In April this year, a high profile prosecution case for alleged raptor persecution collapsed after covertly-filmed video evidence was deemed inadmissible.
The prosecution was being brought against a gamekeeper from the Bleasdale Estate in Bowland, who had been charged with a string of wildlife offences including the alleged killing of two peregrines in April 2016.
We had followed this case since September 2017, attended each court hearing, and blogged in detail after the case collapsed on a series of technicalities earlier this year (e.g. see here, here, here, here).
The details, as described in court, of what had happened to those two peregrines, were horrific. It was alleged that the adult female peregrine had been shot whilst leaving her nest and the adult male had been caught by the leg in a spring trap that had been set on the nest ledge, where he struggled to escape, in vain, for over ten hours, before being shoved in a bag by an unidentified man and removed from the site.
We’ve been waiting for the RSPB to publish this video footage ever since the case collapsed and the accused walked free. We understand there have been some legal issues about publishing the video and although we don’t know the details, it’s probably a safe bet to guess that some influential people from the grouse shooting industry have probably been working hard to ensure this footage never sees the light of day.
Today the RSPB has released video footage of peregrine persecution in Bowland and although the Bleasdale Estate is carefully not mentioned, it’s quite obvious from the dates cited and the video images that what is being shown in this footage fits the description of what allegedly happened to those two Bleasdale peregrines as desribed to the court earlier this spring.
The RSPB has published a blog describing the circumstances of this footage – (http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/investigations/archive/2018/08/07/peregrine_2d00_persecution_2d00_filmed_2d00_bowland.aspx).
Watch the video here but beware, it contains graphic content:
Ater you’ve watched it, think about why nobody has been successfully prosecuted for these crimes.
And then think about why nobody will ever be prosecuted for these crimes.
And then think about why these crimes continue to be committed on grouse moors in 21st Century Britain.
And then think about what you can do to help bring it to an end.
Change must come, but it will only come if people stand up and demand it.
See you at a Hen Harrier Day event this weekend – http://henharrierday.org/
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
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Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports