In late March, Life Peer Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (known to many of us as the former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett) posed a written question in the House of Lords about Dorset Police’s unthinkable decision to drop its investigation into the poisoning of the white-tailed eagle that was found dead on a shooting estate in Dorset (see here).
Here is Natalie’s question:
Natalie’s question has now been answered by the Parliamentary-Under-Secretary-of-State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lord Benyon, who also happens to own a pheasant-shooting estate and a grouse-shooting estate.
Here is Lord Benyon’s response:
It’s predictably tedious and is just the latest version of the same old tosh repeated every time the Government is asked to respond to ongoing raptor persecution incidents, e.g. see this from Environment Minister Rebecca Pow in September 2021, and this from Richard Benyon in February 2022, and this from Rebecca Pow in February 2022.
There’s a running theme in all of these responses that is supposed to persuade us that the Government takes raptor persecution crimes seriously. For example, by the provision of custodial sentences (that have never been applied in England to a raptor-killing criminals and only once in Scotland, in 2014), by DEFRA’s participation in the sham-partnership that is the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG) that has been in place since 2011 and has delivered precisely nothing of any use, and by the continued funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) which is supposed to ensure that regional police forces have sufficient support and expertise to undertake investigations into alleged raptor persecution crimes – clearly ineffective when it comes to Dorset Police.
It’s obvious to anyone who cares to look that the raptor-killing criminals continue to stick up two fingers to the law, time after time after time after time, and yet still the Government pretends it’s all under control. Meanwhile, inept police forces like Dorset can make stupendously stupid /suspiciously dodgy-looking decisions and not be held to account.
Or can they? More soon…