Loading Notifications...

Licenced to kill

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 john arran 14 Sep 2020

When the desire to kill animals is greater than the desire to save people:

https://m.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/boris-johnson-rule-of-six-hunting-shooting-exemption_uk_5f5f4ad0c5b6b4850803110f

and when our lawmakers - and lawbreakers - are actually encouraging such behaviour...

What will it take for ordinary, caring folk to finally swallow their pride and concede that they've been mugged at the ballot box?

Report
In reply to john arran:

What a bizarre priority. 

Report
 mattyP 14 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

It’s like they are trying to parody themselves...

Report
In reply to john arran:

I read about this earlier. It seemed that it was simply a matter of it being covered by organised licensed outdoor activities which seems fair enough - outdoors is pretty safe and presumably part of the organisation of such activities is to make sure social distancing takes place. A bit of a non-story perhaps?

Report
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think the story (or the ire) is that the thing that prompted the outdoor exemption was shooting - i.e. the government couldn't give a toss about plebeian sports but get upset when the restriction affects the 0.1% of the population that bankroll them

Report
 Agar Jelly 14 Sep 2020
In reply to featuresforfeet:

And what a ghastly "sport" it is.

Report
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I read about this earlier. It seemed that it was simply a matter of it being covered by organised licensed outdoor activities which seems fair enough - outdoors is pretty safe and presumably part of the organisation of such activities is to make sure social distancing takes place. A bit of a non-story perhaps?

It does seem odd that a meeting with only this matter on the agenda was booked. Surely, surely surely surely, there are better things to be doing at present than a ministerial meeting to discuss an exemption specifically for shooting critters? 

I appreciate the meeting never went ahead. Still seems odd tho?

Report
 Trevers 14 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

Perhaps grouse shooting is another thing Boris Johnson loves in a semi-sexual way, like fox-hunting.

Report
 wintertree 14 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

To be fair to them (difficult as it is...) the loophole is larger and less specific than that and the article lead is perhaps deliberately framed narrower:

But they also have an exemption for when “a gathering takes place outdoors (whether or not in a public outdoor space)” for the purpose of “a physical activity which is carried on outdoors”, where a licence, permit or certificate is held by the organiser

So a landowner cold issue a licence for an egg-and-spoon race and it could go ahead.

Post edited at 17:23
Report
In reply to wintertree:

I could understand an outdoor activity provision of some kind.

However, according to the article, the meeting scheduled had one item on the agenda: “Exemption: hunting and shooting.” which is a bit different.

The article may well be inaccurate though! 

Do I really care? I suppose I don't. 

Report
 wintertree 14 Sep 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Exemption: hunting and shooting

Fair enough!

Report
In reply to wintertree:

Yep, we all know that there are media outlets that just look for things like this then point them in the best way to further their agenda. 

The clay shooting clubs I go to have been open for months, they have implemented one way systems, distancing and sanitizer stations at the stands and its probably as safe as it can be (not been myself though) 

Report
 wintertree 14 Sep 2020
In reply to Dax H:

A club or business has a legal basis for implementing risk control measures as well as a liability if they cock up, where as private households don’t.  They also operate in a more public context.  There’s a lot of nuance here beyond the requirement to keep the economy limping along.

Report
 john arran 14 Sep 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Definitely sounds like the broadening of the exemption beyond hunting and shooting was what they felt they needed to do to get it approved without too much of a public stink. If you only look at the outcome, I'd agree it doesn't sound terrible, but if you look at the process, at least as presented, it stinks.

Report
 Fozzy 15 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

It’s just a load of fuss about nothing. Shoots are socially distanced anyway, unless you’re having elevensies or lunch; guns are 30-40yds apart, beaters even more so (or should be!)
I’ve had emails from both commercial shoots I beat for explaining the new arrangements for eating & transport to maintain social distancing, and saying that they’ll be providing us with PPE should we require it. Roll on October! 

Report
 doz 15 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

I've bought some tweed plus fours and a pair of loud checked socks...I intend to wear them for all activities when we get locked down again...

Report
 Trangia 15 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

From what I've seen of shooting I would have thought that it's a very low risk pastime  from Covid spreading perspective. It's outdoors, the shooters tend to be well spaced out anyway, even under "normal" conditions let alone social distancing requirements. I can't see any logical reason for banning shooting parties of more than 6 under current legislation?

If you are objecting to the field sport of shooting then that is surely a separate issue to that of combating Covid-19?

I don't shoot and I  have no desire to, but the morals pertaining to it really have nothing to do with the current pandemic crisis.

Report
 mattyP 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Trangia:

Isn’t it more (based on the presented evidence) that an exemption was passed to favour and benefit the landed elite who make up a large chunk of Tory backers?

Report
In reply to doz:

> I've bought some tweed plus fours and a pair of loud checked socks...I intend to wear them for all activities when we get locked down again...

'I was simply climbing to the grouse butts, your honour' 

Report
 wercat 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Trangia:

probably more risky for the beaters, trussed up in the feldkraftwagen till they are needed then sent home with £15 (going rate in the 90s, perhaps £17.50 now)

Report
 Bilberry 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I read about this earlier. It seemed that it was simply a matter of it being covered by organised licensed outdoor activities which seems fair enough - outdoors is pretty safe and presumably part of the organisation of such activities is to make sure social distancing takes place. A bit of a non-story perhaps?


But the nub is "licensed".

Very few outdoor activities are.

Report
 Fozzy 15 Sep 2020
In reply to wercat:

We are either walking around or in open trailers this season. And it’s £30-40 a day now. 

