/ Grouse moor licencing - a petition

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toad - on 23 Apr 2013
OK, this seems like a relatively sensible proposal - the issue with raptor poisoning has always been around accountability, and to my mind this makes a degree of sense.

Here's the petition

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46473

Here's the text:

Given the continuing levels of illegal persecution of birds of prey the Government is called upon to introduce a system of operating licences for upland grouse shoots.Following any proven offence of persecution on the shoot concerned, i.e. illegal trapping, use of poisons, shooting or the interference with or destruction of nests, the licence would be revoked for a period of not less than two years and commercial shooting activity cease.

Linked to the above the Government is called upon to introduce an accreditation scheme or licencing system for all gamekeepers, be they employed in a full time or part time capacity. If an individual then has any proven involvement with raptor persecution, the licence would be withdrawn for a period of three years along with the right to hold a gun licence. Any repetition of an offence would result in the licences being withdrawn for life.
Howard J - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: Certainly something needs to be done about illegal persecution of birds of prey, however I wonder whether this is the solution. Grouse moor management has some benefits for biodiversity (and even the raptor control is beneficial to prey species) although admittedly a lack of evidence makes it difficult to fully assess whether the overall impacts are positive or negative. The RSPB recently did a study of this. Leaving moors unattended and unmanaged, perhaps for several years, may cause more problems than it solves.


toad - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Howard J: The issue is really about accountability. At present, there is no sanction for the owners and managers if there is illegal poisoning or trapping on their land - at best this means there is no incentive to improve matters, at worst it might lead some to, shall we say, encourage keepers into illegal acts. By introducing what is a severe financial penalty on the owner, as well as the perpetrator, it may encourage rather more attention to the law.

I have no illusions that this will make it into law any time soon, but anything that drives this issue up the agenda is probably a good thing.
toad - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: ok, a gratuitous evening bump.
Doug on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: Is it England only ? doesn't say so on the petition but I guess DEFRA isn't responsible for such issues in Scotland
Clint86 - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Howard J: I would imagine it would be easy to increase the biodiversity of a grouse moor. After all, they are only interested in grouse.
My experience of running over Bowland for example, is heather.......
Clint86 - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: Done it.
Ridge - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:
Signed.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20665220

This was in this months edition of the RSPB's Birds magazine. Its staggering just how backward some people who wield a gun are.

Not too long ago there was a post on here about Goshawk chicks in southern Scotland blasted to death in the nest and some people on here defended it.
Tom V - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:

Anyone up for defending magpies/
Green-Winged Orchid - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V: what's to defend. They kill garden birds just like woodpeckers do and lots of other birds too
Tom V - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
A bit like sparrowhawks, then.
NeilMac - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

Given "...working in various conservation organisations..." I'm amazed you support this.

Not very well thought through.
Clint86 - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V: I don't think we need to go down the route of deciding what we should favour. Without predators we would get surpluses of critters further down the chain that then starve or become pests. Just give nature a chance to sort its own balances out.
toad - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to NeilMac: The underlying issue is one of holding upland shoots accountable for the actions of their employees. There is a refusal to engage with the issue by big estates (possibly because it isn't in their financial interest to do so) and currently there is no real legal mechanism to force them to stop raptor killing on their land.

This might not be the ideal mechanism, but it won't end up in legislation anyway, so that's almost irrelevant. What it might do is to push the subject up the political agenda and into a more public view.

I'd be interested to know how you'd go about this, given the status quo and various voluntary initiatives have now been shown not to work.
johncoxmysteriously - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

It seems to me that the only solution is strict liability - poisoned/shot raptors found on your land; you're liable. It's all very well introducing stricter penalties if it can be proved that it's actually the gamekeepers doing the poisoning, but it must be incredibly difficult to prove that, although I know the RSPB have managed a successful prosecution or two.

