Why must the shooting industry have
a 'predator control exit strategy'?

The definition of an ‘exit strategy’ is quite simple.

It’s a pre-planned means of leaving a current situation, either after a predetermined objective has been achieved or as a strategy to mitigate failure. It’s often said that “an organisation or individual without an exit strategy may be in a quagmire”.

Shooting continually tries to greenwash its activities as ‘conservation’, including what they refer to as ‘predator control’ or ‘predator management’.

The industry has appropriated this terminology from conservation organisations that, for example, have made the difficult decision to remove introduced non-native Brown Tree Snakes to protect endemic bird species in Guam, or remove introduced non-native House Mice from seabird colonies in the South Atlantic.

Whether or not we agree with these projects, it’s a fact that they will be planned and won’t be started until an exit strategy is in place. Projects will always have a clearly delineated aim, so will end, for example, when the snakes no longer pose a threat to native songbirds or the mice are no longer eating the chicks of very rare petrels and shearwaters.

Shooting’s flawed version involves the limitless killing of predators like foxes, mustelids, and corvids – supposedly to protect ‘ground-nesting birds’. When shooting talks about ‘protecting ground-nesting birds’ though it really means pheasants, partridges and grouse – birds they sell to shooters.

Predators are entirely natural within the landscape, and these birds they are ‘protecting’ are bred just to be shot. There is no conservation justification in killing these predators and there is no exit strategy. Shooting’s version of ‘predator control’ will never end. They will just keep killing native wildlife for as long as the industry exists.

Protect the Wild says that shooting must either abandon its tenuous claims to conservation, or formulate an exit strategy at which point the killing of native predators to protect their profits will stop.

We predict that it will do neither.