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On Wed, 1/7/09, The RSPB <> wrote:

From: The RSPB <>
Subject: Stop bird of prey slaughter now!
Date: Wednesday, 1 July, 2009, 12:16 PM

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Dear Supporter

I've had to take dead birds to the vets many times before, but this time I had a real sinking feeling. Minutes after handing over the limp corpse I was staring at an X-ray, which confirmed my worst fears.

I could see 11 pieces of gunshot in what had been a magnificent, female peregrine. She had been slaughtered – most probably on her nest. The inscribed metal ring on her leg gave a tiny insight into her life. She hatched seven years ago in Shropshire and, at the time of her death, was in her prime. Quite probably, she had chicks that depended on her and will now starve.

I felt sick and disgusted. How can people stoop so low?

2009 has been a terrible year for cowardly crimes against birds of prey, including eagles and peregrines.

With your help, we can stop this illegal killing.

Sign a pledge now to save our birds of prey.

I work in the RSPB's Investigations team and this has been one of the worst years I can remember.

In the last few weeks, barely a day has gone by without us getting a call about peregrine persecution and other crimes against birds of prey. It's shocking that in the 21st century, these fabulous birds are still routinely shot, trapped and poisoned.

Only a few days ago, one of my colleagues in Scotland went to investigate a dead golden eagle found in Argyll. The police suspect that it was illegally poisoned, using a bait with a very toxic chemical.

I'm desperate for the peregrine and golden eagle deaths not to be mere grisly statistics.

With your support, we can demonstrate to government that we will not tolerate these crimes and put an end to them.

Please sign the RSPB's birds of prey pledge now and help us stop the killing.

Thank you so much.

Mark Thomas

Investigations Unit

PS For more about peregrine persecution, including a photo of the dead female, see here.

If you have been forwarded this e-mail by a friend and would like to receive the RSPB's e-newsletter and e-mails about our conservation, campaigning and fundraising work, please use our online sign-up form.

The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

THE RSPB has responded to the goat cull with a 'we are between a rock and a hard place' excuse..there is no excuse for killing animals.

Goats and the Inversnaid Special Area of Conservation

There has been a lot of concern over the welfare of the goats at our Inversnaid reserve and we wanted to send a reply to everyone that has taken the time to email us on this issue.

As the country's largest conservation organisation, the RSPB cares about all nature, and the reduction in number of these wild goats is a decision we've been forced to take with a very heavy heart. Our Inversnaid reserve is not only a beautiful woodland it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which means we are legally bound to protect it from damage, from whatever source.

In May 2012, we were advised by Scottish National Heritage (SNH), the Government conservation advisors, that the condition of the site was deteriorating and rare flora were at risk. In their opinion, this was the result of heavy grazing by the wild goats and because of the site's legal protection we had no choice but to do something to halt the damage.

The intention has never been to eradicate the goat population at Inversnaid, but to reduce the numbers to a level that maintains a harmony with the reserve. We initially sought a proposal for re-locating the goats, from the Feral Goat Research Group, but sadly nothing was forthcoming, so we were left with no choice but to go ahead with the cull.

Recent publicity has brought forward other offers of help with re-location, including an offer from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which had not been made to us previously, but which is now being investigated.

So now we have an offer of somewhere to put the goats, but we still have no clear way of corralling them or safely capturing and transporting them the long distance to Norfolk. The terrain at the reserve is very steep, dangerous and difficult to access and the animals are naturally wild as they have never been domesticated. So we need to be sure that whatever we do, all the appropriate animal welfare, legal, health and safety and other official requirements are met.

It's too late to put all these measures in place for this year, as the cull is nearly over and has to be completed by the end of this month to avoid the breeding season. We sincerely hope we can find a way forward in discussion with experts in animal welfare that allows us to meet SNH's concerns and avoid the need to cull in the future.

We would like to re-assure you that we will be actively pursuing these new offers of help, to try and see if an alternative solution can be found to this complicated and unfortunate problem.

Thanks again for taking the time to email us

Dr Mike Clarke

RSPB Chief Executive

Letter to RSPB:

Mike Clarke's email:

Considering my own group is on an SSSI I doubt very much that we'd consider culling anything short of Knotweed and Balsam.

Grey squirrels have cropped up but it is often the case that human beings have made artificial distinctions about what is important.

The flowers on the SSSI may indeed be RARE - but just like the squirrel what nature thinks is a success like goats that breed successfully,mankind impedes for the sake of flowers that are on the edge of dying out.

It strikes me that a lot of 'conservation' actually impedes evolution by culling successful species. Indeed a lot of the time those species are not even a pest.

Chris Packham made the case that perhaps trying to save Panda's is fruitless.

Where maintaining a RARE species is considered worthwhile,CULLING should NEVER be an option.

When stuck between a rock and a hard place (which is the excuse for murder that the RSPB is giving):

"We are unable to transport them" then acting like a Nazi with a train full of Jews and no coal is not the solution.

Hillside said they gave the option to take them in BEFORE the cull and the RSPB refused.

It is not impossible to socially network your requirements these days and some animal lover might well have moved them for you. There is NEVER an excuse to take life.


The philosophy that animals are 'expendable' has to stop. It is not even in keeping with how nature works.

Go the way of DEFRA and you will get a public lambasting and your funding removed. Look what happened to DEFRA - do you want that?

Cull goats and if nothing else I will see to it personally that the RSPB is vetoed.

This is the level of sentiment among PROPER animal lovers not mealy mouthed 'heavy hearted' excuse makers.

I would ask what Mike would say if someone's OPINION said ' Your children keep messing up this park area,we are going to have to shoot them"..doesn't make any sense when it is humans does it?

So it does not make any sense when it is animals.

From: "Hayward, Ian" <>
Sent: Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 10:03
Subject: Inversnaid

Dear Mr Borrell

Thank you for your comments. Following a meeting yesterday, please see the below updated  statement regarding the goats at Inversnaid.

The goat management work at Inversnaid to protect the internationally important site has come to an end for 2013. No further goat management is planned until September 2014. Yesterday (Monday, 9th December) RSPB Scotland met with representatives from a range of interested parties including Scotland for Animals, the Feral Goat Research Group and SNH to discuss alternative options for addressing goat-grazing pressure. Recent interest in our work at Inversnaid has resulted in a variety of suggestions and offers of assistance, which we welcome. We will now include a full assessment of these new options in our annual review of management to restore this amazing and special habitat to favourable condition. Working with experts and interested parties, we will reach a clear decision on a way forward which offers a sustainable and legal solution

Yours sincerely

Ian Hayward
Wildlife Advisor

UK Headquarters The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL

Tel 01767 693119

That is heart warming news - but I guess an 'annual review' means culling could resume.

Culling programmes of any kind will necessarily mean our own connection with the RSPB will be rescinded. No one would ever use 'kill them' as a solution to any human problem - except perhaps despots in far east countries or the likes of Hitler. Civilized countries do not kill things because they are in the way.


Another bird of prey killed