Still, I agree that more or less any strengthening of the legislation would be desirable, and that any publicity for the issue is good. And, of course, that we can't expect a whole lot from CallMeDave on this issue.

jcm
MG - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> It seems to me that the only solution is strict liability - poisoned/shot raptors found on your land; you're liable. It's all very well introducing stricter penalties if it can be proved that it's actually the gamekeepers doing the poisoning, but it must be incredibly difficult to prove that, although I know the RSPB have managed a successful prosecution or two.
>


I didn't quite understand that part of the petition. If it can be proved, there are already laws in place. Is the idea to simply change the punishment from a (small) fine to something more likely to deter shoots and gamekeepers from misbehaving? Strict liability seems a bit unfair - there were reports earlier this year of dead birds being moved in the middle of the night from one estate to another!
Green-Winged Orchid - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: the RSPB would like to introduce an offence of "vicarious liability" This holds landowners and managers to account for wildlife crimes committed by their staff.
johncoxmysteriously - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

>Is the idea to simply change the punishment from a (small) fine to something more likely to deter shoots and gamekeepers from misbehaving?

Yes, I think so.

>Strict liability seems a bit unfair.

Yes, it probably is really. Ends and means, I suppose, but I can see the problem.

Vicarious liability on the other hand must be right, although without increasing the fines I can't see it making much difference; these people can afford it and are shame-proof.

jcm
Tom Hutton - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: Would get my signature...
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wilkesley - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom Hutton:

So if someone dumps a load of poisoned bird carcasses into one of my fields, it's automatically my fault. Sounds like a charter for animal rights terrorists to me.
Wiley Coyote - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> It seems to me that the only solution is strict liability - poisoned/shot raptors found on your land; you're liable.

Grossly unfair idea John. The trouble is that birds fly about. They could be poisoned on one estate but fly off to another to die and the guilty party goes unpunished while the innocent one carries the can.
Dave Perry - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley:

This will not happen.

1. Why would a gamekeeper from one estate drive the many miles across a Scottish estate, using public roads where necessary to dumpt those birds on another s estate - and involving, probably a keeper - or keepers he knew?

2. Having dead birds on your land doesn't mean you are necessarily guilty.

3. Poisoned birds generally die pretty quickly. The cases that have come to court and been successfully prosecuted were the result of police/RSPB surveillance such as identifying the carcass, identifying the poison in the carcass, finding the same substance at the keepers property and linking that with a dead bird close by.,
Will Hunt - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:
What about going further and making the management of grouse moors subject to regulation of a number of activities. Notably burning. Natural England have guidance on best practice but do they have the power or the ability to police the situation?
Green-Winged Orchid - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley: no. If your employee is found guilty of wildlife crime on your estate you become liable.
wilkesley - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to wilkesley)
>
> This will not happen.

> 2. Having dead birds on your land doesn't mean you are necessarily guilty.
>

But it will. Very good way for someone with a grudge against you, or some loony animal rights activist to frame you. Regarding your second point, I understand that's exactly what will happen ie guilty until proven innocent.

I know someone whose house was fire bombed by animal rights activists, so something as simple as planting poisoned birds is quite likely to happen.
Dave Perry - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley:

But surely no 'animal rights activist' (who loves wildlife) is going to go out, poison a couple of hen harriers or buzzards, carry them off, drive to another estate and dump them.

First they'd have to obtain the poison. Then they'd have to procure some bait, but they'd also have to find somewhere where Hen Harriers for example, could be found, then they'd have to put out the poisoned carcass, wait for some bird of prey to eat the stuff and die, all without being caught!!

There's little chance of being caught red handed if you are a gamekeeper of some vast moorland estate, but I live near vast moorland estates and I wouldn't rate my chances of setting poisoned bait without being noticed by one of the keepers.

roddyp on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

Vicarious liability for raptor persecution is already the case in Scotland.

... and an recent e-petition for this in England got 10,000 votes and this response: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

I think your proposal is well-meaning but unworkable and irrelevant: there are laws in place already, and the main problems seem to be the difficulty of getting enough evidence to obtain convictions and a complete reluctance to investigate/prosecute. A compulsory regulatory system for keepers and shoots isn't going to change that.

http://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/ is an interesting read.
DancingOnRock - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to wilkesley)
>
> But surely no 'animal rights activist' (who loves wildlife) ...

