Thank you for your responses (4)

Hundreds and hundreds of you are responding to the DEFRA gamebird consultation and telling us that you have done so. We’ve been answering queries (we simply cannot answer every single one, sorry) over the weekend so far and will be doing our best to do so through Sunday and Monday too.

Thank you for responding – every response is valuable, whether you basically cut-and-paste our suggestions, shorten or lengthen them, correct the typos or introduce some of your own, refine or embellish them, or indeed start from scratch and produce your own perfect consultation response.

The closing date for consultations is Monday (time unspecified) so we expect many more people to have a look at this today and send off a response this evening. Here are our suggestions for how to respond – click here.

And here are some more quotes (to add to these earlier selections – click here, here and here) from your messages to us:

Thank you for all that you do. I’ve completed and submitted my response thanks to your clear guidance and suggestions.  I’ve signed many petitions but have never responded to a consultation before!

Thanks for guiding us through this process. As I went through it I became almost incandescent at the transparent bias in the process.

Just to let you know that I have responded to the consultation. I have also canvassed friends, family and various organisations that I belong to to do the same. Thank you so much for the work that you do to protect wildlife and wild places. You are helping empower people to act on behalf of the voiceless. We can make a difference and we are powerful.

You might be interested in the response I gave at section A3;  ‘I live between two shooting estates and more than 500m away from their release pens; yet I always have pheasants in my garden, and I don’t feed or encourage them.  A gamekeeper once explained to me that pheasants and gamebirds wander about all day and then go to sleep wherever they happen to be when the sun goes down. Unless they are regularly shepherded back to where they ‘should’ be they will wander indefinitely. Therefore 500m buffer zones are ineffective and need to be much bigger.

It is obvious to all reasonable people (and doubtless to the unreasonable ones, too!) that WJ’s challenge is completely justified and the only correct way forward. Unfortunately that won’t stop DEFRA, with their shooting world bias, pushing hard in the other direction wherever they see the opportunity. Knowing WJ is watching and ready to raise public awareness will make them think before they try to get away with things… which is brilliant!

Phew I’ve completed and submitted the consultation – wasn’t too painful and I’ve learnt something

Response submitted. I do wish you well with this. We have had gamebirds on land near to us – exotic they may appear, as visitors regularly exclaim when seeing them – but they are a nuisance and do wander from the pens, quite a considerable distance.

Good evening!

I have completed my response to the consultation document.  I spent many hours studying it and the  links to try to understand better what it was about and what it would likely achieve. I am just an ordinary member of the public and found the exercise  quite challenging.  I determined I was going to do it so am pleased to have done so.  I would probably have given up if I had not had the guidance from you.  I did a personal response but your suggestions were invaluable. 

Please keep up the good work – there is so much to do and some of it is quite technical and necessarily political.

I have responded to the DEFRA consultation on gamebirds along the guidelines you suggested, mainly a cut and paste response. I do very much hope we get some effective regulation of these releases, it is totally out of control at the moment. Some woodlands near me (Buckinghamshire) are in a very poor state, full of release pens and covered in tracks used by quad bikes. 

Thank you for sending such useful information about the gamebird consultation (without your newsletter I would have had no idea this even existed). I have filled it in using your hints and my own thoughts. DEFRA is not giving the impression that it cares about the environment at all. This is nothing new, but to see it in black and white is still quite shocking.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for everything you are doing and I look forward to supporting you in your future campaigns. I can imagine it is exhausting work. A few months ago I set up a small standing order to you – it’s not much (at all) but I am on maternity leave at the moment (from [a named conservation organisation]) and this is all I can afford. I hope it is useful.

Thank you again for helping me to have a voice.

Thank you! Please keep going! I have submitted my response and a made a donation. I no longer feel like such a lone voice. The consultation period is woefully inadequate and not impartial or linguistically accessible to other voices. DEFRA should not be the invincible leviathan it has become. I am shocked at the way it has already joined with the food industry to overturn the ban on the use of neonicitinoids in farming. Thank you for helping to give people and nature a voice.

I sent my consultation response in yesterday. Followed your helpful advice – thank you – and made the most of the ‘precautionary principle’ with specific reference to my area and the [named] site. Had fun talking about the pheasants in our garden and all over the roads having strayed rather further than 500m

I wanted to let you know that I have just completed and submitted a response to the DEFRA consultation on game bird release. This is the first time I have ever undertaken such a task but would like to thank you for your helpful notes on how to put our point of view across on this very important matter. It is high time politicians were forced to consider the weight of public opinion in favour of nature conservation and against its exploration by any minority.

Just to say I have completed the DEFRA consultation; it took me ages but thank you for your suggestions.

After mulling over it for so long, it almost feels that they threw the document together in the staff room over coffee and roast pheasant sarnies with their (shooting) mates, giggling the while.

My final comment: the unseemly brevity of the consultation period is a cause of concern, especially in the context of the rapid report involving the shooting industry (and no-one else), resulting in a laughably biased and one-sided set of recommendations forming an embarrassingly low base from which to start. Being even-handed would be a good start.

We experience  damage caused by pheasants from a local farm, 1000m away, wandering onto our own few acres, all of which we manage  for wildlife. I suspect they may have contributed in part to decreasing numbers of frogs toads and grass snakes in our plot in recent years. It is absurd and unacceptable that the shooting industry  should be at liberty to release game birds into the countryside so near or into areas protected for wildlife.

Please keep up your hard work. It is wonderful to know that you are there to speak up for, challenge the current law, and fight for our precious wildlife. Thank you to everyone at WildJustice.