If you participated in the joint Wild Justice, RSPB, Hen Harrier Action e-action and you live in England, and your MP is a Conservative, then it is quite likely that you have had a response either like the one below (the ‘new’ Tory response) or like this one, the ‘old’ Tory response – click here.
We’ve already had a small victory through pushing back on the first version, the second version has emerged.
I would ask you please, whichever version you have received, to reply to your Conservative MP along the following lines: ‘In my original letter to you I specifically asked you to pass my letter on to the relevant minister for their response. You seem to have ignored my request. Please confirm that you have passed on my letter to DEFRA and asked for their response.‘. This is a perfectly reasonable request and your MP is there to serve you as their constituent whether you voted for them or not (but if you did, you might want to mention that too).
Most non-Conservative Westminster MPs are indeed complying with their constituents’ requests and asking for a response from DEFRA. I will post the standard letters being sent out by other political parties across the UK over the next 10 days or so.
Meanwhile, the number of e-actions continues to mount with over 56,000 having been sent. If you haven’t yet sent an e-action to your MP (in England) or elected political representative elsewhere in the UK then please do by following this link https://wildjustice.eaction.org.uk/saveourskydancers.
The ‘new’ Tory response
Thank you for contacting me about the protection of birds of prey.
All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and there are strong penalties in place for offences committed against birds of prey and other wildlife, with most wildlife crimes carrying up to an unlimited fine and/or a six-month custodial sentence. To address concerns about illegal killing of birds of prey, senior Government and enforcement officers have identified raptor persecution as a national wildlife crime priority. The National Wildlife Crime Unit monitors and gathers intelligence on wildlife crime, including raptor persecution, and aids police forces in their investigations when required.
Following representations by me and others, Ministers have accepted the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve vulnerable habitats. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives and I am pleased to hear that legislation is being looked at which could help achieve this. Ministers have also been encouraging landowners to adopt sustainable options and continue to work with them constructively. The England Peat Strategy will be published later this year which will detail further how we can protect, restore, and reduce damage to our peatlands.
So far as hen harriers are concerned, it is clear that the Government shares my concerns about hen harrier populations, which is why it took the lead on the Hen Harrier Action Plan. This sets out what will be done to increase hen harrier populations in England and includes measures to stop illegal persecution. If this is not effective, I will press for further action.
I recognise it is vital that wildlife and habitats are respected and protected, and that the law is observed. Indeed, if you become aware of any illegal activity in this regard, in *************, please do let me know.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.[registration_form]