Mark ♦ November 24, 2011 ♦ 8 Comments
Please sign this e-petition and pass it on to others.
It’s just over 1000 signatures as I post this.
Britain’s land owning sporting gentry have taken very little if any notice at all of current or past legislation introduced by government to protect raptors throughout our countryside. During the last decade the hen harrier Recovery Project has seen shooting and conservation interests come together to discuss ways forward to protect harriers on England’s uplands. Throughout these lengthy negotiations sporting estates in England and their representatives have been giver every opportunity to get their house in order but still the slaughter has continued.
There are those from the shooting community who constantly rabbit on about the odd rouge gamekeeper, but the reality is very simple. Although England has sufficient habitat for 300 pairs of hen harriers this year there were only 4 successful breeding pairs in the whole country. Indeed there are now less harriers on our uplands than when the hen harrier recovery project was first introduced. The answer to that is also very simple as many scientific papers have clearly demonstrated – illegal persecution. This is why the e-petition launched with the support and cooperation of The North West Raptor Protection Group, England’s oldest raptor group founded in 1967 is so vitally important to the future security of birds of prey on England’s uplands.
No one should now be left in any doubt, despite an increase in some raptor populations these birds continue to be subjected to illegal persecution in areas of England where they should be safe but are not. If anyone has any doubt about signing this important document launched by Chrissie Harper, I would urge you to take a look at one or two graphic images of poisoned and shot raptors currently displayed on the Raptor Politics web site in support of the e-petition’s objectives. Land owners must now be made accountable for the illegal actions of their employees.
I signed this and passed it to my local bird blog as well some days ago. As one of the contributors pointed out, if only 10% of RSPB members signed up the magic number of 100,000 would be reached. Come on RSPB urge the membership to get their pens out!
Now over 1200 signatures.
I’ve been reading the New Naturalist British Birds of Prey book this past month and, as many of you will be aware, it was written in the early 70s. What’s so depressing is even from that terrible low point in raptor history things don’t seem to have moved on much if at all for the hen harrier in particular.
This is certainly necessary legislation but it’s by no means a panacea as we’ve seen in Scotland but it’s definitely a legislative step in the right direction if the law is enforced robustly. Of course that requires there being suitable resources in place to investigate and prosecute these crimes actively. Given where nature seems to be coming in the list of priorities, it doesn’t beode terribly well.
I personally question the sustainability of grouse moors and the morality of breeding birds to blow them out of the sky. Nevermind gamekeepers using illegal substances and methods to kill birds they perceive as threats to their bottom line.
Brian – snap! I did just the same and will proably blog on it in future!
Well done Mark for bringing this to our attention.
I find it difficult to understand how the Hen Harrier Recovery Project has failed so miserably considering the amount of tax payers money that has been used. Surely someone is responsible for its failings. How does the head of a government agency and its Hen Harrier co-ordinators keep their position of employment when there are less Hen Harriers now than when this project was initiated 10 years ago.
Mark – do you have sufficient influence to get the RSPB to press really hard to get it’s extensive membership to add their names to this petition?
[…] of political and land-owning élites on environmental and countryside policies have been made by Dr Mark Avery (former Conservation Director of the RSPB), George Monbiot (in The Guardian) and Michael McCarthy […]
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