Sunday, 20 November 2011

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

As the year draws to an end 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 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 persecutin 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 arguement 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 aswell 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 and 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

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