Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Exporting Rich Killers

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 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.


Pete Woodruff said...

Another of your well worded quality publications Alan.

I have duly sent Messrs Chris/Nick an e-mail asking them if they could independently - for comparison - let me have their views on the justification of these 'Trips to Morocco' and will let you know the response to the said e-mail....if I get one.

Stringer said...

Hi Alan

Yes this is disgraceful but sadly not too surprising. What is a “rural conservationist” anyway ? Certainly not a genuine conservationist by the looks of it !

Another classic example of shooters trying to hide unacceptable activity behind a thin veil of being “conservationists”. They really do themselves no favours behaving like this, this time they have clearly demonstrated just how clueless they are, “conservationists” my arse ! I just wish these people would be up front and honest, but they won’t because it will just show them in a bad light.

I just clicked the link to the website to glean information before sending them an e-mail, it looks like they have taken the page down ?

Maybe listened to common sense, or perhaps just removed it from the public domain ?

Have you had any feedback from them ?

I have forwarded your link to RSPB anyway.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, the page is certainly down. I'd like to think as a result of the e-mail mentioned above and some others hopefully.

So looks like they realised the ad was a bad idea, in the public domain at least. Lets hope they also realise the 'Trip to Morocco' was a bad idea too, not to mention a criminal one.

Phil Davis said...

Hi Alan, Pete alerted me to this. I recently suggested to NCOS, my local Ornithological Society, that they investigate the possiblility of tagging a Turtle Dove with the aid of the RSPB. An ambitious project maybe but we are down to 2 or 3 TD locations in Gloucestershire and that was 2011. What a complete waste of time that would have been - I think we now know for sure where they are going! It's very depressing and who actual cares apart from a relative handfull of environmentalists?