Thursday, 23 May 2013

You couldn't make it up

So, Richard Benyon, the government minister responsible for wildlife protection at Defra (Department Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), puts the welfare of the introduced Pheasant, (and the wishes of the shooting lobby), ahead of the legally protected Common Buzzard.

You can read all about it here.

The article spells it all out - Mr Benyon is a monied landowner with interests in shooting and fishing. What possessed 'the powers that be' to employ this sort of person to look after our wildlife when that very same person has vested interests in suppressing (or controlling) said wildlife for personal gain is beyond me. A bit like asking bankers to police the banking system...


  1. Steve, some friends of mine recently attended a local planning meeting. Their first-hand testimony of the clueless, arbitrary decision-making process of our erstwhile councilors was depressing in the extreme. I have a lifelong aversion to politics and politicians at all levels, and absolutely nothing surprises me.

  2. I used to believe that those with political power were somehow the good guys, full of altruistic intents and a need to serve the society that voted them in. I used to believe this a long, long time ago now. So sad...

  3. Some probably still are, but they don't hit the headlines. Like Gavin, I can't bear it.

  4. That's the problem Jonathan, those that are in it for the right reasons get tarred with the brush of those who are corrupt. A shambles.

  5. This was from last year. Benyon backed down after it was pointed out repeatedly by pretty much everybody that not only was it wrong but also there had been no study done to show buzzards were really a problem in the first place.

    Benyon's a grade-A self-serving shyster. If we really wanted to reduce pheasant mortality we'd ban cars and cull toffs! It's amazing how many conflicts of interest one man can accrue in such an important role and still keep it.

    See also - the frankly shady goings on with Walshaw Moor, his refusal to grant a Carbofuran ban or implement vicarious liability while also owning a large shooting estate in Berkshire, the gravel extraction business tearing up 218 acres of woodland on his family's property against the advice of the local wildlife trusts; and his stance on canoe access on rivers given his ownership of fishing rights on the rivers Pang and Kennett.

  6. The deeper you look the more this whole affair stinks Rob. What are the chances of him being removed?