In February we blogged about the forthcoming UK parliamentary audit on wildlife crime (see here). Some of the (uncorrected) oral evidence that was presented to the audit committee (including that from RSPB, RSPCA and National Gamekeepers Organisation) is now available to view on the audit committee’s website, as well as a lot of written evidence from these and many other interested parties.
Although some of the oral evidence provides some cause for optimism (i.e. the RSPCA’s success rate for animal welfare prosecutions), other parts of the oral evidence are deeply depressing. Particularly the evidence concerning hen harrier persecution, which focused on the lack of prosecutions for hen harrier persecution since 2006, which was then used as an indication that persecution is not an issue for this species!!
There was a lot of discussion during the oral evidence about how difficult it is to detect the perpetrators of certain wildlife crimes, which is why it’s so bloody frustrating that when investigators do find evidence of hen harrier persecution (e.g. the harrier that was found caught in an illegally-set spring trap on Moy Estate in 2010), no charges were forthcoming.
Uncorrected oral evidence to the UK parliamentary environmental audit committee on wildlife crime available to view here
Written evidence from many individuals and organisations available to read here
The government’s 2011 report that identifies illegal persecution as one of the main problems for hen harriers here