Raptor persecution in the UK past and PRESENT! Sign the e-petition!

As the year draws to a close including another breeding season for British birds of prey we can look back and reflect on not just breeding successes and failures but also the persecution that birds of prey have had to face.

527 crimes relating to birds of prey were reported relating to birds of prey in 2010 which is actually down on previous years but the sad fact still stares us in the face that it is still taking place! I’m sure you will also be aware more persecution incidents will have gone undetected or not reported, but what are the main causes of persecution.

The RSPB bird crime report 2010 shows a variety of case studies and areas of persecution reported to them but the two main areas of persecution from the 527 reported were Shooting and destruction of birds of prey 227 reported cases and poisoning and use of poisoned bait 128 cases reported. Details of such activities can be found in the report but even if the argument that these cases are not proven surely something is going on if so many have been reported. They can’t all be mistakes can they?

The gamekeeper and shoot managers get the brunt of these cases and most of you who follow this topic will have read various articles between the two interested parties, those for birds of prey and those for the shooting fraternity usually always of the same substance but sadly breeding figures as well as persecution evidence shows birds of prey just don’t thrive on shooting estates. The sensitive subject lies with who takes the blame when such crimes are brought against the shooting estates where the majority of raptor persecution seems to be taking place in the UK. My opinion and various other’s is that it should fall not just with the person(s) in question but the landowner in the form of Vicarious Liability. This is soon to be introduced in Scotland and surely it will make landowners take an interest in whats happening on their land.

A petition has been started to bring the subject of Vicarious Liability to the House of Common’s for England, surely for the sake of British birds of prey it is something that should be at least discussed if we are to try to change the Victorian image some people have of birds of prey in the UK. Who are we to say what can and can’t live and survive on this island?

To make a stand against bird of prey persecution take five minutes to sign the petition below


To read the full RSPB Birdcrime 2010 click here http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/birdcrime2010_tcm9-293799.pdf


Jimmi Hill


6 comments to Raptor persecution in the UK past and PRESENT! Sign the e-petition!

  • Pauline Horton

    I agree, raptors should be protected

    • nirofo

      For all those who didn’t know, ALL our Raptors are already legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, although the way they are treated by the shooting fraternity and others you wouldn’t know it would you !!!

      • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

        While a conservative government remains in power so called “protected” raptors will continue to suffer the consequences of persecution on estates either owned by conservative MPs or where they actively engage in game shooting. Take the Rt. Hon. Richard Benyon MP., he feels existing wildlife legislation is strong enough and is already doing a good job despite the scientific evidence to the contrary

  • nirofo

    I’m not very politically minded, (usually), but I have to say I didn’t see any improvement in the protection of our Raptors while labour were in power either. So please don’t make this forum a political soapbox !!!

    • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

      Hi Nifro, I take your point however you are wrong if you think that Labour was just as bad as the Tory members of Parliament when they were at the seat of power.

      Let me give you just two examples of the difference between Labour and Conservative attitudes towards raptors in England. A number of years ago the then Labour MP for Workington Dale Campbell-Savours stood up for raptors by asking at least one question in the House of Commons about the treatment of two members of the North West Raptor Protection Group after the Licensing Authority had revoked their licenses. It was only following Dale Campbell-Savour’s intervention that reason and logic was restored and the licenses were then reinstated.

      Today we have once again seen a Labour MP Angela Smith prepared to stand up for raptors when earlier this year she asked the Minister for the Environment and Fisheries, Mr Richard Benyon about the need for the introduction in England of Vicarious Liability. We don’t see any MP from the Conservatives now that they are in power doing anything constructive to help England’s raptors now do we, including Richard Benyon MP?

  • paul williams

    The NWRPG held licenses during the labour government’s time in office, Now we have a conservative government and no license which as we all now know resulted in the loss of 14 peregrine territories within the Forest of Bowland this year.