This week, Sam Carlisle of the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign for Shooting, wrote to the Telegraph to outline concerns with a recent story, published on 21 January 2020.
UPDATE: Following the complaint, the newspaper have clarified with a correction online. Please scroll to the bottom of this article to read it.
The article in question focused on the exports of hunting trophies from Britain. We view it as misleading and disingenuous, as it falsely claims that ‘data from the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) shows that hunters are exporting the bodies of rare birds as trophies from Britain to the US, including buzzards and cranes’.
CA members will know that CITES keeps meticulous records of both imports and exports of all animals that are listed on their annexes, including both buzzards and cranes. Each export permit must have ‘purpose code’ next to it, designating its source.
‘H’ is assigned to any permit with animal parts that originate from hunting. From 1978 to 2018 no cranes were exported from the UK with an ‘H’ code. In the same time period, only one buzzard was exported with an ‘H’ code, in 2009. This, legally, must have been either an historically shot buzzard, or one imported for taxidermy to the UK from elsewhere and then re-exported, as this is rightly a protected species by law, and no licences to control buzzards were granted by Natural England until 2015.
This is publicly available information and easy to access. It is fair to say, therefore, that the article is deeply misleading, inferring something that is simply untrue. Since 1978, when records began, no one has legally hunted a buzzard or crane in the UK and exported it as a trophy, according to the publicly available records.
Sam Carlisle said “ It is important to flag misinformation as and when we see it. While we were dissapointed the initial story said otherwise, we appreciate the quick response from the outlet, regarding our concern.”
The below correction has now been added to the website, along with changes to the original headline.