Are wildlife able to efficiently clean up animal ‘After Birth’ saving the tax-payer millions of £’s


Several years ago Raptor Politics was contacted by a resident from the South Cumbrian town of Ulverston, informing us he and his wife had witnessed on several occasions up to 7 Red Kites feeding together in a local farmers field on sheep ‘after-birth’ deposited all over the field after the Ewes had given birth. Isn’t this what the Red Kite are historically famous for, indeed there are very old records from the 16 th Century of Kites cleaning up the rubbish deposited on the streets of London.

Once again shooting estates and farmers a requesting an ‘open season’ for the Raven which is one of the most common feeders of ‘after-birth’ in the uplands. This is because it is being claimed Ravens are predating lambs in the same field, but because there is no cost being put forward by Defra for the removal of up to 40,000,000 ‘after-birth’ each year, how can anyone justify killing the Raven and other wildlife which are undertaking this import job for free.

RavenSeveral weeks ago John Miles contacted the Defra Customer Contact Unit regarding the proposals on the table to cull Ravens, the thought comes to mind wouldn’t it be cheaper, instead of killing ravens for spurious reasons in support of the game shooting and the farming industry, to allow this very intelligent scavenger to clean up our mess just like the Red Kite is already doing for free?

This is a copy sent to Defra by John Miles on 11 April 2016
Dear Ms Abel,
Does DEFRA have any figures for the cost of cleaning up ‘after-birth’ from cattle [3.4 million + twins] and sheep [14..3 million ewes+twins and triplets] given the labour intensive work needed to handle all this ‘bloody mess’ with a great chance of disease if left lying in the fields and on the farms?  [ I Googled it and you ended up with £50 million cost of fly tipping so probably not!]This question arises as shooting estates and so called farmers want to kill even more species on this planet. This time it is the Raven!So how much money do you recon all these natural cleaners of ‘after-birth’ like the Raven, Red Kite, Fox, Buzzard, Badger, Lesser Black backed Gull etc., are worth to the industry for doing the job for free? Many of these species are still being killed for other reasons!
Or may be they want rats to do the job for them!
Yours Truly,
John Miles

This was the reply John Miles received from Defra Customer Contact Unit

Dear Mr Miles,

Thank you for your email of 11 April about the cost of cleaning after-birth.

I have contacted several policy areas and I have been told that this is not information that is collected by Defra. I have also been told that that this information is not collected by any other Government department.

Yours sincerely,

Sophie Abel
Defra – Customer Contact Unit

3 comments to Are wildlife able to efficiently clean up animal ‘After Birth’ saving the tax-payer millions of £’s

  • The Watcher

    I’m sure that this is what is happening, when Ravens are being accused of eating whole lambs. Just another excuse for shooting birds that actually help the environment.

  • ros berrington

    I was thinking exactly the same as The Watcher.People are using this as a way of getting rid of another bird with a hooked bill.Will be on to Defra next.

  • Jess'mam ......

    Never ever had lambs/ewes giving birth predated by any corvids ….. but they were always around to help with the clearing up if ever I had ewes lamb in the field….