I suspect that there are some 'animal rights activists' who have no interest in wildlife.


wilkesley - on 25 Apr 2013

> But surely no 'animal rights activist' (who loves wildlife) is going to go out, poison a couple of hen harriers or buzzards, carry them off, drive to another estate and dump them.
>
> First they'd have to obtain the poison. Then they'd have to procure some bait, but they'd also have to find somewhere where Hen Harriers for example, could be found, then they'd have to put out the poisoned carcass, wait for some bird of prey to eat the stuff and die, all without being caught!!
>

It doesn't have to be a bird of prey. It could be any bird, or something like a road kill badger. You can buy warfarin (aka rat poison) from many places. Simply lace the carcass wit warfarin, dump it and call the police.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley: first an employee of yours has to be proven guilty of a wildlife crime on your land. I don't think a dead badger with tyre tracks across it dusted in rat poison will fool plod for long.

If the Duke of Westminster was told he would lose ownership of the enormous parts of London he owns he would ensure (as I'm sure he already does) that hen harriers went unmolested in the Forest of Bowland. Apparently the only nest that does manage to go unmolested is on land owned by United Utilities.
toad - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley:
>
> [...]
>
You can buy warfarin (aka rat poison) from many places. Simply lace the carcass wit warfarin, dump it and call the police.

But Carburofan is the issue. And that is an entirely different (and theoretically impossible to obtain) kettle of dead harrier

roddyp on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

Carbofuran. Illegal to use, but perfectly OK to have a few barrels kicking around. Just in case...

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/fury-at-minister-richard-benyons-astounding-refusal-...
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> It seems to me that the only solution is strict liability - poisoned/shot raptors found on your land; you're liable. It's all very well introducing stricter penalties if it can be proved that it's actually the gamekeepers doing the poisoning, but it must be incredibly difficult to prove that, although I know the RSPB have managed a successful prosecution or two.
>
An exceedingly ill-concieved idea. What about the small landowner next door to the shooting estate. How would you feel about strict liability if a stolen car was found outside your house?


Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: vicarious liability in the context we are talking about requires your employee being found guilty of a crime on your land.

Try adding those facts into your analogy then see the sense
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones) vicarious liability in the context we are talking about requires your employee being found guilty of a crime on your land.
>
> Try adding those facts into your analogy then see the sense

JCMs half soaked idea was that "poisoned/shot raptors found on your land; you're liable"!

Try considering that poisoned or shot birds don't always fall on the property of the culprit and you may understand my analogy. Innocent bystanders should not be presumed guilty.
toad - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: It would help if the industry came up with a workable solution that isn't either (a) the status quo or (b) voluntary as both of these approaches have now pretty conclusively been shown not to work.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: deep breath. Your employee. The person you employed to manage your grouse moor would have to be first found guilty of a wildlife crime before you his employer and were then prosecuted too.

Just like when some teenager drove daddy's car with a bald tyre. Not only did the teenager get done but so did daddy.
johncoxmysteriously - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:

To be fair, my proposal - not terribly serious - was indeed that the party on whose land a poisoned raptor was found should be liable, or at least presumed liable, without any need to prove that his employees had done it.

I'm sure it's all terribly unfair in theory, but in practice I suspect that were it to be introduced raptor poisoning would disappear virtually overnight.

jcm
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones) deep breath. Your employee. The person you employed to manage your grouse moor would have to be first found guilty of a wildlife crime before you his employer and were then prosecuted too.
>
> Just like when some teenager drove daddy's car with a bald tyre. Not only did the teenager get done but so did daddy.

Deep breath to you too :-)

Read what he wrote!
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Siward on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:

Isn't this the point, as Green Winged Orchid is saying..

