Thanks to Mark Avery many important questions are now at long last being replied to by Natural England, yes questions that had it not been for Mark’s persistence would certainly not have come to light. We all know of course the plight of the hen harrier today was the result of continuous persecution on England’s Red Grouse moors; well at last we may be getting some support from Natural England. We still however do not know where the 119 tagged hen harriers were lost but Mark Avery considers it unlikely these birds did not disappear over Tesco car parks or Forestry Commission woodland, we can also now conclude the batteries contained within these state of art transmitters fitted to all the 119 birds, at some considerable cost to the tax payer, did not fail because of alien interference. Read Mark Avery’s Blog about Hen Harriers here.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and significant pieces of information contained within Mark’s blog this morning suggests strongly that Richard Benyon MP appears to have misled his colleagues in parliament, but isn’t that what MP’s and Ministers do all the time, even Prime Ministers? The important quote taken from Mark’s blog this morning is re-published below because we feel what Mark Avery is claiming is vitally important to the on-going debate, underlining one main reason why the Hen Harrier situation is not being addressed as it should. What do you think?
“The point is, Minister, you didn’t properly answer Fiona O’Donnell’s question did you? You didn’t mention disappearance of birds. You actually said that hen harriers wander around and then return to breed – are you sure that is entirely truthful? Don’t some of them end up legs-up in the heather of grouse moors? Your answer was misleading in my opinion simply on the basis of what the report actually says. I am sure you did not mean to mislead, and you may not ever have seen the report yourself and you may not realise that the report had such a lot of mentions of illegal persecution but you didn’t mention it at all.”
We have only one additional point to make, wasn’t it Richard Benyon who said last year that we have very strong wildlife legislation in England already, and if that legislation was not being enforces as it should he would take the necessary steps to ensure that it was? Well Mr Benyon we have only one think to say to you, its time for you to put your money where your mouth is. Now is the time to place the interests of England’s Hen Harriers before politics.
In late 2011 one of our regular contributors, Mike Price sent in a number of Freedom of Information requests to Natural England relating to the satellite tags fitted to Hen Harriers. Mike was looking into the possibility of raising some sponsorship to satellite tag Hobby. One the questions the potential sponsor raised was their reliability. Mike thought that this could be easily answered by NE under the FOI but as you can see here http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/satellite_tag_statistics Natural England gave him the brush off.