Birds of prey found poisoned in Staffordshire
Birds of prey in Staffordshire have been found poisoned, it emerged today, as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds called for an end to “sickening” attacks on vulnerable wildlife.Two buzzards in the Lichfield area have tested positive for aldicarb, an insecticide used on agricultural crops. A hedgehog has also been found poisoned in the district. The findings come as the RSPB’s investigations unit published its annual “bird crime” figures.They show there were 93 incidents of wildlife crime in the Midlands over the past 12 months.
These included 33 incidents of bird of preys attacked, six reports of egg collecting incidents, 22 incidents of the taking and sale of wild birds and 12 reports of poison and pesticide incidents.The number accounts for around 16 per cent of UK incidents which also included the shooting and trapping of red kites, barn owls, peregrine falcons and goshawks.
Fen Gerry, Midlands spokesman for the RSPB, said: “Too little has been done over the years to stop these sickening attacks on our vulnerable wildlife, but this could change with proposed reforms of wildlife law and policing.”The charity hopes a review of wildlife protection legislation by the Law Commission will address ongoing persecution of birds of prey.
This month also sees the publication of the House of Commons environmental audit committee’s inquiry into wildlife crime.In addition RSPB bosses are campaigning for the continuation of the National Wildlife Crime Unit which only has funding until next March.
RSPB conservation director Martin Harper said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle the illegal shooting and poisoning of some of our most magnificent birds.“It’s been over 100 years since poisoning of wild birds was outlawed yet our report shows we’re still witnessing the slaughter of kites, eagles and buzzards.”