Driven Grouse Shooting, Presentation of Evidence.

Very disappointed, overall Mark Avery came out on top presenting factual evidence to the committee why driven grouse shooting should be banned and the reasons why he felt a licensing scheme would not work, with vicarious liability having a limited role without adequate enforcement.

Although Jeff Knott, Head of Nature Policy, RSPB spoke very well, he cut off Mark Avery’s legs from from the beginning by stating to the committee the RSPB did not support a ban on Driven Grouse Shooting at all.

As for Amanda Anderson Director, The Moorland Association, she talked about how gamekeepers were the best thing that has ever happened to grouse moors, the work in preserving habitats and wild life very much to the fore of her presentation. But Ms Anderson did not mention once the plight of the hen harrier, or that there were no breeding hen harriers on any moor in England managed by any member of the moorland association.

One big mistake we felt, although Jeff Knott mentioned the fact that there were only 3 pair of breeding hen harrier this year in England, no one mention the crucial fact that not a single pair even attempted to breed on any red grouse moor in the whole of England this year.

Very significantly, no member of the committee asked Amanda Anderson how many hen harriers were currently know to breed on moorland managed by her members; big mistake.

Overall the damage caused to Mark Avery’s Petition was undoubtedly caused by Jeff Knot’s failure to support Mark Avery aim to ban Driver Grouse Shooting..

9 comments to Driven Grouse Shooting, Presentation of Evidence.

  • Northern Diver

    My overall impression was that apart from one or two, the combined committee was pretty pro-grouse shooting, including the Chair. Stokes and Anderson were given a very easy ride with questions, especially from Mr Sunak & Mr Hart (employed by Countryside Alliance), which played to their agenda.
    I agree with your comments above. Very difficult for Mark with no wealthy organisation behind him to provide research etc. The RSPB’s stance very much diluted the message. My partner and I have just given up our RSPB membership after many, many years – we will give our support to more campaigning organisations – we have told them why. They have forgotten how the charity started out in the first place, in our opinion.
    Still, this is just a preliminary skirmish. We are in for the long haul. Change is going to come.

  • Chris Hind

    It seemed like a contest between fact coming From Mark Avery and Jeff Knott and the old mantra of ‘grouse moors are good for wildlife’ from the other side. Anyone unfamiliar with the evidence may well have found it hard to separate the ‘fact’ from the ‘fiction’.
    What a pity Mark Avery did not have someone with the same message on his side.
    The chairperson’s attitude toward Mark was poor – unfairly accusing him of scoring points and of asking rather that answering questions.

  • adam

    Unbelievable, as an RSPB member I am very disappointed by this. Ridiculous! I shall write to the RSPB and make my thoughts known. I feel sorry for Mark Avery that he was greatly let down by someone on his own side.

  • adam

    Just sent my email of complaint to the RSPB about this. I hope that many others do likewise.

  • Alastair Henderson

    Thank you very much for the detailed instruction to enable the proceedings to be viewed live.
    I was surprised by the title given to the proceedings “Grouse Shooting”.
    I was further surprised by the joint participation of the RSPB on a “Licencing” platform.
    Both ignored the fact that Mark’s petition was specifically supported by 123,000 to “Ban Driven Grouse Shooting”.
    The thrust of the petition was to prevent the illegal killing of raptors on driven grouse moors most notably the Hen Harrier. This message failed to be made strongly enough. It was a mistake to emphasise the element of fun enjoyed by a privileged few – illegal persecution should have merited that emphasis.
    It was disappointing that the case for a ban was not made strongly enough on the basis of the wholesale slaughter of raptors on driven grouse moors. As a supporter of the petition I had expected a more ‘joined up’ case for a ban.

  • Robert Shaw

    Mark Avery is highly likely to have known in advance the position of the RSPB and should have tailored his arguments to take account of it and thus have been more successful in presenting his case.

  • fergus murray

    Quite apart from all the discussion of grouse shootin v raptors, if the heather wasn’t managed it would be waist high and sterile for all except foxes. Just visit the Rhynogs in Southern Snowdonia.
    Who have the pockets deep enough to manage the moors and be interested in their habitat for all………….the shooting fraternity.

  • nirofo

    Once again the RSPB has shown it’s true colours, you have to ask, which side are they on, who is pulling their strings.

  • heavy on MPs such as Simon Hart, Ex Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance who was aggressive towards Mark Avery and therefore to those of us who stand with Avery. Steve Double Conservative. Oliver Dowden. lawyer, special advisor to Cameron keeping an eye on how he might advise the CA and NFU now and in the future.
    Paul Scully. con. Chris Davies NFU and CA. Liam Stokes member of CA
    Seemed tome that the committee was weighted by MPs against any controls over Grouse shooting. I think that Vicarious Liability is an idea but cannot see it being enforced or policed. Recently a badger sett was found to have had diesel poured down it. The landowner is a factory farm like huge dairy farm and it is well know that he would like to get rid of all of our badgers. The sett in question was on his farm but nothing could be done to blame him. Vicarious Liability would be a good move if properly enforced. I found this meeting very depressing with the RSPB man saying that he did support some shooting of birds. shame on him.