DEFRA backs down on buzzard ‘management’ trial!!

News just in, from Defra’s twitter account, Richard Benyon says the following:

“We’ve listened to public concerns, so we are stopping current research and developing new proposals on #buzzards”

Fantastic news (well, at least until we find out what these ‘new proposals’ entail). A big, fat, massive WELL DONE to everyone who blogged, tweeted, emailed, petition-signed etc about this outrageous ‘study’. The people have been heard! It’s incredible to see how effective 9 days of campaigning can be!

By the way, it looks like GWCT had tendered for the buzzard ‘study’ (see here). They seem to be quite good at undertaking unpopular ‘research’ – they’re currently carrying out  a ‘study’ funded by those doyens of conservation, Songbird Survival, which involves a large scale corvid removal experiment (basically killing crows & magpies and calling it science….hmm, sound familiar? See here). If you’re not sure who Songbird Survival are, see here.

We’ll post responses about the DEFRA u-turn here as and when they are published:

Update on DEFRA website here (scroll down underneath the ‘mythbuster’ bit)

Article in the Guardian here (includes info about new research proposals)

RSPB response here

BBC news article here

Article in the Independent here

Article in the Telegraph here

Mark Avery’s thoughts here

Country Land & Business Association (CLA)  response here

British Assoc. for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) response here  (just a statement, no opinion offered)

Countryside Alliance response here (Benyon’s glum chums)

National Gamekeepers’ Organisation response here (not very happy either)

9 thoughts on “DEFRA backs down on buzzard ‘management’ trial!!”

  1. To the authors of this blog, stand up and take a bow. If you hadn’t first published about this disgusting project we might never have found out about it until it was too late. Very well done guys.

  2. Our democracy may not be perfect, but it can only improve if we’re preferred to test it and use it. This decision should offer some encouragement to the doubters and , hopefully, ensure their future help is available on other issues which we must ensure remain under public scrutiny. Let’s keep up the pressure on all the subjects this site so adequately casts light on!!

  3. Phew! So the quasi legal persecution is suspended meanwhile – but the illegal persecution continues. And where are my Buzzards now? Not so many years ago I could see half a dozen over my house betimes and Kites as well – not any more – and strangely enough I’m surrounded (on 2 sides anyway) by “sporting” estates who have recently increased their uptake of shooting tourism, mostly from countries where everything that flies has long since been eradicated. Strangely enough my Ospreys have so far remained untouched (300 yds away and with chicks recently fledged) – too iconic perhaps? more likely too well observed and patrolled……………………..

    Strangely enough the Corvidae population appears untouched and one would have thought that they presented a far more serious problem to “game” birds – they certainly took my 4 Peewit chicks before my very eyes after harrying the parent birds unmercifully in large numbers (40+). Nature “red in tooth and claw” perhaps – plenty of crows – not so many Peewits.


    1. Pip’s observation mirrors my experience. Seeing 6 to 8 buzzards in the air at time was common until a few years ago when the level of pheasant shooting intensified and thousand of poults are brought in every year for release in August.
      Buzzards are a rare sight now, but there are literally hundreds of pheasant egg shells. The crows have had a feast on them.

  4. Well done RaptorPersecutionScotland!!! Now perhaps we could have a study to investigate the damage done to the environment by the release of 40 million non-native birds a year

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