Safeguard our birds of prey . Following on from the Buzzard U-turn by Defra
A letter published in todays Independent and signed by a number of noteworthy organisations,
As organisations that care deeply about our rich and beautiful countryside and wildlife we were horrified recently to learn of the proposals to use taxpayers’ money to imprison buzzards and destroy their nests for the purposes of protecting pheasants.
And of course we welcome Defra minister Richard Benyon’s decision to drop the proposed research project. But we now urge him to go one step further in order to draw a line under this issue.
We all want to see healthy populations of birds of prey, from the buzzards that are widespread in our countryside to hen harriers which are down to just one pair in England. For this to happen, full legal protection must be maintained and action taken to stop illegal killing of these birds.
Given the strength of public feeling and lack of evidence for a problem, we are calling on Mr Benyon to confirm that no licences will be issued to kill birds of prey in order protect game birds or other livestock. Then we can all concentrate on protecting our natural environment so that our countryside is a place where people and wildlife can live side by side.
Director of Conservation, RSPB
Natural Environment Director, National Trust
Policy Director, Greenpeace UK
Paul de Zylva
Head of Nature, Friends of the Earth
Conservation Director, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Chairman, Hawk and Owl Trust
And seven others