RSPB “attack on gamekeepers” warning

Shooters have been warned about the RSPB’s “continuing attack on grouse moor owners and their managers.”

Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White Spunner said the RSPB’s latest bird crime report made a number of “serious accusations” against grouse moor managers, “without any firm evidence”.

He said it was the latest in a long line of reports that seek to “demonise and undermine gamekeepers and the shooting community.”

“The RSPB has claimed that reliable data are essential to monitoring the extent of wildlife crime,” he continued, “and that is something with which we would certainly agree. However, its coverage within the report of a particular piece of peregrine falcon research makes a mockery of that claim.”

“Whilst the RSPB acknowledges that over the last three years of recorded incidents (2010–2012), the number of confirmed poison abuse incidents involving birds of prey reported to the RSPB has declined across the UK (from 70 to 20 – a massive reduction of 70%), they claim that year-to-year variations cannot be reliably compared statistically, due to the small sample size and the ad-hoc nature of the way incidents are discovered. One might reasonably wonder how the Charity hopes to obtain reliable data.

“Here at the Countryside Alliance, we have zero tolerance towards raptor persecution and do not condone any act of illegal persecution against wildlife. However, the RSPB’s attack on those in the uplands is completely unjustified.”

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