11:15 AM 28th October 2021
Response To The RSPB Bird Crime Report, On Behalf Of The Moorland AssociationAmanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said:
“The RSPB’s own report states that confirmed incidents associated with sustainable red grouse management account for less than 1 in 3 and there is a huge amount of work being undertaken by grouse moor owners and managers to help eradicate incidents of raptor persecution. One is too many and all incidents are intolerable.
Red Grouse - Image by dpexcel from Pixabay
“We urge anyone with knowledge of rural crime to contact the police, as sadly we have been affected by an increase in crime throughout the countryside. We have a zero-tolerance policy of raptor persecution and anyone who commits such a crime does not belong in the game management community. We do not believe that the RSPB’s call for licensing of grouse moors would be an effective way of dealing with this issue. Instead we agree with Chief Inspector Kevin Kelly, Head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) who says that the Raptor Persecution Priority Deliver Group which includes organisations committed to tackling this issue is key to addressing the problem. We are wholly committed to sustainable game management supporting net biodiversity gain.
“It should be noted the UK’s bird of prey population is now well in excess of 250,000 adults, the highest level for a hundred years. In particular, the fact that for the fourth year in a row we have seen record-breaking Hen Harrier breeding success - the majority of the nests on land managed for red grouse - is an indication of the conservation work that goes on for the benefit of a range of birds of prey including buzzards and merlin which are thriving on grouse moors.”