Report
 mattyP 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

How many hours is that, is it over minimum wage? Do you get extra perks such as lots of pheasants? A friends dad is a beater and we often end up with more birds than you can shake a stick at. 

Post edited at 21:40
Report
In reply to Bilberry:

> But the nub is "licensed".
> Very few outdoor activities are.

I would assume, that most outdoor activities that are business related and/or have an organised structure in place will be licensed.

Report
 mondite 15 Sep 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I would assume, that most outdoor activities that are business related and/or have an organised structure in place will be licensed.

Which is kinda the point. Everything else is pretty much restricted to having a coach along or done as part of a club whereas shooting gets the pass clause of someone in the group having a firearms licence. How many climbers will have qualifications? It seems a rather convenient choice of rules.

Report
 Fozzy 15 Sep 2020
In reply to mattyP:

I see it more as expenses for fuel, dog food etc than a wage. I’d do it for free if money wasn’t on offer (and do on some shoots), as I thoroughly enjoy being out with friends & dogs. 
I do often end up with plenty of pheasants (we ate the final one from last season a couple of weeks ago), but I enjoy eating them & have a fair few friends/colleagues who always welcome a brace. 

Report
 jethro kiernan 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

> We are either walking around or in open trailers this season. And it’s £30-40 a day now. 

Sorry but did our government take time out to debate shooting to help the rural economy when that economy pays £30 pounds a day!!! Do you get extra money for bootlicking and cap doffing? 

Report
In reply to Trangia:

> I  have no desire to, but the morals pertaining to it really have nothing to do with the current pandemic crisis

I had a similar reaction. But then had another thought: I think the telling thing is that huntin' and shootin' were the first outdoor activities that seem to have come to the forefront of their minds. Compared to the vast array of other outdoor activities. It gives a clue as to who they are most concerned about keeping happy.

Report
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Sorry but did our government take time out to debate shooting to help the rural economy when that economy pays £30 pounds a day!!! Do you get extra money for bootlicking and cap doffing? 

Sounds more like he's getting paid some extra cash for doing something he enjoys.
Bit like people who help out at local climbing comps, etc. because they enjoy it.
Except that he does actually get some financial gain from it...
Not condoning the hunting element as I find most of it repellent, just trying to add some perspective.

Report
 Fozzy 16 Sep 2020
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Beaters on bigger shoots & grouse moors get significantly more. I’m only beating on small shoots. 
As for who it helps support:

gamekeepers

farmers

feed merchants 

seed merchants 

agricultural contractors 

foresters

local mechanics

game dealers 

pubs 

restaurants 

hotels 

local shops 

gunmakers & gunshops 


Still, who needs facts when you’ve got a bit of ignorant townie prejudice, eh. 

Report
 jethro kiernan 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

I’m not a townie, a descent days wage for a descent days pay is true for town or country.

Report
 mcdougal 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

Dress it up how you like mate, you're working all day, for peanuts, in a biodiversity desert, so that rich d*ckheads don't even have to walk to shoot the mighty grouse. Remind me, which facts I have got wrong? 

Post edited at 07:51
Report
 jethro kiernan 16 Sep 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Sounds more like he's getting paid some extra cash for doing something he enjoys.

> Bit like people who help out at local climbing comps, etc. because they enjoy it.

> Except that he does actually get some financial gain from it...

> Not condoning the hunting element as I find most of it repellent, just trying to add some perspective.

Climbing Comps are not commercial events and even then the climbing wall staff still get paid properly. If this shoot is a commercial enterprise it’s breaking the law No matter how much fozzy enjoys it.

Also let’s not forget the anger is because  the government took time out to have a meeting Specifically for hunting and shooting not out door pursuits in general, if their attendance at cobra meeting 6 months ago had been as diligent?!

Report
 mattyP 16 Sep 2020

Woo good to see it’s descended into UKC playground rules again.

Fozzy; why do you go beating? Is it the social aspect? The being outside? The perception of being part of the rural community? I’d be interested to know.
 

I’m not super rural but definitely not townie, and. find I agree wit both sides of the arguement. I like free pheasants/duck when they turn up but understand the impact on the biodiversity.

Report
 ScraggyGoat 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Trangia:

Grouse shooting has significant covid spread risk. The shooters come from all over the country, the beaters from multiple local(ish) communities thus a perfect mix and spread environment.  In order to avoid tax on cash-in-hand beaters may be giving false details hampering track and trace.

Then on many estates everyone is packed in to landrovers or wagons and potentially driven for half an hour or more up the glen/moor, and may be again later in the day to change areas to drive another area.

Yes people could walk but on many estates that will remove hours from a days shooting, and some shooters look like if they had to walk anywhere they'ed have a heart attack. So you'd be stupid to think the rules will not be bent.

The loaders will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the guns, and repeatedly handling the exact area of the gun the shooter breathes on. I can't see the guns going without loaders as it removes the whole excitement of rapid-fire driven grouse shooting. Yes the loaders could wear gloves, but its a dexterous job where speed is of the essence under pressure...go figure!

Followed by a shooting lunch with ample booze, are everyone going to stand around in the rain and wind when theres the temptation of a nice hut built for the purpose......

The actual act of shooting and driving is low-risk but the economics, logistics and traditions around it are certainly not. I'm sure some estates could manage it........but we are talking about an owning and participating group who think laws/rules don't apply to them....

Post edited at 08:34
Report
 druridge 16 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

'It's a beautiful day, let's go out and kill something'

Really!!

Report
 Trangia 16 Sep 2020
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

Umm. An enlightening description.  I suppose the only answer to that is that I see your point(s)!

