Save Britain’s Barn Owls Petition reaches 107,000 signatures and still climbing.

Barn-Owls-Rung-2012Most people will of course be very excited and pleased this important petition has been supported by over 100,000 signatories, and is likely to reach 120,000. However, it begs the question why two other important petitions each calling for better protection for birds of prey on moorlands where red grouse are shot for sport, obtained less than 11,000 signatures each.

We can only speculate of course why significantly more people supported the barn owl petition, but on the other hand did not choose to support better protection for birds of prey on England’s uplands generally. The first of the two petitions proposed by Chrissie Harper, called for a change in English legislation following Scotland’s lead by introducing Vicarious Liability. Vicarious Liability legislation introduced in Scotland now ensures estate owners are held legally accountable for the illegal actions of their employees, i.e, killing protected raptors. The second petition introduced by John Armitage called for all grouse shooting in England to be licensed, a proposal the RSPB also supported. It was a great disappointment that both petitions were not adequately supported at a time when  many of England’s iconic birds of prey are being slaughtered where game is reared and shot for the pleasure of the privileged few.

It is abundantly clear species like hen harrier, peregrine falcon, goshawk and short-eared owl are being eradicated with impunity from the bulk of England’s northern uplands where red grouse are shot. This illegal activity being undertaken to increase game numbers in these regions. This appalling situation will not change until more stringent legislation is introduced and enforced, bringing for the first time accountability on the part those parties  INVOLVED in the shooting of  red grouse and other game birds like partridge and pheasant.

Save Britain’s Barn Owls 

Sign the petition

Barn owls, a majestic icon of the British countryside, are dying off in their thousands. A changing climate and habitat loss is part of the picture, but Britain’s barn owls are also being killed by powerful rat poisons being used on farms across the country.

When owls eat poisoned rodents, they ingest toxins which can cause internal bleeding. Although not all die as a direct result, experts believe the poisons affect their ability to hunt and breed. 8 in 10 barn owls have been found to have these poisons in their bloodstreams, but there is a glimmer of hope for this beautiful predator — the government is reviewing how such poisons are used.

Let’s flood the minister responsible for the review with demands to impose stricter controls on these powerful poisons, restricting where and how they are used and throwing a lifeline to our owls. Sign here to stop barn owls dying, and help protect one of the best-loved symbols of Britain’s wildlife.

The number of barn owls in Britain has catastrophically collapsed, partly due to extreme weather events like freezing winters, cold springs and wet summers. Since the roll-out of the poisons, the numbers of barn owls testing positive for toxins has risen dramatically.

There have been no scientific studies into the effects of non-lethal doses of these poisons on barn owls. But when humans are exposed to small doses of similar poisons, they cause burning fevers, vomiting and diarrhoea. Feeling unwell can be the difference between life and death for a predator that relies on hunting to survive.

These poisons are found on three quarters of Britain’s farms, and are often laid permanently to prevent rodent infestations, rather than occasionally to end them. Join our call for Britain to bring in stronger regulation on the use and labelling of these deadly poisons to help save Britain’s barn owls – before they disappear forever.

Avaaz’s 32 million members around the world — including more than 1 million in the UK — have taken effective action before to help protect our environment. When Europe’s bees faced poisoning by pesticides, more than 2.5 million of us came together to force a change in the law. Now we can help save one of Britain’s best-loved birds of prey.

With hope and determination,

David Ramsden, Senior Conservation Officer, Barn Owl Trust, with Avaaz

Read more on Barn Owls and Rodenticides

PS: This petition was started on Avaaz’s new Community Petitions Site. It’s quick and easy to start a petition on any issue you care about, click here:

5 comments to Save Britain’s Barn Owls Petition reaches 107,000 signatures and still climbing.

  • I firmly believe in this petition and have supported it wholeheartedly, encouraging other people to do the same, even though this has overshadowed my own petition. The barn Owl is an iconic and beautiful bird that suffers badly from the effects of secondary poisoning by ingesting rodenticide through the food chain, this problem needs to be addressed but I suspect the same will happen to this petition as another petition regarding the Badger Cull which also received a huge amount of signatures, the Government will ignore it.
    I thank David Ramsden for supporting my petition, The Barn Owl Trust also supported me E- petition, we really all need to work together if we are going to make any difference to the plight of our raptors in this country, there is strength in numbers and without a strong voice we will get nowhere, this government are hell bent on destroying our flora and fauna, it is up to us in the end.
    I am pleased that this petition is doing so well, but feel that I my timing was ill chosen to start another petition which I strongly believe in, but I aim to continue in my quest to get our wonderful raptors the protection they deserve, sitting on my backside letting the world go by is not an option.

  • Colin Bevan

    Let’s do something about the Barn Owl plight…NOW !!

  • John Miles

    I am looking into finding farms which do not use poison and using students to monitor the real working relationships with rodents and predators. I spoke to David yesterday and he will look down south. I have 1 -2 possibilities but if you have any ideas do add to this discussion.

  • I have just come home from the vets after having a wild Barn Owls wing x-rayed, the owl has had to be euthanised as it’s wing was badly broken and the X-Ray showed shot gun pellets in the wing.
    I am saddened by the loss of yet another beautiful bird and my heart is filled with hate for the ugly people who find it fun to inflict their evil on something so beautiful. Will it ever end?

  • Kevin moore

    Very sad news Christie, unfortunately no it will never end.