Police Threaten Bird Lover
A Hertfordshire bird lover claims that police threatened him when he taking photographs of Government officials engaged in a cull of rare birds. Simon Richardson has been campaigning tirelessly against the official, DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) cull of wild monk parakeets which have flourished in the capital and the Home Counties in recent years. Mr Richardson stood in his street and took pictures of DEFRA staff as they removed nests from a neighbour’s garden. Several hours later, two uniformed police officers visited his home and allegedly told him he could face prosecution under privacy laws.
Mr Richardson also claims he was told that if the pictures were published in the press, he would face further police action.
The UK population of the bright green rare tropical birds – native to Latin America – is estimated at only 100-150, but nevertheless DEFRA has launched a £90,000 cull after the birds escaped from a Hertfordshire aviary some years ago and began to multiply throughout the south-east of England. The monk parakeets can sometimes pose a danger to the survival of other species as well as farmer crops – hence the cull. However, in response to this, Mr. Richardson and other bird lovers launched a campaign to stop the killing of the parakeets and was able to collect over 2000 signatures for a petition.