Whatever has been said above :

1. If I, a grouse moor owner, employ a couple of keepers.
2. One of my keepers is convicted in a criminal court of killing a raptor, let's assume by poisoning or trapping.
3. I, the landowner, then claim,"oh it's nothing to do with me, my keeper must have been acting upon his own initiative"
4. Should I, the landowner, be able to carry on regardless (even if my next two replacement keepers are similarly convicted of similar antics which I can again say we're nothing to do with me)?

Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: I wasn't arguing JCM's point. I was arguing the point on the table in front of the government from the RSPB.
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones) I wasn't arguing JCM's point. I was arguing the point on the table in front of the government from the RSPB.

So WTH did you address your argument at me when my dispute was with JCM's point?

Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: I probably felt exasperation at a groundless hypothetical situation being argued for and then argued against while no one was getting anywhere. Least of all hen harriers.

Throughout the thread I'd tried to cajole the various points being created and dismantled back to the reality of what was actually being proposed in the hope that a consensus might be reached. I failed and I should probably have realised how utterly futile the attempt would be.

I'm sorry.
Dave Perry - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:

Rather than criticise others ideas, perhaps you could could suggest a way to prevent the illegal persecution of birds of prey on these large shooting estates?
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Rather than criticise others ideas, perhaps you could could suggest a way to prevent the illegal persecution of birds of prey on these large shooting estates?

As you say it is illegal. We need enforcement of the laws that already exist. Making up new laws isn't the answer if the current ones aren't being enforced. Talk of strict or vicarious liability is all very well but you can't just have it for those crimes that it suits us to use it on IMO. It should apply to all crimes or none at all. really don't think that we want it for all crimes.

I certainly don't intend to keep quiet when people propose such dangerous ideas as strict liability just because I don't know the ultimate answer myself.

Siward on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones

Plenty of crimes, quite properly, require a deliberate state of mind, such as intent or dishonesty. They could never be dealt with as offences of strict liability.

Plennty of other crimes, such as driving without insurance or any situation where one is required to be licenced in some way, don't. You either have the licence/insurance/qualification etc or not. Not a particularly 'dangerous idea'.

Is it draconian to hold landowners- those who manage, run and profit from grouse shooting estates- responsible for the crimes of their employees committed during the course of their employment?
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Siward:
> In reply to timjones
>
> Plenty of crimes, quite properly, require a deliberate state of mind, such as intent or dishonesty. They could never be dealt with as offences of strict liability.
>
> Plennty of other crimes, such as driving without insurance or any situation where one is required to be licenced in some way, don't. You either have the licence/insurance/qualification etc or not. Not a particularly 'dangerous idea'.
>
> Is it draconian to hold landowners- those who manage, run and profit from grouse shooting estates- responsible for the crimes of their employees committed during the course of their employment?

Would it be right took hold employers responsible for driving offences committed by their staff in the course of their work?
Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Siward)
> [...]
>
> Would it be right took hold employers responsible for driving offences committed by their staff in the course of their work?

Yes. Driving over your hours. Driving with defective brakes etc etc etc and we already do.
timjones - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> Yes. Driving over your hours. Driving with defective brakes etc etc etc and we already do.

How about speeding, running a red light, dangerous driving... ?
Green-Winged Orchid - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: we've already proved its ok to be selective where it's applied. Put your weapons down Tim and give up defending the indefensible. Come join the winning side!
timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones) we've already proved its ok to be selective where it's applied. Put your weapons down Tim and give up defending the indefensible. Come join the winning side!

You really are struggling to grasp what I'm saying :-(

I'm not defending raptor persecution, I have no interest in shooting for sport and would condemn anyone who illegally kills any bird. That doesn't mean that I'm going to support clumsy and ill-conceived ideas to combat it by bodging long standing legal principles or introducing poor regulations.

We shouldn't be able the bend the very good principles that underly our legal system for selected crimes. An employer will very likely be guilty if a vehicles brakes are defective, if a driver is found to have regularly breached driving hours regs it can be argued that the employer should have spotted this on the tacho records and sorted it out but if a driver is speeding you would need to prove that the employer was inciting the crime. I can remember a case where a local company was found guilty of inciting it's drivers to speed but the prosecution had to work hard to prove their case.

