Maps released that reveal where birds of prey are being poisoned
The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) has released a set of maps that show where birds of prey have been poisoned in the UK.
The Environment Minister Richard Benyon has warned that these maps to serve as a ‘wake-up call’.
The maps, which can be found here, were published for the first time and they highlight both the number and location of confirmed poisonings of birds of prey from 2007 to 2011 across England and Wales.
It was also revealed that in 2011 there were 19 incidents of illegal poisonings, which brought the total number of confirmed cases since 2007 to 101.
Benyon spoke in a statement released by Defra saying: “I am appalled that these crimes continue to be committed and I am determined to stamp them out.
“Those responsible have no consideration for what they are killing or the impact their activities are having on wildlife and the wider environment.
“I want people to be alert to this problem and report their suspicions to the police. It is about time we put an end to this cruel and barbaric crime.”
The information, which was published yesterday (12 February 2013), also showed that the majority of the poisonings were carried out using substances called Carbofuran, or aldicarb, which are actually illegal to possess in the UK. They are also substances that are potentially dangerous to humans.
Members of the public are warned not to touch any suspected poisoned animals or baits and to report them to their local police by calling 101.
Bob Elliot, the RSPB’s head of investigations, was also quoted in the statement as saying: “These maps are welcome as they illustrate the problem that our birds of prey face. We need to remember, however, that these dots represent the tip of a much bigger iceberg as these criminal offences are often discovered by pure chance.
“These aren’t just points on a map. Each dot represents a crime where a bird of prey has been killed in a calculated way. Birds of prey have suffered centuries of persecution, and these maps prove those attitudes still prevail today. We will continue to work in partnership to ensure that we all bear down on these unacceptable crimes.”
Glynn Evans, head of game and gamekeeping at the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said: “The use of illegal poisons to kill birds of prey has no place in modern land and wildlife management. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation welcomes the publication of these incident maps which will be valuable tools in combating those who persist with this unacceptable practice.”
Wales’ Environment Minister, John Griffiths, said: “I welcome the publication of these maps, which show the extent of this problem and focus attention on the illegal poisoning of birds of prey.
“The Welsh Government is working with a number of organisations to send the message loud and clear that the illegal poisoning of wildlife is not acceptable and the law will be enforced.”