wires crossed (hope its not me smile).

Cheers John

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BBC news via their phone news app, today:

''Gamekeeper jailed for killing bird''
Full account of the conviction, and 4 months sentence regarding, a Scottish gamekeeper George Mutch of Kildrummy .
Birds trapped were Goshawk and Buzzard.
Shows the hidden camera video footage ( by RSPB Scotland) used in court.
Also the action taken by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association... ' Mr Mutch will no longer hold SGA Membership''
RSPB Scotland...''this sentence is an historic landmark result.''

-- Edited by keith mills on Monday 12th of January 2015 10:03:29 PM

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Rumworth List 2018:Species to date: 88 Latest: Redstart,  Little Egret

Peregrine, Greenshank.



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Not content with persecuting our breeding Hen Harriers in the North Pennines, the gamekeepers and their cohorts are now allegedly targetting our birds at winter roosts. The logical conclusion is that there is a secret agenda to eradicate them entirely.

This illegal activity is just not being addressed properly or effectively and will only be sorted when grouse moor landowners are made to face the full weight of a law which they genuinely are made to respect and fear to break.

The burden of proof needs to be shifted so that if no breeding Hen Harriers are present on untold thousands of acres of suitable habitat, then a presumption of guilt should be the logical conclusion as a matter of basic common sense, with the ultimate punishment being forfeiture of the land into public ownership. In such a scenario the same land could then be managed within the spirit of the law taking account of both the shooting interests AND our raptors; if the size of "bags" marginally diminishes as a result, then so what the hell does that matter?

As regards having Richard Benyon as "Wildlife Minister" then that's as daft as having a white slaver in charge of the vice squad. Wildlife interests should be campaigning for his removal in view of the blindingly obvious conflict involved.

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Why not?



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A very sad story!

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/fury-at-minister-richard-benyons-astounding-refusal-to-ban-deadly-bird-poison-8215803.html

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