Sent to Andre Farrar, Campaigns Manager at RSPB
To say I am disappointed in the RSPB’s lack of support for the Vicarious Liability is an understatement. I am sure that if it had been your idea things would have gone very differently, how glad I am that I decided not to re-join until I saw how things progressed. Like many people I felt confident that you would support this and get the much needed added protection that our English Raptors need so badly, after all we all supported your campaign for raptors when you started it.
I was promised your support and sadly it has not been forthcoming so the e-petition will fail thanks to an organisation that is supposed to have ” a million voices for birds” but not in this case it seems.
I am also disgusted at the state of affairs on Bowland where it seems that some of your wardens are nothing more than serial nest visitors and are causing more raptors to desert their nests than any gamekeeper, talk about double standards. After all the hype with regard to the Hen Harrier made by the RSPB isn’t it sad that none have bred on Bowland this year, or if they have they have not survived. Isn’t it time you all decided where your loyalties lie? because people are certainly fed up with you all.
So thanks mainly to the RSPB the e-petition will fail unless I can perform some miracle and get some help from someone who will put their all into it, shame on you all.
I have just recieved this reply from the RSPB. May I say the allegations made about the field activities of voluntary field workers were never investigated they were dismissed, which in my opinion has only made a bad situation much worst.
From: Farrar, Andre
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:57 AM
To: Chrissie Harper
Subject: RE: from Chrissie Harper
Chrissie we both want the same thing – you are disagreeing about tactics.
I promised you a longer reply and I can confirm that I am happy for you to post this email on the Raptor Politics website if you would like to.
I signed your petition, I have regularly encouraged others to sign your petition, our Director of Conservation has backed your petition on his blog and we promoted your petition on our e-news letter (which put on over 1000 signatures).
On the question of vicarious liability I can confirm that getting such a measure into English and Welsh law (as has already happened in Scotland due to RSPB campaigning) is a priority for us. The Law Commission review is the key target, in our view, as it will look at all aspects of legislation and its enforcement.
Your petition addresses one part of the topic of law reform (albeit an important one) and I think suffers in terms of timing (we discussed this when we spoke at the turn of the year) as the answer to this petition is an obvious ‘engage in the Law Commission review’ – it becomes a circular argument because we already have the mechanism to get what we all want, through the Law Commission, to set out the case.
While it is important to show public interest in this issue via your petition, the Law Commission review will be influenced by the substance of the argument.
So I must reintegrate the point I made in my last reply to you – I would encourage interested parties to contribute to the review … here’s the link http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/campaignwithus/current/betterwildlifelaws.aspx
In building campaign alliances it is important to build trust – and I must observe that you launched a petition, which I know you put together with the best of intentions and which you clearly expected us to support, without telling us or consulting on the approach you adopted. Timing is everything as our experience in Scotland showed.
You are clearly angered by your perception that we didn’t get behind your petition. Despite the reservations I shared with you on the phone (and which I have reiterated here).
I fully accept that our focus has been on the Law Commission review – and that is the approach we will continue to follow as we believe it is the way to get real change in the legislation and to boost enforcement. This was the route we encouraged and adopted in Scotland, which ultimately led to change there.
It’s stating the obvious, but reform of the legislation is not going to happen overnight. Ministers will look at the Law Commission’s proposals and the experience in Scotland before acting. It could take 2 to 3 years in England (possibly sooner in Wales).
Vicarious liability is part of a wider set of reforms needed and, on its own, won’t improve the situation for hen harriers (though it would send a strong signal) we need urgent investment by Government and the police to tackle enforcement.
I don’t agree with your statements about the Forest of Bowland – and refute the accusations you make. Our staff and volunteers work long hours and are utterly dedicated to tackling the threats to hen harriers and these baseless accusations are unfair and in no way help to tackle the real issues.
We are actively seeking new resources to enable new and more effective approaches to protecting hen harriers.
I am saddened that we can’t agree on tactics as I’m sure we share the same ideals and frustrations at what is happening to protected species across parts of the UK. As I’ve regularly said to you, I’m always happy to discuss issues around this – and continue to hope that we can.
Best wishes Andre