Report
 MargieB 16 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

I have a natural repulsion of shooting deer but saw the need for tree protection  programmes since we have the highest density of deer around here and no wolf. There is the "matter of fact shooting." I would give tea to this type of person at my house and there is a sadness to it all. But also I saw another culture when I allowed paid tourist shooters from a nearby estate to use my B&B and the culture of triumphalism over killing a meek animal wasn't to my taste at all. I prefer  a different  market  in my home.  Grouse is not eco friendly in my view as an industry and could be replaced. I don't support it in any way. Climate change is making it difficult to maintain anyway, I believe- a sort of  natural reaction, I suppose. I can't see how we can plant trees without controlling deer. I suppose, if one is going to eat meat locally, venison has a purpose for the environment?

Post edited at 09:44
Report
 john arran 16 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

If I have a few dog pets and I want to make sure I don't end up with lots of puppies that will grow into dogs I can't look after, would my best strategy be to:

a) kill some/most of my dogs?

b) kill some/most of the puppies?

c) find a way to prevent unwanted litters from being born?

I'm not saying I have the answer when it comes to deer living wild, or indeed for most other animal populations, but when animals are very dear to us we don't accept shooting them as a means of population control. 

Report
 MargieB 16 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

well, if I was honest, I'd have a pack of wolves around me. Unlikely to happen.

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> I have a natural repulsion of shooting deer but saw the need for tree protection  programmes since we have the highest density of deer around here and no wolf.

Problem there is those shooting for fun tend to want higher numbers than would be wanted to rejuvenate the environment. Since having someone pay to go out on the hill and not see a deer all day is liable to result in a failure to rebook next year.

Report
 MargieB 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

There is something in what you say about that drive of commercialism in killing . We may have the need now to shoot a lot but when that is down, the shooting tourist does still need the "trophy". Allocating numbers  through scientific research requirement is an eco requirement. Gosh, we are so out of touch with nature when we inject commercialism.

Post edited at 10:11
Report
 StuPoo2 16 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

> What will it take for ordinary, caring folk to finally swallow their pride and concede that they've been mugged at the ballot box?

OT - yes, point taken.

In other news:  Same government that exempts hunting from rule of six, also cancels duty free shopping in airports/ports for all goods except cigarettes and alcohol.  The government wants you to know that smoking kills but at the same time please buy lots of cigarettes and alcohol when you fly - because lots of Tory donors own large amounts of Marlboro stock and no one wants a poor Tory now ... do they!  

In what planet do we need MORE tax free alcohol or cigarettes???  

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/tax-free-sales-duty-free-airport-shopping-vat-eu-b435514.html

Post edited at 10:14
Report
 Fozzy 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mattyP:

> Woo good to see it’s descended into UKC playground rules again.

> Fozzy; why do you go beating? Is it the social aspect? The being outside? The perception of being part of the rural community? I’d be interested to know.

Being out with friends, working the dogs, enjoying being in bits of the countryside most people don’t get to go to normally, the social side of it all, seeing deer skip past in the woods, standing still & quietly waiting for a drive whilst watching a sparrowhawk or a kestrel soon past. 
I don’t care about the money, that’s just a bonus. It’s just the whole experience of being there, something I’ve done since I was  a kid & will continue to do until I get too old to continue. 

I help keeper a small farm shoot (300 pheasants & 50 ducks put down on 1,500 acres, shot 3 or 4 times a year by my group of friends). I don’t get paid, nobody does, we just split the costs and work for few good days out. There’s a multitude of birds of prey, songbirds, woodcock & snipe (both left alone) etc there as we take care of what we’ve got sensibly, both in terms of habitat management & predator control. 

Report
 Timmd 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy: I can't ever imagine going shooting, but that does sound like an agreeable thing to do.

The wider ecological aspect of heather burning as a part of management are more 'ponderable', the lizards and bugs and mosses and lichens which get burnt away isn't a good thing. With the growing arguments for rewilding in mind, I think with how the UK has been largely touched by humans, that there's potentially an argument for maintaining some heather towards keeping biodiversity of different species.

Post edited at 13:18
Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

Must be lots of vegans on this thread. No way could you eat farmed animals and be against shooting grouse. I have nothing against hunting for food although I am repelled by sport hunting and fishing, the two are very different in my mind.

I live smack in the middle of a major grouse shooting area and although I see them often I don't see it affecting diversity, I see a multitude of animals whenever I venture out. 

All the grouse get eaten, can't even nab a few for my rotter.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> I can't ever imagine going shooting, but that does sound like an agreeable thing to do.

> The wider ecological aspect of heather burning as a part of management are more 'ponderable', the lizards and bugs and mosses and lichens which get burnt away isn't a good thing. With the growing arguments for rewilding in mind, I think with how the UK has been largely touched by humans, that there's potentially an argument for maintaining some heather towards keeping biodiversity of different species.

I'm totally for re-wilding, but it's not like you can go up to some dude and tell them you're going to re-wild their multi-million pound business. How do you persuade land owners to do it, how do you compensate them?

Report
 EdS 16 Sep 2020
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

No cash in hand money these - the bigger shoots pay via BACS and our local small one take name, address & national insurance number etc - and check

It even shows up on my P60

As for why --- day out working the dog mostly and free food.

 Most of the meat we eat is game form local shoots (or what the dog "accidentally" picks up on walks)

Report
In reply to john arran:

John, you may have unintentionally won 'Troll of the year'. 

Report
 Timmd 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> I'm totally for re-wilding, but it's not like you can go up to some dude and tell them you're going to re-wild their multi-million pound business. How do you persuade land owners to do it, how do you compensate them?

