Game bird shooter complains that cats and dogs are killing birds

Jack Bell has written a lengthy article on the Shooting UK website. He obviously works in the game bird industry. In other words, he works in the business of shooting thousands upon thousands of birds for entertainment and pleasure. To any animal lover this sport is objectionable. And in this highly ironic article he blames cats for killing birds! Cats are doing nothing different to what he and his colleagues do. Whereas cats do it instinctively, humans have a choice.

They don’t have to go out on the heather-covered hillsides with their shotguns to kill birds for the fun of it. They could find some other form of entertainment but they prefer to inflict pain on sentient creatures to amuse themselves.

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Dog harassing birds
Dog harassing birds. Photo: Shooting UK.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In order to protect the game birds they kill wildlife like foxes. The shooters call it conservation but I call it cruel speciesism and the protection of big business. His arguments are ridiculous but they come from a mindset which believes that humans have a right to do as they please with animals.

John Bell works in an area of 5,000 acres of rural Galloway, Scotland. He brings up the argument that I have recently discussed namely that the RSPB state that there is as yet no scientific evidence that domestic cat predation on birds in the UK causes a decline in bird population numbers.

He’s just irritated that cats and dogs interfere with his business. And he attacks dogs more than cats for ‘non-lethal’ interference with the game bird industry. He complains that dog walkers allow their dogs to run off the lead which harasses and frightens birds which indirectly leads to a population decline. He cites an Australian study which found that even when dogs are kept on leads during a woodland walk it can lead to a 35% reduction in bird diversity and they 41% reduction in abundance.

Birds chased by dogs forces them to flee which is a waste of their energy and cuts down the amount of energy that they have to feed. This is non-lethal interference with birdlife but it has a lethal effect over the long term.

I have to agree with him on the way that dogs are allowed to run free off the lead in wildlife reserves. It is irresponsible because it can dramatically impact wild animals. I see it in Richmond Park near where I live, where dogs can harass deer. It is illegal to allow dogs to frighten deer but it happens because it is difficult to police.

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I also agree with him on the issue of wildlife running out of land. He is referring to the quite rapid human population growth in the UK which is causing all kinds of stresses in society (doctors overworked and school classes doubling in size). It is also causing stresses on wildlife. It’s interesting that the government never mentions the problems of population growth. It is politically incorrect to do so because it’s linked to immigration, a highly sensitive topic which can only be spoken about in hushed tones.

But I’m afraid that Mr Bell is blind to the illogical argument that he presents about cats killing birds when he likes to kill them with a shotgun!

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