From feedback received it's obvious people are both reading up about Hen Harriers and concerned about the situation, but such a position has been in place for years. With conservation efforts failing, what is the next step? Have the now perennial campaigns gone stale and people pass over the clarion calls to take action and register their disapproval? To abandon hope at this point would be a disaster! As John Miles, in the piece he submitted to Raptor Politics explained, there are ways that can be considered, but the time has come to stop wasting money and to call for Central Government action.
Is that possible given that the clientele supportive of grouse and pheasant shooting come from the ranks of those whose influence could most easily bring about positive change, but, conversely, retain the status quo if so desired? We are talking about a very obvious chasm which exists between such people and those who would forever be unable to afford the sport, even if they were interested. The former are willing to cock a snoot at the law of the land in order to enjoy their sport, except when a misdemeanour unfortunately reveals sufficient evidence to get the case in court. I find that disgraceful and a personal affront. Their passion for shooting is no different to that exhibited by the veritable army of wildlife enthusiasts within the UK who draw countless hours of enjoyment from simply observing wildlife. That the former pay for the "privilege" of indulging their passion is no justification for them supporting the law being broken in order to provide the facilities for their form of enjoyment.
Numerically, wildlife enthusiasts must far outnumber those whose passion impinges on some of the most majestic members of our natural heritage, be it Hen Harrier, Peregrine or other raptors. Opinion must forcibly be brought to bear on the whole subject area yet again and some rational, positive outcome secured against the shame that is raptor persecution. I find little solace in reading about protection initiatives in Malta, Cyprus and elsewhere when this is happening on our own doorsteps! Endless monitoring is a waste of time with thirty years of evidence providing the bedrock against which change can be justified! Such monitoring is little more than actively cataloguing disaster! Whilst no one is calling for a ban on shooting there is a need for change within that sport, and the methods employed within its management, before public opinion turns against the overall practice!!
Until Saturday I'll be much involved in other things than birding. It would be good to see some written comment and opinion appearing, preferably on the Raptor Politics website, which has a much wider readership than this Blog ( otherwise E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org ). Over to you, folks!