The Keeping Game

“The Mossdale estate in the Yorkshire Dales, owned by the Van Cutsem family, obtained £54,000 in [EU common agricultural policy (CAP)] subsides in 2014 and £170,000 in 2015. In June, the estate resigned from the Moorland Association after a keeper was filmed setting illegal pole traps.” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/28/grouse-shooting-estates-shored-up-by-millions-in-subsidies)

Resigning from that interest group is simply a saving of £75.00 pa; how about our money back?

The parliamentary debate on driven grouse shooting is Monday 31 October 2016, 4.30pm, Westminster Hall.

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Democruelty

“That this House notes the indiscriminate and cruel nature of snares, the failure of previous attempts at voluntary and self-regulation amongst operators, and the continued suffering caused to thousands of animals every year by these traps; and calls on the Government to implement a full ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares at the earliest opportunity.”

“Snaring is just one part of a range of measures that have to be used to manage some species, the control of which underpins agricultural production, farm animal husbandry, the sustainable harvesting of wild game birds and the conservation of wildlife. … Land management organisations and gamekeeping associations around the country have developed a new code of best practice on the use of snares for fox control in England, which would also be suitable for the control of rabbits. Designed and written by a number of stakeholders, including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the National Gamekeepers Organisation, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Moorland Association and the Countryside Alliance…” – Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(https://hansard.digiminster.com/Commons/2016-07-21/debates/16072150000001/Snares)

Have to be used”? “Sustainable harvesting of wild game birds”?
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for (Environment), (Food) and Rural-Shooting Affairs

If you disagree, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban snares in the UK.

Ensnared

“It can’t have been easy being a caveman, living the life of a hunter gatherer. … However, though the gathering might have been relatively rural, the hunting was hell. Meat wasn’t easy to catch, whether it came in the form of a slavering jawed dinosaur, a leaping gazelle, or even a jet propelled small rodent or rabbit. … the very necessary function of feeding human families, who – back in those prehistoric times – had very few alternatives to meat and veg. … Many, many thousands of years ago then, snares were a means to survival. And not only for food. The hunter made sure that he visited the trap regularly so that animals did not disfigure or maim themselves in their struggles. It wasn’t an example of prehistoric animal welfare, it was a matter of keeping warm. Nobody wants a fur coat with rips and tears in it.” (http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2987646/snares_a_barbaric_relic_whose_time_is_up.html)

Perhaps Bill Oddie’s ancestors were contemporary with dinosaurs. Perhaps that’s how he knows how often hunters visited their traps thousands of years ago. Or perhaps this is a result of his special food options, I suppose involving mycoprotein and synthetic vitamins, while the rest of us still have few alternatives to meat and veg. Perhaps he’s simply aiming his writing at the lowest common denominator i.e. those who set snares. However, his reasoning has more holes in it than a creature snared in barbed wire.

Notwithstanding Bill Oddie’s whimsy, snares are outdated. Please sign the petition to ban snares in the UK.

Lead Grouse

“On the basis of this sample of 40 Red Grouse, Iceland Foods have been selling grouse meat with average lead levels over 100 times the maximum legal level for other meats (though it is legal for them to sell game meat with such high lead levels).
…those employed on game shooting estates, presumably especially gamekeepers and their families, will have much higher lead-shot game intakes than the average member of the public (several lead-shot game meals a week would be expected) as this is a free or cheap, and readily available, source of meat. They are also likely to consume game meat that is so heavily shot that it cannot be sold as an attractive proposition to the public, which, I surmise, is likely to have even higher lead levels than those identified here.” (http://markavery.info/2016/01/27/lead-week-12-pbweekmia/)

Can anyone remember what it is that lead does to the human body? Could it affect the thing, you know the thing you do… in your head…?

Persecatted

“Decades of persecution by gamekeepers meeting their landowners’ desires for grouse or pheasant conservation for hunts, meant that by 1914 wildcats had been wiped out across the British and Irish Isles in all but the North and West of Scotland.
When the landowners and gamekeepers went off to fight in the First World War it gave the wildcats a break and they began to expand back into the rest of Scotland.” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986566/saving_scotlands_highland_tiger.html)

Has government considered allowing game shooters to fight terrorists? This would be much more fun for them and give our wildlife a break. Win:win.

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.

Legisploitation

“The Law Commission’s report and draft bill on the UK’s wildlife legislation … is flawed, because priority is given to wildlife exploitation – not protection. … The right to exploit animals for profit or leisure – that is, activities like game shooting – is considered inviolable.” (http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/news-stories/2015/nov/response-to-law-commission-wildlife-legislation-report)

Could there be an intersection in the Venn diagram of lawyers and game shooters?