There was a time when I believed an outright ban on driven grouse shooting was premature and that , at least for a period, a consideration of licensing might be the best way forward. That led me to issuing an E-petition calling for the licensing of both grouse moors and gamekeepers. This garnered over 10.000 signatures and, as a result, earned an utterly lame response from the Government!
I've wrestled with this subject ever since, repeatedly setting it aside in the fervent hope that the seemingly never ending calls for change would result in positive responses. There has been none !
It is now my absolute belief that there will be no willing expressions for change. The shooting fraternity has achieved a deliberate objective in decimating the Hen Harrier population . Persecution of that species and many other raptor species continues, despite them being especially protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), and there is clearly no intention or willingness to see any different circumstances apply.
There are some who say that it's not all estates or shooters who are to blame. However, other than the very occasional cautionary statement, there are no equivalent calls for persecution to end. So where are the cries of opposition to persecution from within this peer group's members and their condemnation of this alleged minority accompanied by calls for restraint ? The shooting fraternity currently has the situation where they want it, having brought the English breeding population to its knees. Three pairs of nesting Hen Harriers in 2017 when there should be 300 !! Muted calls for improvement are not enough and, therefore, the time has come for equivalent opposition to be raised against this selfish, self serving activity and without delay !
With the RSPB continually dithering and giving no unequivocal lead to its million plus members regarding actions they might take, it is now up to all of us to register, on an independent basis, full opposition to the negative effects arising from grouse management activities.
Vested interests, commercial greed and Government intransigence are all playing a part in sustaining the continuing persecution of our raptors. It remains our responsibility to press for change , the first action being signing the current E-petition by Gavin Gamble Ban driven grouse shooting
Thanks for your help.