Birdwatch News Archive


Hopefully Common Buzzard will now be free to continue its expansion into its historical range, now the DEFRA dogs have been called off. Photo: Oliver Wolters (commons.wikimedia.org).
Hopefully Common Buzzard will now be free to continue its expansion into its historical range, now the DEFRA dogs have been called off. Photo: Oliver Wolters (commons.wikimedia.org).Enlarge image

Government U-turn on buzzards


Posted on: 30 May 2012

Public outrage at the proposals for DEFRA to spend public money on spurious research into Common Buzzard control has forced the Wildlife Minister to back down.


Birdwatch was proud to have been involved in the early breaking of the story, which quickly spread across public forums, the birding blogosphere, conservation organisations and the entire media, causing almost universal disbelief and protest. The projected licensing of the destruction of buzzard nests by shotgun or pole, and the removal of adult buzzards potentially into falconry, was quite rightly seen as counter-conservation and unscientific, and quite probably favouring the minority interests of the field sports industry over the natural heritage of Britain as a whole.


Richard Benyon, DEFRA's Wildlife Minister, has now publicly announced the dropping of the proposals, which almost certainly represented a conflict of interest as well as the preventable misspending of government money.


In an RSPB press release, their conservation director, Martin Harper, said: “We’re pleased the minister has listened to people’s concerns and acted in the public interest by cancelling this project. This is a strong decision, reflecting the strength of the nation’s desire to see government protecting precious wildlife.


“The recovery of Common Buzzard is being celebrated by the public after many decades of persecution. It is clear they don’t want their taxes being spent on removing buzzards and the government has to ensure that no bird of prey will be killed in the name of sport.


“We don’t want anything to distract DEFRA from the pressing task of saving our threatened wildlife. It should be putting its limited resources into areas such as preventing the extinction of hen harriers in England. Government-backed research has already concluded that illegal persecution is limiting the populations of Golden Eagle and Hen Harrier. The RSPB believes there are well-tried non-lethal solutions to reducing impacts of buzzards at pheasant pens.”




Your Comments

Tell us what you think...

You must be logged in to leave a comment. You can log in here.
If you don't have a user account please register.

Other News

Latest news now on BirdGuides.com

Posted: 04 Apr 2017
As part of changes we are making to our online presence, all the latest birding and conservation news will now be published by our sister site, BirdGuides.com.

Read more…


Appeal for information after another satellite-tagged Golden Eagle vanishes

Posted: 03 Apr 2017
RSPB Scotland has issued an appeal for information following the disappearance of a satellite-tagged Golden Eagle near Strathdon in Aberdeenshire.

Read more…


Black Grouse thrives in Scottish highlands

Posted: 01 Apr 2017
Black Grouse has continued to increase in number in the Scottish highlands, says the RSPB, which is arranging special guided trips to see them in Perthshire this spring.

Read more…


Bluetail and stilt dropped from rarities list

Posted: 31 Mar 2017
The British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) announced this week that it has dropped Red-flanked Bluetail and Black-winged Stilt from its list of considered species.

Read more…


Big Garden Birdwatch produces large numbers of winter visitors

Posted: 30 Mar 2017
Close to half-a-million people joined in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey, counting more than eight million birds during the 38th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Read more…


  2 3 4 >

Back to News Listing