You can't alter the burden of proof just because detection and conviction rates are poor for a crime you are passionate about!

Maybe you should stop viewing this as a matter of "winning" and losing sides and accept that even people sat on the sidelines may be very uneasy about the implications of some of the more radical proposals to deal with the problem.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Green-Winged Orchid)
> [...]
>
> You really are struggling to grasp what I'm saying :-(
>

You're not wrong there! Maybe it's badly put or just intelligible?
brokenbanjo - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

Tim, how come Scotland agreed to bring in Vicarious Liability? The whole argument is that gamekeepers seek to maximise the number of birds to be shot at the bequest of the moor owner. Given that we did not have a single breeding pair of hen harriers in England last year. And that there are territories for over 300 in England, all on grouse moors. Do you not think that by upping the ante, we may actually do something positive, for a change.

Your arguments do hold some basis, but a driver speeding is completely different to a gamekeeper indiscriminately killing any animal that he does not like, to enable his cohort to kill as many animals that they do like.

Health & Safety legisaltion works in this manner, so why can't environmental protection?
timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> You're not wrong there! Maybe it's badly put or just intelligible?

I'll try saying it slowly :-)

I think a move towards presumption of strict or vicarious liability is a bad idea.

timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to brokenbanjo:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> Tim, how come Scotland agreed to bring in Vicarious Liability? The whole argument is that gamekeepers seek to maximise the number of birds to be shot at the bequest of the moor owner. Given that we did not have a single breeding pair of hen harriers in England last year. And that there are territories for over 300 in England, all on grouse moors. Do you not think that by upping the ante, we may actually do something positive, for a change.
>
> Your arguments do hold some basis, but a driver speeding is completely different to a gamekeeper indiscriminately killing any animal that he does not like, to enable his cohort to kill as many animals that they do like.
>
> Health & Safety legisaltion works in this manner, so why can't environmental protection?

Sorry I don't believe that we should "up the ante" for just a few crimes just because it suits us. I don't believe speeding is any different, if anything it is a lot closer on H&S than raptor persecution is IMO.
brokenbanjo - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to toad:

Why not? It doesn't suit us, it suits the environment and species that do not have a say on what we do. That is the whole point of environmental protection, the legislative action of preventing the total desecration of this planet by humans, is it not? So whilst it may only be a few crimes, the consequences of which are massive. We don't give terrorists an easy ride because they are 'only a few crimes'. So why should we give raptor persecution, and altruistic piece of legislation, any less shrift?
timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to brokenbanjo:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> Why not? It doesn't suit us, it suits the environment and species that do not have a say on what we do. That is the whole point of environmental protection, the legislative action of preventing the total desecration of this planet by humans, is it not? So whilst it may only be a few crimes, the consequences of which are massive. We don't give terrorists an easy ride because they are 'only a few crimes'. So why should we give raptor persecution, and altruistic piece of legislation, any less shrift?


I'm not sure if that is a reply to my last post. The content suggests it may be but your reply is addressed at toad?

In case it is addressed at me I'll clarify my point. When I say "a few crimes" I'm not referring to the frequency of offences. I mean that we shouldn't apply this sort of principle to only the crimes where it suits our own views. My belief is that guilt must be proved for all crimes, to presume that someone is guilty flies in the face of the innocent until proved guilty principle that I thought lay at the heart of our legal system. Casting that principle aside for this offence seems like a dangerous precedent.
Clint86 - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: I read this this morning from a book called 'The Worm forgives the Plough', written by a bloke who worked in the countryside during the second world war. He fell in love with what he found, but was left thoughtful about man's destructive influences. He was in a wood when he wrote it.

' I realize where I am! I am in the garden of Eden.I had heard about it always as a definite place in the past. There was no error in speaking of the garden as existing, but the mistake lay in tying it down in time and place. For it still exists - all we need is the key to the gate.The first two persons in history dwelt in the Garden, it is said. But they ate of the tree of knowledge and had to go.That must be the truth:at the birth of consciousness we became onlookers and were separated from nature, and left the garden to create a world of our own apart from Nature. Our next step is a further extension of consciousness when we shall realize the unity of life on a higher plane of understanding. Having tasted of that tree of kowledge we shall enter the Garden of Eden once more, and paradise shall be regained'.