It's an interesting one, I've volunteered in the land management of Blacka Moor in the Peak on the outskirts of Sheffeld, and it has a rare semi improved grassland, on which cattle are used to keep the grasses down so that some of the rarer wildflowers can grow. I'm not an ecologist or a specialist, and not all specialists agree, and it might just be sentiment based as a point of view, but I wonder if something valuable could be lost if re wilding was taken as far as practicably possible, in the UK there'll probably be a lot of places which have become valuable because of the UK having been managed by humans, and from continuing to be.

If 'the biological web' is stronger when it's more diverse, it's possibly something we'll need to keep in mind as rewilding becomes a thing.

Post edited at 14:19
Report
 Ridge 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> Must be lots of vegans on this thread. No way could you eat farmed animals and be against shooting grouse. 

I don't have anything against shooting grouse, (and very tasty it is too), it's the widespread persecution of wildlife by the estates that boils my piss.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> It's an interesting one, I've volunteered in the land management of Blacka Moor in the Peak on the outskirts of Sheffeld, and it has a rare semi improved grassland, on which cattle are used to keep the grasses down so that some of the rarer wildflowers can grow. I'm not an ecologist or a specialist, and not all specialists agree, and it might just be sentiment based as a point of view, but I wonder if something valuable could be lost if re wilding was taken as far as practicably possible, in the UK there'll probably be a lot of places which have become valuable because of the UK having been managed by humans, and from continuing to be.

It's mostly caused by sheep isn't it? Sheep eat all the tree saplings and we end up with moors - that can be used for profitable businesses like shooting. I think the sheep has a lot to do with subsidies, the farmers aren't making much or anything through the sheep but they are getting money for having them. So you could get rid of the subsidies, the land falls to waste (re-wilded), farmers go bust and the UK's ability to produce food is diminished. So we import more food and live in our beautiful re-wilded diverse wonderland and WW3 kicks off.... Hmn not so good, last time that happened we went quite hungry as a nation and there was 20 million less of us.

So like I say I'd love to live in a re-wilded country and fully support it but to do it on a large scale you would need big government poilcy changes and the land owners on board... In the meantime if people need grouse shooting to make money and it all ends up as food I haven't got a problem with the grouse moors.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Ridge:

> I don't have anything against shooting grouse, (and very tasty it is too), it's the widespread persecution of wildlife by the estates that boils my piss.

How widespread is the persecution? I live close by but am not involved so I don't know what goes on here. Let's not forget farmland persecutes a far greater amount of wildlife through habitat destruction than grouse moors ever could. 

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> It's mostly caused by sheep isn't it? Sheep eat all the tree saplings and we end up with moors - that can be used for profitable businesses like shooting.

Grouse moor shooting is heavily subsidised, mostly by pretending its actually farmland, and even with that isnt that great. Hence why it is mostly very wealthy people running the moors rather than a hillfarmer. To try and get it profitable requires high levels of persecution and even then it is unclear how achievable it is.

I would also suspect the burning of the moors to provide food for the grouse has far larger effect than the sheep for saplings.

>  So we import more food and live in our beautiful re-wilded diverse wonderland and WW3 kicks off.... Hmn not so good, last time that happened we went quite hungry as a nation and there was 20 million less of us.

Hmmm so if thats the plan. Time to build over the moors and use hydroponic and similar plants because a few sheep aint going to help for long.

> In the meantime if people need grouse shooting to make money and it all ends up as food I haven't got a problem with the grouse moors.

Leaving aside how much doesnt end up as food hence the recent campaigns to try and increase the amount eaten (just look at how the prices have plummetted) we are heavily subsidising the moors for them to go around wiping out the wildlife and also, in some cases, damaging the moorlands ability to retain water and so putting others at flood risk.

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> How widespread is the persecution? I live close by but am not involved so I don't know what goes on here.

Spend a bit of time looking through this. Primarily raptors but despite the name they have moved to covering all the UK.

https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/

Mountain hares are also being wiped out in large numbers.

Pine martins dont do well either and bear in mind a decent population of those would help the red squirrels.

Then there are the random other victims of all the snares put out.

> Let's not forget farmland persecutes a far greater amount of wildlife through habitat destruction than grouse moors ever could. 

grouse moors are habit destruction as well.

Report
 ROFFER 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

As you describe Fozzy, not all shooting is moorland grouse shooting or large commercial pheasant shoots, both of which I am generally against.

There are much smaller affairs run by enthusiasts with their own money and time where no one gets paid. This was my introduction to shooting. No millionaires or upper class there just dockers, engineers, accountants, taxi drivers and decorators (although all white, middle aged and 99% male but that's a different topic). 

I would therefore encourage anyone who wants to challenge shooting not to make presumptions about who does it and how. And of course the same works the other way.

I moved away from shooting when I moved to a region of the country with a proliferation of big shoots and it put me off. I will say that when I was young it was a great introduction to the natural world that helped influence my career in woodland conservation.

Report
 wercat 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

glad to hear it

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

> As you describe Fozzy, not all shooting is moorland grouse shooting or large commercial pheasant shoots, both of which I am generally against.

I tend to work on the basis that if you end up killing "vermin" in order to make sure you have enough of something else to shoot for sport then I am generally against.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Grouse moor shooting is heavily subsidised, mostly by pretending its actually farmland, and even with that isnt that great. Hence why it is mostly very wealthy people running the moors rather than a hillfarmer. To try and get it profitable requires high levels of persecution and even then it is unclear how achievable it is.

Never said it wasn't.

> I would also suspect the burning of the moors to provide food for the grouse has far larger effect than the sheep for saplings.

