Sunday, August 14, 2016

Very Poor Historical Record!

Gamekeepers have a very poor historical record, when it comes to the toleration of other species of wildlife on their estates. For example, an often quoted example from the Highland estate of Glengarry, gives a clear indication of the standard attitude at that time, amongst Gamekeepers, towards any other species of wildlife on a keepered estate & makes for very sad reading indeed.

"In the four years between 1837 and 1840 the estate keepers killed 11 red foxes, 198 wildcats, 78 housecats, 246 pine martens, 106 polecats, 301 stoats and weasels, 67 badgers, 48 otters, 98 peregrines, 78 merlins, 462 kestrels, 475 ravens, 285 buzzards, 3 honey buzzards, 15  golden eagles, 27 sea eagles, 18 ospreys, 63 goshawks, 275 red kites, 68 hen harriers, 109 owls as well as 1,432 hooded crows and 475 ravens." 

See: Let's Ban Driven Grouse Shooting

Most of these species are of course now protected by the law, but unfortunately clear evidence points to the fact that there are still a number of gamekeepers working on estates today who still kill protected species. They do so, safe in the knowledge that it is very, very difficult for anyone, even today, to obtain enough evidence to actually bring about a prosecution against anyone involved in such illegal activity.

Most of the species listed above weren't actually present on the estates I worked on, in the early 1970s, but if they had been I have absolutely no doubt that they would have been killed, too.

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