DEFRA Plans to ‘Imprison’ Buzzards

The RSPB reports that, following lobbying by the pheasant shooting industry, DEFRA plans to allow the destruction of buzzard nests and for buzzards to be taken into captivity to remove them from shooting estates.  Such actions are illegal under current wildlife laws.

A proposal to 'imprison' buzzards could leave these birds highly vulnerable

A proposal to ‘imprison’ buzzards could leave these birds highly vulnerable. Image: Niall Benvie

Given the opportunity, buzzards will take young pheasants from rearing pens but the RSPB believes the issue can be managed without destroying nests or moving buzzards, e.g. providing more cover for young pheasants in release pens, visual deterrents to discourage birds of prey, and providing alternative food sources.

Pheasants are not native to the UK.

Around 40 million birds are released every year for shooting.  The impacts of this practice on wildlife have been poorly documented, however, serious questions have been raised about the impact such a large injection of captive-reared birds might have on the predator-prey balance in our countryside.

David M. Davison

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2 Comments to “DEFRA Plans to ‘Imprison’ Buzzards”

  1. We have issued a related press release:
    http://medway.greenparty.org.uk/news/210

    Mark Avery’s blog has posted on the issue:
    http://markavery.info/2012/05/29/buzzards-2/

    Please sign the petition referred to in Mark Avery’s posting:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/minister-for-wildlife-and-biodiversity-defra-stop-the-subsidy-for-buzzard-nest-destruction

    David M. Davison

  2. On 30th May, Animal Aid reported that the “government has today scrapped its plans to allow buzzards’ nests to be destroyed and adult birds taken into captivity”:
    http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_shooting//2698//

    David M. Davison

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