Sheep are everywhere, we burn small patches of land. Sheep strip the vegetation from large swathes of land.

Time to build over the moors and use hydroponic and similar plants because a few sheep aint going to help for long.

It's why we subsidise farming, to maintain the land.

> Leaving aside how much doesnt end up as food hence the recent campaigns to try and increase the amount eaten (just look at how the prices have plummetted) we are heavily subsidising the moors for them to go around wiping out the wildlife and also, in some cases, damaging the moorlands ability to retain water and so putting others at flood risk.

The same as farming, just not as bad.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Spend a bit of time looking through this. Primarily raptors but despite the name they have moved to covering all the UK.

Yes, there is illegal activity as in any walk of life. It is wrong and should be punished. Are you accusing the entire industry of this? 

> Mountain hares are also being wiped out in large numbers.

> Pine martins dont do well either and bear in mind a decent population of those would help the red squirrels.

> Then there are the random other victims of all the snares put out.

I'm not denying it, I'm saying it happens everywhere, all the time, especially farming. Are you telling me it is fine to eat a tortured, caged and young animal whose production caused habitat destruction and the persecution of wildlife, but if you stand in a field and shoot a relatively wild bird you are a monster for the much lower habitat destruction and persecution caused? 

It it OK to build a sport complex? That's going to wipe out a habitat. What about a road? Several ecosystems at least. Your arguments are as much against all human activity as much as it is grouse moors. 

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> It's why we subsidise farming, to maintain the land.

Actually we subsidise them in order to keep a large lobby group happy hence why there isnt enough emphasis on maintaining the land although this has improved a bit.

> The same as farming, just not as bad.

You sure about that? A grouse moor is about as big a monoculture as you can get short of some of the SE semi prairies.

Report
 mondite 16 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> Yes, there is illegal activity as in any walk of life. It is wrong and should be punished. Are you accusing the entire industry of this? 

It is widespread and there is a definite lack of willingness on the part of the industry to address those offenders. Indeed the efforts seem far more focussed on protecting the bad apples and attacking anyone who dares ask questions.

Entire industry probably not but given the number of raptors found dead or having their tags mysteriously fail around the grouse moors it seems commonplace. Not surprisingly really if you go and read the gamekeepers history books with the list of "vermin" killed.

> but if you stand in a field and shoot a relatively wild bird you are a monster for the much lower habitat destruction and persecution caused? 

It is your claim that the habitat destruction is lower and also that the persecution is lower. The need to protect that "relatively wild" bird is far higher when its been released than it would be in a pen. So much more predator control is needed.

> It it OK to build a sport complex? That's going to wipe out a habitat. What about a road? Several ecosystems at least. Your arguments are as much against all human activity as much as it is grouse moors. 

Well yes thats why we try and restrict the impact and balance it out. Grouse moors however have an impact way beyond their direct area. 

Report
 Timmd 16 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

I think ecology has got to always be the foundation of any arguments made against grouse shooting and similar, with it being about our enlightened self interest.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> It is widespread and there is a definite lack of willingness on the part of the industry to address those offenders. Indeed the efforts seem far more focussed on protecting the bad apples and attacking anyone who dares ask questions.

> Entire industry probably not but given the number of raptors found dead or having their tags mysteriously fail around the grouse moors it seems commonplace. Not surprisingly really if you go and read the gamekeepers history books with the list of "vermin" killed.

Is that a reason to close the industry down?  If I own a corner shop and all the corner shops near me sold under the counter tobacco should I get my shop closed down too? I fully support any efforts to stop people killing wildlife but you have to catch and prosecute the offenders. I'm not denying it happens and I condemn it as much as you but I don't tar all landowners, you have to prove someone is guilty.

> It is your claim that the habitat destruction is lower and also that the persecution is lower. The need to protect that "relatively wild" bird is far higher when its been released than it would be in a pen. So much more predator control is needed.

8% of the UK is grouse moor. 64% of the UK is farmland. Yes grouse farmers need more control but this is because predators can actually survive on the land. On a farm you replace a diverse natural habitat and woodland with fields of grass or fields of one particular crop. To wildlife it is a desert, they can't survive there. If predators try to eat the livestock they meet an equally grim demise. If birds try to eat the seed they are frightened away. Obviously farming is by far the worst offender because rather than killing animals were you can you entirely remove their ability to survive. 

It's a nasty world, there's way to many of us and we are destroying everything. Why single out grouse shooting? 

> Well yes thats why we try and restrict the impact and balance it out. Grouse moors however have an impact way beyond their direct area. 

Everything we build does, we built a lot of stuff.

Report
 munkins 16 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Actually we subsidise them in order to keep a large lobby group happy hence why there isnt enough emphasis on maintaining the land although this has improved a bit.

I disagree entirely. We subsidise land to preserve it in order to maintain a reasonable amount of food. If all that farmland is rewilded we can't just immediately start using it. We have to maintain the soil so that it is fertile. If everything is rewilded it's not just a case of cutting the vegetation away.

> You sure about that? A grouse moor is about as big a monoculture as you can get short of some of the SE semi prairies.

A farm is a monoculture and most of the land is farmed. A much smaller percent is grouse moor.

Report
 ROFFER 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> I tend to work on the basis that if you end up killing "vermin" in order to make sure you have enough of something else to shoot for sport then I am generally against.

Quite. The alternative is to release so many thousands of birds it doesn't matter if you lose a few hundred to predation or motorists. This of course then has the potential to effect the environment in other ways.

