Pheasants given more protection than buzzards by the law! Not allowed to remove nuisance pheasants

The law seems stacked in favour of shooting over wildlife protection

June 2013. Natural England recently gave permission for gamekeeper to destroy four buzzard nests to protect his ‘livestock’ (which includes any animal kept for the provision or improvement of shooting). This seems to contradict a statement put out last year by Richard Benyon, the Environment Minister, when similar proposals were withdrawn after a public outcry. On this occasion, Natural England stated that “The buzzard population in the locality remains particularly high and concentrated and we are confident that the local conservation status will not be adversely impacted by the destruction of this small number of nests.”

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2 comments to Pheasants given more protection than buzzards by the law! Not allowed to remove nuisance pheasants

  • j. stiff

    Hi we live in a national park and yet we are inundated with pheasants. Does anyone know if studies have been done looking at the impact that introducing large quantities of pheasant have on our indigenous wildlife. Nearly everyone local i speak to is sick of them eating everything, rooting up gardens and endangering road users. Yet no one official seems able or willing to say or do anything about them. Is this yet another status heritage habit serving the wealthy at the cost of the poor. To reiterate the local imployment ploy is to ignore the countless lost forms of local employment through the ages which have been changed, adapted and lost, and yet rural life does manage to continue. Our local estate releases many thousand of these pests each year, apparently with no legislation at all, and yet we are constantly reminded that the environment is so important and is being protected. All habits can be changed, and bad ones should be.

  • I believe Mark Avery wrote an article some while ago about the impact Pheasants are having on our native wildlife.

    It seems somewhat ironic that if my Harris Hawk were to kill a pheasant I would be open to prosecution by the estate but the rogue element of the game keeping fraternity, even though they know full well that raptors are protected by law, carry on persecuting them and getting away with it.

    It would seem to me that Natural England are making the situation worse, they are not protecting raptors but instead issuing licenses to a select few to disturb Buzzard nest sites and remove eggs and adult birds. There is a real danger that they could in the future issue licenses to kill these raptors because of their supposed impact on game birds; what message does this send out to persecutors? The whole thing stinks in my opinion and NE should be ashamed of their attitude, Game Shooting is a so called “SPORT” for rich people in the main and brings in a huge revenue for landowners who care nothing for the flora and fauna of this wonderful country, instead they are raping and pillaging the land and being helped by NE it would seem. For example NE have approved the construction of vehicle tracks dissecting prime harrier habitat within moorland designated as SPA and SSSi.

    The Forest of Bowland is a classic example, it is almost bereft of any raptor and the very people who have given their all to protect it have been refused their licenses for Bowland again this year. This beautiful area should be a haven for raptors but instead it is a cold and empty place where raptors are not welcome along with the people who have dedicated their lives to protecting these birds-a total disgrace.

    Natural England need to be held to account for the mostly untold damage they have and are still doing, that an organisation like them has the power to issue licenses to destroy or disturb raptors to please the shooting industry is morally wrong and totally unacceptable.