I expect Sigrid Rausing to get a letter from the Countryside Alliance in Scotland, and a write-up in the Shooting Times, for suggesting that the lack of eagles in some parts of Scotland, and on her estate in the Monadhliath, is due to the fact that sporting estates bump them off.

But it is what I believe too.

  • JonathonWallace ------without being too rude you live in fantasy if you do not believe bad egg in every basket ref police,teachers,politicians,judges whatever you like to name,it is in this age just impossible and I find it hard to think that someone believes differently and please do not think I am thinking bad of you I actually admire your innocence,if you find it improbable that such an event has occurred then where do these people get so well informed from?.Think we were suggesting equal treatment more than how you interpreted it and almost certainly by all accounts the RSPB gave permission for a photographer to film Hen Harriers from such a close distance that the nest abandoned so in that case the C E of RSPB would using the law of land owner being responsible for gamekeeper would have also been responsible.

    What we were really pointing out and which no one will acknowledge is what a ridiculous law this is because hardly any gamekeepers get caught and now they will be more careful,perhaps only Trimbush and me know on this forum the difficulty of policing a moor of thousands of acres and as I have said before how do you prove even with the million of one chance of witnessing it the fact the gamekeeper did not as he states accidentally put his foot on the Hen Harriers nest accidentally as he did not see it.

    I am all for protecting raptors but this is getting us no further forward and in fact my guess is it will harden attitudes on both  sides which makes things worse.

  • Somewhat bizarre arguments from Trimbush and Sooty about RSPB staff conniving in theft of birds eggs.  Has anyone alleged that this has occurred?  If not I don't see why it is being raised here and contrary to Sooty's view that there must be some bad eggs in every basket I find it highly improbable that such an event has occurred.

    If it had or if we consider it as a hypothetical possibility Trimbush's argument is still false:  a gamekeeper who kills a hen harrier, say, is likely to believe that his action will result in what his employer wants i.e. more grouse to shoot, but an RSPB staff member commiting a wildlife crime would know with absolute certainty that it was diametically opposed to the wishes and intentions of his/her employer.  Landowners can either turn a blind eye to illegal acts by their keepers or they can make it quite clear that they will not tolerate them.

  • Trimbush,  The link is one I got from the Policy section on the RSPB website.

    Red Kite,  I find it strange that not only hen harriers are a priority for NWCU but they have just added in the Peregrine as a priority.  It is only 2 years ago that the Peregrine was taken off Schedule 4 much to the consternation of a lot of people, myself included.

  • Hi Bob - Yes I've seen that - but there is no reference to it in the Policy section as far as I can see

    Hi Sooty - yes fair comment - the RSPB guy who thought it up must have a screw loose and all those that agreed with him most certainly have !

    Hi redkite - crikey - and there was I thinking that R S P B stood for the protection of B..g..s !

    I bet Mark's been practising for St Patrick's Day - see what time he blogs tomorrow!

  • Sorry this is a bit of a late comment, busy times at the moment. Excellent news the the Government is treating the killiing of Hen Harriers as a priority for prosecution and that they are maintaining funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Hats of to Minister Benyon for this. It would have been an  easy option to cut that funding. However I do think the killing of birds of prey needs a new initiative. It is not going to be productive to argue too much as to how many birds of prey are being killed, the fact on the matter is that they are and the killing must be stopped or virtually stopped. How is this to be achieved?- that's the difficult question. I do think that if the Government were to facilitate discussions between relevant land owners and the RSPB that might lead to ideas as how to solve this problem. In a way, because the RSPB does such a great job in the "Protection of Birds" they may be seen as a biased party by the landowners on occasions, (althought of course they are not), and straight discussions just between the two parties may not be very fruitful, so a third party may help considerably.