Raptor persecution highlighted in House of Lords

Natalie Bennett is a long-time supporter of the campaign for grouse moor reform and particularly against the illegal killing of birds of prey – she’s been a familiar spokesperson at many Hen Harrier Day events over the last few years.

Now Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, she is using her position in the House of Lords to keep up the pressure.

Here’s a question she posed to DEFRA Minister The Rt Honourable Lord Zac Goldsmith on 16th September 2020 (text from Hansard):

Here is Zac’s response:

Zac said, “I would welcome access to the report that the noble Baroness mentions“.

Here you go, Zac, the report, documenting the 44 hen harriers that have either vanished in suspicious circumstances or have been confirmed illegally killed, most of them on or close to driven grouse moors, since 1 January 2018, can be read here

But that report is now out of date. The running total now stands at 45 hen harriers that have either vanished in suspicious circumstances or have been confirmed illegally killed, most of them on or close to driven grouse moors, since 1 January 2018 (see here for details).

For completeness, although as a DEFRA Minister you must surely already be aware of this, the peer-reviewed science, based on Natural England’s own data, that demonstrates that 72% of satellite-tagged hen harriers in England were ten times more likely to ‘disappear’ or be illegally killed on or close to British grouse moors, can be read here.

The question now is, what do you intend to do about it?

[An illegally killed hen harrier. Photo by Ruth Tingay]

10 thoughts on “Raptor persecution highlighted in House of Lords”

  1. It’s rather worrying that the DEFRA Government minister apparently doesn’t know enough about how the internet works to be confident about finding the Raptor Persecution UK website & its report.

  2. It is quite obvious all these people know exactly what is going on getting them to admit it is another matter it is a long hard slog that seems to be going nowhere and unless it can ne brought to the attention of the wider public nothing is going to change until there is a tragedy.

  3. Yet again, the well intentioned Baroness Bennet is presenting unsupported hypothesis as evidence. No Court case ever succeeded without a presentation of evidence – and in these cases, not just the presence of dead birds with assurances from those who hold them, but clear pathological and supported, postmortems.

    “We know what’s going on” – cannot be used to present a case.

    1. Perdix,

      You might have a point if this was a court case. But it isn’t. This is about asking the Government to take action on an issue for which the case has been made, many times over, with high quality peer reviewed scientific evidence stretching back decades. Government agencies have even admitted to knowing and understanding the evidence. The issue has long been their refusal to act upon it. Wilful blindness, writ large.

      1. R-P UK , of course it isn’t a Court case – but should you persuade Gov. to act upon your assurances, and should they do so, then those actions could, and most probably would be, challenged in a Court – and THEN, clear and factual evidence would need to be provided to support the allegations.

        I suspect though that it’s all rather irrelevant, Brexit – a planned and second Scottish Ref. and C-19 are currently occupying Government time and on both sides of the Border.

    2. Since the Iraq war was based on lies, it shouldn’t be a big deal to ban raptor persecution for reasons which are based on good scientific data. Or are you just looking for excuses for the continuation of organized crime.

  4. Hi Folks,
    I wanted to ask, I read something here a few months back about a possible application for DGS in Wales. Does anyone know if it is ongoing?
    I have been in communication with Neil Hamilton recently, and he says he has no knowledge of any such application: is he feeding ma a line, or has it been dropped/disallowed?

    Cheers, Jill

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