Who are the real vermin?

When a ‘right wing’ magazine (Country Life) publishes a story claiming that Buzzards are vermin you have to stop and ask if these people know anything about the countryside. Buzzards as well as Kites are nature’s way of cleaning the corpses of dead and decaying animals from our countryside, and given roads are now the main area of death for so much of our wildlife they are doing an amazing job which can’t be accomplished by anybody else.


The Buzzard and Red Kite can often be seen eating the remains of animal road kills.

We know the history of the Buzzard in this country by 2 maps found in a book written by Colin  Tubbs  in 1976. One map showed the distribution of the Buzzard while the other showed the distribution of the game keeper. Amazingly where the Buzzard was found there were no game keepers and guess what, where there were game keepers there were no Buzzards!

With the decline of the game keeper the Buzzard started to recover into areas where they were once removed. The Buzzard’s main prey is important as it is rabbit. The cost to agriculture and gardens every year due to damage caused by rabbits runs at an estimated £200 million a year. So why would anyone want to see a species removed which can reduce the rabbit population so efficiently with no cost to the tax payer ?

Then there is the question of the pheasant. Over 36 million of which are released into the countryside every year for so called sport. 10% of these birds die on the road as they do not know how to look after themselves when they are reared on mass and then released. These pheasants themselves cause not just damage to cars but can cause accidents, a number of which have resulted in human deaths. Who do you think is responsible for all these accidents –the pheasant or the people who release them?

Then there is the question on who picks up all the dead pheasants on our roads? Is it the council, or is it the people who are releasing them? None of them. No, it is the Buzzard and the Red Kite. And if they did not clean up the mess, what about the rotting corpses causing disease washed into water ways and even into reservoirs and your drinking water! Do you want to see the Buzzard removed now?


For thousands of years vultures have been responsible for cleaning the dead corpses of animals from the African savanna. Today because of poisoning, animals are being left to decompose contaminating ecosystems as well as leading to the indirect deaths of thousands of people.

In this country we do not have vultures to do the work of the Buzzard or Red Kite. In India due to man poisoning the vultures in their thousands, the cost to the country for the loss of the vulture doing the cleaning of the countryside is a $37 billion. It does not stop there. 50,000 people are now killed due to feral dogs increasing and feeding on the dead. These dogs have rabies and they bite people causing many to die a horrible death. Even in Africa Vultures are now also under threat and millions of people are now facing the same problems faced in India due to a decline of 60% of vultures.


The remains of nearly 100 White-backed Vultures poisoned by poachers in Africa in 2013.

Who is going to clean up this mess when there are no more vultures around, and importantly what will the consequences be for Africa and its people?

In a so called educated society how can we condone such statements made by a magazine which caters mainly for the rich? Is it because they are not educated and only see the world as ‘play toy’ for themselves and other light minded folk!

6 comments to Who are the real vermin?

  • nirofo

    These gun toting fossil dinosaurs from a bygone era are the real vermin of the countryside, they wilfully and knowingly kill for pleasure legally protected wildlife in their own bigoted belief that they have the right to do so. They care little for the welfare of endangered species and the environment it lives in if it interferes with their selfish short-sighted pursuit of “SHOOTING GAME FOR SPORT ?”

  • Hugh

    Why post on here? Go post on the CoutryLife (“The voice of the countryside”) Facebook page and tell ’em what’s what. Might make some of the less terminally inbred nitwits pause to think for a minute.

  • Ewan

    Great article…Highlights the vital importance of the cleaning species in any ecosystem…need to make more people aware of their important role

  • John Miles

    Does that mean nirofo ‘ there is no freedom of speech in this country unless you support what they think’!!!