A group of leading rural organisations has issued a joint statement condemning raptor persecution and calling for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to crimes against birds of prey.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance (CA), Moorland Association (MA), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) followed their statement with a number of recommendations for tackling the illegal killing of birds of prey.
Included in the declaration are plans to launch training initiatives, so that shoot owners can familiarise themselves with the laws that protect raptors, as well as a sector-wide awareness campaign. The organisations also recommend that all businesses associated with shooting include clauses endorsing the laws against raptor persecution in any contracts or other documents they might issue.
A spokesperson for the group has called the declaration a “clear statement of intent”, highlighting the important responsibility shooting organisations have towards conservation.
“Shooting is responsible for amazing conservation work and keeps people in jobs in fragile rural communities, but the continued illegal killing of birds of prey threatens its very future and that would be a disaster for our countryside, its biodiversity and our economy”, he said.
He added that “It falls on all of us, individuals and organisations, to ensure we encourage attitudes and actions that make the illegal killing of birds of prey a thing of the past. There must be no hiding place for behaviour that categorically risks destroying the very things we claim so vociferously to protect”.
The declaration marks a substantial step towards better conservation and more responsible stewardship of the land. You can read the group’s full statement using the link here.