Tim Bonner cracks down on fake news and shooting
Shooting is a taboo in modern journalism and shooting and fake news go hand in hand. Often sighted as a violent pastime of wealthy men who shoot for fun. This image of the victorian shooting man is beyond outdated, it’s incorrect. The portly tweed clad lord shooting estate after estate returning to his castle is a work of fiction in this day and age. What we see now is people from a mix of backgrounds joining each other to shoot game. The act of shooting a bird is often the one most frowned upon aspect of shooting. While the delivery method isn’t modern it is effective and removes a huge part of the commercial food processing procedure. A shot bird rarely suffers and is treated with huge care and dignity before during and after they’re shot.
The recent piece of negative press facing the shooting world is the piece from The Times. The article claims that Gamekeepers are under pressure to kill illegally. That statement in itself has no grounding and the supporting evidence proves otherwise. Time and time again managed areas of land has proved to be more biodiverse than unmanaged lands. Where shooting has been lost so have the species that are protected on managed land. Predating birds continue to predate and wild moorland becomes a greater fire risk without keepers. With birds like Piegon Crow and rooks in the greatest abundance, these birds will seek refuge in those areas where the risk to themselves in the least. Without management, Countryfile will become the Pigeon Rook and Crow show. This is the stark reality that those who shoot wish to avoid. The evidence is clear that the numbers of these birds are on the rise and only in managed areas do the endangered bird numbers improve.
Mr Bonner makes an excellent case here about the motivations and reason as to why the article comes across so misinformed. Its great to see someone of his stature call out the shooting and fake news pairing. When the evidence doesn’t support your narrative you seek you look for one that does. Unfortunately to quote the RSPB in their opinion is misguided as their own attempts without bird regulation have been proven ineffective. The scientists behind the report have also come out to question why they have been misquoted.
To read the full piece from Tim Bonner please click Here