Report
 MargieB 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Timmd:

Glen Affric shot  deer to numbers that made forest rejuvenation possible some years ago. Does anyone know how many deer per hectare they were shooting down to? I have some vague idea that it was 7 deer per hectare density they wanted to achiecve? And was this scientifically justified for rewilding??How do they survey the numbers in the first place and then know how many to shoot?

Report
 ScraggyGoat 17 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/Publication%202016%20-%20Deer%20Management%20in%20Scotland%20-%20Report%20to%20the%20Scottish%20Government%20from%20Scottish%20Natural%20Heritage%202016%20-%20Annexes.pdf

I couldn't find a number for Feshie. but from memory I thought it was around 2 km2; Feshie did reduce deer abundance by 93% from the above....hence neighbouring estates and SLE hating the new owner. Multi-millionaires being shown up by the billionaire, they don't like it!

Other conservation areas listed in the SNH doc above had/have cull targets of around 5 per Km2. 

Survey was at least previously partly by aerial and aerial photographs, but assume there is also some ground observations/self-submission by estates...but could be wrong

Report
 Jon Greengrass 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

> Quite. The reality is to release so many MILLIONS of birds it doesn't matter if you lose a few hundred to predation or motorists. This of course then has the potential to affect the environment in other ways.

FTFY

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/26/defra-challenged-over-unlawful-release-of-57m-game-birds-in-uk

The "vermin" are killed to protect grouse which live on the moors and are not reared in battery farms like the pheasants and partridges are.

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> Is that a reason to close the industry down?

Its a reason to regulate and control it and add stricter measures to manage it. If they cant obey the law then shut them down.

> I'm not denying it happens and I condemn it as much as you but I don't tar all landowners, you have to prove someone is guilty.

I dont tar all landowners so dont invent things.

However the facts are simple:

Large numbers of tagged birds have their tags mysteriously fail on or near grouse moors.

Large numbers of other animals are killed.

The landowner and gamekeeper organisations instead of taking action just muddy the waters. So I would tend to judge any member of those organisations as suspect. If I belonged to the local shopkeepers organisation and instead of condemning those who sold dodgy shit it complained about the inspectors catching them I would leave it since, otherwise, it indicates I support them.

> 8% of the UK is grouse moor. 64% of the UK is farmland.

ermm yes. One though is needed and not the other.

> Yes grouse farmers need more control but this is because predators can actually survive on the land. On a farm you replace a diverse natural habitat and woodland with fields of grass or fields of one particular crop. To wildlife it is a desert, they can't survive there.

That is what a grouse moor is. I see far more wildlife in the local farmland than on the moors. Even the local shoots are fairly low key and so dont have an overly negative impact.

I do believe we should be demanding more from farmers in return for the cash they are given in terms of protecting wildlife but to claim a grouse moor is better is rather odd.

> Everything we build does, we built a lot of stuff.

Highly insightful.

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

> Quite. The alternative is to release so many thousands of birds it doesn't matter if you lose a few hundred to predation or motorists.

Well no since that then attracts additional predators. Odd how if you put out an all you can eat buffet that you get guests.

The alternative is to accept that some days you might not get to shoot anything rather than having guaranteed sport.

Report
 Eric9Points 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Fozzy:

> Beaters on bigger shoots & grouse moors get significantly more. I’m only beating on small shoots. 

> As for who it helps support:

> gamekeepers

> farmers

> feed merchants 

> seed merchants 

> agricultural contractors 

> foresters

> local mechanics

> game dealers 

> pubs 

> restaurants 

> hotels 

> local shops 

> gunmakers & gunshops 

> Still, who needs facts when you’ve got a bit of ignorant townie prejudice, eh. 

Seems sixteen folk object to your facts.

The Scottish Government has already done the same and permitted organised shoots for the very reason illustrate above. It's to help keep the rural economy going.

There may well be aspects of shooting estates that need addressing such as raptor persecution but that's another matter.

Report
 ROFFER 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

I remember reading this when it was published. I said thousands as I was referring to individual shoots rather than them all collectively.

You are of course right about "vermin" control and grouse management. Again, I was only referring to pheasant shoots as I know more about these than grouse moors.

Report
 ian caton 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

Letter in ft points out it is illegal for 7 kids to feed ducks but legal for 30 people to shoot ducks. 

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Seems sixteen folk object to your facts.

Or maybe they were objecting to the shite about anyone who dares disagrees must be a townie?

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ROFFER:

> You are of course right about "vermin" control and grouse management. Again, I was only referring to pheasant shoots as I know more about these than grouse moors.

It also applies to applies to many pheasant shoots as well. They often are as keen on carrying out "vermin" control.

Also have the added bonus of how much they cost in each year in the stupid feckers committing suicide against cars.

Report
 ROFFER 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> The alternative is to accept that some days you might not get to shoot anything rather than having guaranteed sport.

That's right but I was looking at it from the point of view of the gamekeeper, following a conversion my dad had several years ago.

He (my dad) asked what they did for vermin control and the gamekeeper said that they didn't really bother, they put so many birds down accounting for a number of losses.

Again, this refers to a pheasant shoot, not grouse. And to reiterate my earlier point, not all shoots operate like this.

I strongly doubt that shooting will ever be banned but regulation is a must.

Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Its a reason to regulate and control it and add stricter measures to manage it. If they cant obey the law then shut them down.

I agree

> However the facts are simple:

> Large numbers of tagged birds have their tags mysteriously fail on or near grouse moors.

> Large numbers of other animals are killed.

> The landowner and gamekeeper organisations instead of taking action just muddy the waters. So I would tend to judge any member of those organisations as suspect. If I belonged to the local shopkeepers organisation and instead of condemning those who sold dodgy shit it complained about the inspectors catching them I would leave it since, otherwise, it indicates I support them.

So you judge any person who is part of a landowner or gamekeeper organisation as suspect. So you are prejudiced against them because of the unproven criminal activity carried out by some individuals. 

> ermm yes. One though is needed and not the other.

We don't need businesses paying money to the treasury. Should we get rid of all the businesses that cause habitat destruction or just grouse moors? 

> That is what a grouse moor is. I see far more wildlife in the local farmland than on the moors. Even the local shoots are fairly low key and so dont have an overly negative impact.

Well I'll start with this 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/23/eu-in-state-of-denial-over-destructive-impact-of-farming-on-wildlife

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> So you judge any person who is part of a landowner or gamekeeper organisation as suspect. So you are prejudiced against them because of the unproven criminal activity carried out by some individuals.

No I did not say that. Please do not make things up.

It isnt a difficult concept. If an organisation publishes incorrect information in order to try and mask the level of persecution then I treat them as suspect. Since I would only sign up and contribute to organisations that have aims I dont find objectionable I therefore treat with suspicion any one who decides to contribute to them.

As for unproven there are multiple proven cases and many more where it is proven that persecution happened but it couldnt be proved to be by a specific individual beyond reasonable doubt. Given the difficulty of the areas this isnt surprising though.

However, this is one of the many times the pro hunting organisations could contribute. For example any of the landowner organisations could insist on auto permission for covert surveillence of nests in order to be a member.

> We don't need businesses paying money to the treasury. Should we get rid of all the businesses that cause habitat destruction or just grouse moors? 

So you are in favour of me being able to dump chemicals everywhere so long as I contribute a bit to the exchequer? (see how fun it is to strawman things).

Now what do you think is happening to all those birds with mysteriously failing tags which just happened to be clustered near grouse moors?

Why do you think although peregrines have got their numbers up overall that is by them becoming townies?

Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> some more reading

some more whatabouttery.

Now about the tags. Why is their failure rate so high near grouse moors?

Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> No I did not say that. Please do not make things up. 

Yes you did, you said you suspect anyone who is part of a particular organisation.

> It isnt a difficult concept. If an organisation publishes incorrect information in order to try and mask the level of persecution then I treat them as suspect. Since I would only sign up and contribute to organisations that have aims I dont find objectionable I therefore treat with suspicion any one who decides to contribute to them.

Well show me the evidence then. Your just telling me this like I'm supposed to take your word on it. Given what you've said already I have no inclination to take your word on anything.

> As for unproven there are multiple proven cases and many more where it is proven that persecution happened but it couldnt be proved to be by a specific individual beyond reasonable doubt. Given the difficulty of the areas this isnt surprising though.

> However, this is one of the many times the pro hunting organisations could contribute. For example any of the landowner organisations could insist on auto permission for covert surveillence of nests in order to be a member.

Sucks having laws doesn't it? Shame we can't just convict people we are suspicious off. Again nothing more than your word to back up any of these accusations.

> So you are in favour of me being able to dump chemicals everywhere so long as I contribute a bit to the exchequer? (see how fun it is to strawman things).

What on earth do you think large scale industrial practices do? We're pumping out millions of tons of toxins everyday, spilling animal waste into rivers, covering the earth in plastic and you make out that grouse farming is some terrible proponent of this environmental destruction - it barely even registers. 

> Now what do you think is happening to all those birds with mysteriously failing tags which just happened to be clustered near grouse moors?

I don't know mate, why not just send anyone you suspect to prison?

> Why do you think although peregrines have got their numbers up overall that is by them becoming townies?

OMG! So the 8% of grouse moors have killed the peregrines, not the 64% of farmland and all the other harmful practices. You are totally deluded!

Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> some more whatabouttery.

Oh yeah, we should just argue our options back and forward for ever without anything to back up what we are saying. What fun.

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> Yes you did, you said you suspect anyone who is part of a particular organisation.

Aside from I didnt and nor did I say the many other things you accuse me off.

Since you are either an idiot or someone deliberately lying I give up on you. I am assuming the latter and I have to wonder why unlike Fozzy you cant engage honestly.

For anyone who doesnt want to throw chaff and lies about I would recommend the following for a good basic coverage of the persecution and other damage done just so a few people can make it as easy as possible to shoot lots of birds.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/grouse-moor-management-group-report-scottish-government/pages/1/

Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Aside from I didnt and nor did I say the many other things you accuse me off.

> Since you are either an idiot or someone deliberately lying I give up on you. I am assuming the latter and I have to wonder why unlike Fozzy you cant engage honestly.

> For anyone who doesnt want to throw chaff and lies about I would recommend the following for a good basic coverage of the persecution and other damage done just so a few people can make it as easy as possible to shoot lots of birds.

What lies have I told?

Report
 Eric9Points 17 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

Well maybe but you must admit that a lot of townies are quite disconnected from the realities of nature and country life.

To me it seems a shame that these days meat is always seen in neat packages. No longer do we see half an animal hung from a hook and your bit of meat cut from it to order. There would be more vegetarians around if that was still the case.

Report
 Ridge 17 Sep 2020
In reply to munkins:

> Sucks having laws doesn't it? Shame we can't just convict people we are suspicious off. Again nothing more than your word to back up any of these accusations.

That and the huge number of tagged birds suddenly vanishing over grouse moors, or the complete absence of 'vermin' like buzzards, kites or perigrines, which strangely can be found in the "toxic" farmland where grouse shooting doesn't take place.

> What on earth do you think large scale industrial practices do? We're pumping out millions of tons of toxins everyday, spilling animal waste into rivers, covering the earth in plastic and you make out that grouse farming is some terrible proponent of this environmental destruction - it barely even registers. 