I reckon a few more hen harriers on these shooting estates and a bit less shooting would be a move in the right direction.
wilkesley - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:

Perhaps everyone in this thread should read http://www.shootingtimes.co.uk/features/395893/Grouse_on_the_Moor_.html on what seems like a sensible solution after the disaster that was the Joint Raptor Survey. Presuming people guilty by default is a very dangerous road to start going down.
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Siward on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to wilkesley:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Presuming people guilty by default is a very dangerous road to start going down.

Which is not (as I read it) what's being suggested. What is is to hold employers of those who are proved (to the criminal standard, in a criminal court) responsible for the unlawful activites of their employees committed in the course of their employment.

The rationale being that keepers would not persecute raptors unless their employers, explicitly or impliedly, encouraged it.
timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Siward:
> (In reply to wilkesley)
> [...]
>
> Which is not (as I read it) what's being suggested. What is is to hold employers of those who are proved (to the criminal standard, in a criminal court) responsible for the unlawful activites of their employees committed in the course of their employment.
>
> The rationale being that keepers would not persecute raptors unless their employers, explicitly or impliedly, encouraged it.

The idea is fine but the employers must be entitled to their day in court and the prosecution must prove their guilt. I have a nasty feeling that some posters on this thread would like to remove this basic principle of our legal system.

I would also be very surprised if this option didn't already exist.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones: see you are sumasing what people may or may not be doing. It's as if you don't like a politician so you've decided you don't like his policies.

The gamekeeper is just the tool. To stop raptor persecution you need to go for the ring leader, the Mr Big. It's not such a massive shift in principal because there are already precedents where we already use it.
timjones - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid:
> (In reply to timjones) see you are sumasing what people may or may not be doing. It's as if you don't like a politician so you've decided you don't like his policies.

Now you're the incomprehensible one :-)

> The gamekeeper is just the tool. To stop raptor persecution you need to go for the ring leader, the Mr Big. It's not such a massive shift in principal because there are already precedents where we already use it.

By all means go for "the ring leader" but do it within our existing legal system. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. There will be good and bad employers. Some will be inciting their keepers to do this, others won't. You can't automatically convict the good in a crude attempt to convict the bad.
Henrycuillin on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Green-Winged Orchid: If I am a shooter, which I am, does that make me backwards? Does it make me responsible for the death of this bird? I am a conservationist and I like to see all wldlife thrive, as are a majority of shooters. Please think before condemming the entire shooting community.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Henrycuillin: when did I condemn myself? Winter wild fowler, Solway estuary.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Henrycuillin: Dear Henry I have scrolled back to where I described "some" people who wield a gun as backwards. That was a direct reference to the person who shot dead the hen harrier known as Bowland Betty.

For some reason you, yes you, seem to have decided I was referring to the whole shooting community as backwards (then again maybe you know different?).

Yes the person who shoots raptors in defence of grouse shooting is backward in that they are uneducated. They are still in the Victorian era. It's illegal.

My parents are housekeepers on a country estate I am fully aware aware of what goes on. I am fully aware too of how some forms of hunting and fishing is good conservation.

One thing however that can't be overlooked is that the person who blasted the goshawk chicks in the nest had a gun. The person who shot the red kite had a gun and the person who shot Bowland Betty had a gun. All illegal acts, every one of them backwards.
Green-Winged Orchid - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Henrycuillin: Dear Henry, I notice belatedly that you are 13 years old. I may have been a tad forceful in my reply. Take it as a compliment that I responded to you as an adult.

One last bit of advice. When it comes to exams. Read the question.
Clint86 - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Henrycuillin: Is your dad a shooter?
andrew breckill - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: what waste of time, cannot believe I wasted 5 minutes of my life reading this. There is legislation already in place if you are that bothered go and camp out and catch them in the act.

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