The game was clearly implying that gamekeepers are to blame for raptor deaths, and has been seen as anti-gamekeeper propaganda.
A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance told Shooting Times: “On the surface, this may seem like an innocent game for children, but the associations are clear — that all gamekeepers are responsible for poisoning and destroying wildlife. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“Not content with its militant position in the media, the RSPB has turned to the next generation for support in a bid to turn the public’s opinion away from gamekeeping.”
“The associations made in the game are brazen and blatant, and the young people who play this game will grow up fearing keepers and believing them to be criminals, because of the RSPB’s misguided views and its determination to share them. Raptor Mountain is nothing more than the indoctrination of children and shows the levels to which [the organisation] will stoop to advance its beliefs.”
A spokesman for the RSPB said: “The game was designed to give an insight into the work of an investigations officer, who is likely to investigate the illegal killing of birds of prey by methods including shooting, poisoning and trapping, as well as the disturbance of nests by egg collectors. It was not intended to cause offence and, given that the page was likely to be retired soon anyway, we are happy to take it down immediately as a gesture of goodwill.”
The RSPB has now taken the game down from its website.
RSPB takes down ‘anti gamekeeper’ children’s game