For various reasons I had not planned a post today. I'm guessing that most that read here wouldn't be the slightest bit interested in a pocket-size review of the latest kids animated flick 'Brave' (some pleasant melancholic Scottish tunes otherwise bland) nor would you be engaged by my day long fast (no cause except the pursuit of svelte).
Somewhere near the mid-point of Deal or No Deal this afternoon, Noel was interrupted by the soft ping of an arriving email that turned out to be from passionate conservationist Charlie Moores. I began to read about the British company that are advertising trips to Morocco to shoot Turtle Doves. That is right, read it again slowly, a British company...advertising hunting trips....to Morocco... to shoot the rapidly declining Turtle Dove.
Take a look here at the website of Davis & Bowring including their claim that 'numbers shot are carefully controlled to maintain a healthy wild population' then spend a few minutes just reading some of the information on the website of Operation Turtle Dove here to realise how this claim is disingenuous garbage.
Now I used the word 'rich' in the title and I feel that that label is adequately justified when you delve a little further into the brochure and realise that this four day trip carries a cost of 3200Euros excluding air fare, hotel and travel, that is around £2500. Add to that flights, food and hotel stay and it will no doubt be headed towards £4000. This isn't a trip for the average Brit Pheasant shooter, this is carefully marketed at a select client.
At a time when many others are working to conserve the dwindling breeding populations of British Turtle Doves for a British company to be offering the opportunity to blast the self-same birds out of the sky as they migrate south is a travesty.
Based in Kirby Lonsdale this company needs to be made aware of the depth of feeling regarding this abhorrent export in any way possible. The business as well as a sporting agency also consists of chartered surveying and an up-market rural estate agency with links to Savills. I would hope that anyone that has the opportunity to hit them where it hurts by removing or cancelling business contact them and requests they re-think and withdraw this tour offer. Those of us that do not have that option can at least let them know how we feel by emailing 'sporting partners' Nick Mason and Christopher Mason-Hornby (the latter described as 'a passionate rural conservationist' on the company website, a claim that should almost be reported to trading standards given the nature of this venture).
Update 23/08 - the above link to the advertisement on the Davis & Bowring website no longer functions as the page has been taken down. At the moment it is unclear whether this is just an avoidance tactic or whether the company has taken a decision not to run these tours again.