Chris Packham has posted an enraged rant at, “One of the most vile wildlife crimes committed” as he launched a protest again grouse shooting.
The Springwatch presenter brandished the dead body of a Hen Harrier, which he labeled a “natural treasure” after the bird of prey was found caught in a spring trap on a grouse moor in Scotland.
Packham, 58, said: “Beautiful wasn’t it? This is a dead adult, male, Hen Harrier and up until recently it was ghosting around over a grouse moor, doing its job, playing an important ecological role as a top of the food chain predator.
“But more than it was natural treasure. And they’re rare, there’s not many of them. And now there’s one less.
This is a sad & depressing day for conservation & a dark day for all of UK shooting. The despicably cruel and brazen slaughter of this Hen Harrier on a Scottish grouse moor absolutely must herald some real action https://t.co/QBRysctJ9v more here https://t.co/PwIGAhl9hu Please RT pic.twitter.com/4BHPQf4VlM— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) July 15, 2019
“Because this bird was trapped in a spring trap that had snapped closed on its leg and it was struggling in that spring trap for we don’t know how log, in the baking sun, dehydrating in agony.
“It was rescued they brought it to a vet, they did everything they could to keep it alive, but they couldn’t and it had to be euthenased. I can’t tell you how angry I am about that. How angry lots of people are about that.
“Driven grouse shooting is killing shooting.”
Several Twitter users reacting to Packham’s video have called upon Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to outlaw the practice of using spring traps.
@NicolaSturgeon You have the power to change it, this slaughter of our native birds of prey needs to stop. Are we going to let Hen Harriers become extinct?— Bolton & Bury Swifts (@bandbswifts) July 15, 2019
Spring traps are used to kill foxes, stoats and weasels in order to protect the grouse bred for shooting on the moors of Scotland. But there is nothing to prevent birds of prey becoming caught in the traps. Some traps are even illegally set with the aim of catching birds of prey.
Wildlife presenter Packham has been the target of death threats over his ongoing ant-shooting campaign.