RSPB appoint new President who believes shooting 'makes you less of a human being'
"Charity leaders should always remember that it is not their voice, or their opinion that matters, but the interests of causes they are entrusted with." That was what the Charity Commission warned trustees in an address earlier this month.
It was further reinforced to charities that their purpose is to “inspire and inform, rather than stifle and poison reasonable debate", yet that message seems to have gone unheard by the newly appointed RSPB president, TV doctor Amir Khan.
In a Tweet earlier this month prior to his appointment, exemplifying the neutrality we've come to expect from the charity, the new RSPB President suggested that taking part in shooting makes you less of a human being. For context there are over 600,000 people in the UK who shoot, all now denigrated by Dr Khan.
Rather than 'inspire and reform' what this actually does is, once again, further incite hostility against rural communities.
In Dr Khan's statement on his appointment he says a key driver for him taking on the position as RSPB President was to "ensure that the wildlife he treasures, is still here for future generations to enjoy". If that is the case then he is strongly advised to spend a bit of time looking at the science and facts around shooting, and then comparing those to the RSPB's own record.
It has become abundantly clear that some of our rarest wildlife in the UK, such as curlews, thrive only where there is land managed by gamekeepers. By contrast, in many areas where the RSPB have been responsible for managing land, wildlife numbers have plummeted. Take Lake Vyrnwy for example.
Dr Khan would also do well to learn a little more about the broader benefits shooting brings.
Or that shoots spend £250m a year on conservation activities across 2 million hectares of actively managed land.
Or perhaps, being a TV man, Dr Khan would prefer to watch a short documentary on the sustainability of moorland management and driven grouse shooting.