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Richard Maslen
Richard Maslen
5 months ago

Old-style keepers, such as my father, kept the balance. Predators were controlled, never eliminated. Now look at the countryside in general. Magpies, crows, rats etc proliferate and songbirds decline. Revive wild game shooting, tax the profiteers, and muzzle the RSPB.

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
5 months ago

Meanwhile the ignorant doom mongers like the RSPB and Moorland Monitors and criminals like Luke Steele continue to get reams of favourable coverage.

Aaron James
Aaron James
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Trimble

The father of all conservation as we know it stems from ‘Ducks Unlimited’ a group of wealthy Eastern American businessmen who were duck hunters as the decline was on on waterfowl populations due to habatat loss, and some to market hunters. They bought and set asside millions of acres in Canada where waterfowl bred, they got the Federal Government to crate Migratory Bird harvest and conservation laws, and a great deal more. They saved the ducks, and in the process wild life in general.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducks_Unlimited

ralph bell
ralph bell
5 months ago

A gloomy example of global capitalism at its worst.
Their craft and knowledge will leave the profession with them…

John Callender
John Callender
5 months ago

The damage caused to wildlife and the natural habitat by pheasant and grouse shooting is widespread. When walking in Cairngorm a couple of years ago, we came on a stinking pit around six feet across filled with dead mountain hares. These beautiful creatures had been shot or trapped by gamekeepers. The ostensible reason is that the hares transmit tick-borne diseases to grouse. The suspected real reason is that hares are a major food source for raptors. Because the killing of raptors is closely monitored, gamekeepers get at raptors indirectly by targeting hares. The open pit attracts foxes which can then be shot. 

And what purpose is served by this slaughter and despoliation? It allows a bunch of pompous, overpaid hooray Henrys to stand on the hillside blasting birds out of the sky. We’ve outlawed fox-hunting which causes far less suffering and environmental damage. It’s about time we did the same for the shooting of game birds. 

Julie Lynn
Julie Lynn
5 months ago
Reply to  John Callender

Absolutely. The article’s headline, and goal, ‘a defense of shooting’, is a bone-headed thing to attempt, if he actually cares about conservation. Galbraith seems to be ignorant of the abysmal effects of releasing around 50 million pheasants (a massive artificial injection of biomass) into the countryside each year. Which causes a staggering amount of ecological disruption, as they eat insects, small animals (eg lizards), and so upset ecological habitats wherever they’re released en masse. And neither in this article can I find any consideration of gamekeepers’ illegal persecution of our native raptors, which often involves poisoning red kites, goshawks, sparrowhawks, buzzards etc. Which the RSPB is having to tackle, when it could be using those resources elsewhere. The article seems to romanticise shooting while failing to discuss in any detail the conservation implications.

Last edited 5 months ago by Julie Lynn
P M
P M
5 months ago

It’s hard to disagree that the big issue is the owner of the shooting rights in regard land management and attitude to wildlife. Closely followed by the people who will pay for a guaranteed shoot.

Meanwhile the people sit in valleys waiting for the flood sirens to howl before going under water yet again.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
5 months ago

The let day” bag based” financial incentive for landowners is a curse in itself: Gloucestershire is a good example, where previously lightly shot farmland is now awash with reared birds: likewise certain parts of Wales and Devon, not natural game habitats, taking advantage of artificial ” high bird” let days, as livestock farming there becomes ever more financially difficult. Of course, successive Tory governments run by suburbanites have done nothing to really help post Brexit farming.

Getting rid of September and adding February to the Pheasant and Partridge calendar would be a start…..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
5 months ago

Unfortunately Shooting has taken over from Golf as the ideal ‘marketing’ sport for God knows how many Levantine looking spivs and their ilk.
I like your idea of adjusting the calendar, something both Caesar and Augustus would have approved of.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
5 months ago

Latest curse is the over breeding of newly re introduced raptors, beautiful and lovely as they are, but who have upset the ‘ balance of nature”.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
5 months ago

Sadly the introduction of pesticides has done much greater damage, reducing much of this once “ green and pleasant land “ to a veritable chemical desert.
The mass immigration of 70 million pheasants per annum (a bird native to the foothills of the Himalayas) also hasn’t helped much, it must be said.
No doubt the insatiable greed of the spivs has to be assuaged somehow, even if they very rarely even eat the birds!

Last edited 5 months ago by stanhopecharles344