Whataboutery. Millions of people die of famine and wars every year, it doesn't mean the police just shrug if they find a poisoned human body in my garden as I say "Good gracious officer, nothing to do with me ".

> I don't know mate, why not just send anyone you suspect to prison?

The polluter pays is a fairly well established principle. If someone dumps toxic waste in my field I'm liable. How about vicarious liability for landowners where raptors mysteriously vanish?

> OMG! So the 8% of grouse moors have killed the peregrines, not the 64% of farmland and all the other harmful practices.

I can easily believe grouse moors can kill protected species at 8 x the rate of agricultural land. Plus there is enforceable legislation to prevent pollution and subsidies for good practice. It's good business sense to adhere to the law. Not so for the grouse moors, they know it's virtually impossible to be convicted so do as they please.

> You are totally deluded!

I don't think he is.

Post edited at 15:05
Report
 munkins 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Ridge:

> That and the huge number of tagged birds suddenly vanishing over grouse moors, or the complete absence of 'vermin' like buzzards, kites or perigrines, which strangely can be found in the "toxic" farmland where grouse shooting doesn't take place.

I've never denied any of this, I know this stuff goes on but I don't see that as a reason to shut the industry down. If you can prove a particular moor or individual is doing it then shut them down by all means but you can't take away a persons business and means of living because you suspect them.

> Whataboutery. Millions of people die of famine and wars every year, it doesn't mean the police just shrug if they find a poisoned human body in my garden as I say "Good gracious officer, nothing to do with me ".

> The polluter pays is a fairly well established principle. If someone dumps toxic waste in my field I'm liable. How about vicarious liability for landowners where raptors mysteriously vanish?

> I can easily believe grouse moors can kill protected species at 8 x the rate of agricultural land. Plus there is enforceable legislation to prevent pollution and subsidies for good practice. It's good business sense to adhere to the law. Not so for the grouse moors, they know it's virtually impossible to be convicted so do as they please.

You can believe anything you want, can you prove it?

> I don't think he is.

I think you both are. 

Report
 Doug 17 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> Glen Affric shot  deer to numbers that made forest rejuvenation possible some years ago. Does anyone know how many deer per hectare they were shooting down to?

Long time since I had anything to do with Craig Meaghaidh which was one of the earliest examples of large deer culls to allow forest regeneration without fencing but at the time the cull was based on surveying what proportion of young trees where being browsed rather than an a theoretical 'carrying capacity'. From memory that resulted in a deer density around 5 per square km but clearly any figure is going to vary widely depending on the local conditions

Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Well maybe but you must admit that a lot of townies are quite disconnected from the realities of nature and country life.

True but then many country dwellers are pretty disconnected from nature as well. Best naturist I know is a townie whilst some of the country dwellers can barely recognise a dunnock.

Plus what counts as a townie? Someone who pops to their quaint countryside second home every now and again to line up with their town friends to shoot some birds?

Report
 MargieB 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Doug:

Thanks for that know how. It is very interesting and surprises me actually, though I had no real idea at all of the density of deer that would allow natural regeneration of forest without fencing and  without wolves.

Post edited at 17:04
Report
 mondite 17 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> Thanks for that know how. It is very interesting and surprises me actually, though I had no real idea at all of the density of deer that would allow natural regeneration of forest without fencing and  without wolves.

Once it gets to a certain level of woodland you could go for lynx instead.  Probably a better choice in terms of being able to live alongside humans. Be a lot slower since you could only increase the forest size gradually though.

In other news. Another tagged harrier has mysteriously vanished with its tag suddenly stopping reporting.

https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/satellite-tagged-hen-harrier-fingal-disappears-on-scottish-grouse-moor/

Report
 MargieB 18 Sep 2020
In reply to mondite:

The proportion of agricultural land dedicated to livestock in the region will condition general community acceptance. The far north where the Danish estate owner is re afforesting- like around Beinn Hope- may find the space for that animal. 

I wonder if the pressure to kill the predators that kill grouse is now increased because I heard that the climate shift is making the hatching of grouse fail- so would people want to preserve the fewer numbers of grouse  even more by taking out the predators even more!!! I wonder......I'm not sure completely sure that grouse breeding is getting poorer because of wetness increase at crucial times of hatching..someone might know that one, but I heard it locally.

You know it is all what people choose to promote- you could promote  nature watching instead! You could put the "posh" into that. if it really is that important for people to feel superior or class conscious which is a peculiar British thing! Covid 19 shows how behaviour can be changed. Because I promote meadow land and the diversity inherent in it, I get people coming who get so eco conscious they choose the vegetarian breakfast! Really that has happened.They want to belong... and they are not particularly green voters.

Post edited at 09:29
Report
 mondite 18 Sep 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> I wonder if the pressure to kill the predators that kill grouse is now increased because I heard that the climate shift is making the hatching of grouse fail- so would people want to preserve the fewer numbers of grouse  even more by taking out the predators even more!!!

If you look at some of the old gamekeeper diaries when it was legal to kill anything then the pressures were always there. Also not just predators. Hares for example are killed in large numbers since they are accused of spreading disease.

There is also several parasites causing them issues which isnt helped by them being kept at unnaturally high densities.

> You know it is all what people choose to promote- you could promote  nature watching instead!

Yes which is one of the problems with the it brings money into the local economy argument. There has been no real study comparing it against what a money a functioning ecosystem would bring in terms of tourism dollars.  The white tailed eagles on Mull are argued to have boosted the economy by £5m (this report was on behalf of the RSPB)

Report

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.