Monday, 28 May 2012

Stop the Subsidy for Buzzard Nest Destruction.

Dear Mr Benyon,

We are writing to you to reconsider the decision to fund the experimental nest destruction and "re-homing" of buzzards.

The buzzard is an indigenous and protected bird of prey. We are lost for words that this was DEFRA's idea beggars belief . It is outrageous that a native bird should be persecuted legally in favour of an introduced species. The number of live pheasants taken by buzzards must be minute compared to the number killed on the roads by traffic.

An independent study carried out by ADAS (an independent consultant), commissioned by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, found that on average, 1-2% of pheasant poults released were taken by birds of prey. Allow me to re-iterate: an average of 1-2% by all birds of prey. It found 45% of poults released were shot, with the remainder dying as a result of other factors, such as road collision and disease, or surviving to join the feral population. The study therefore concluded that losses to birds of prey were negligible compared to other much greater causes of loss. It found the financial cost of "average" bird of prey predation to a shoot releasing 1,000 poults per year, would be just £30.

This DEFRA subsidy and the actions it is condoning are unjustifiable. Non-destructive research is the answer, although the insignificance of the problem surely requires no financial support in any event.

Please reconsider: save £375,000 of taxpayers' money and the unnecessary destruction of the buzzards' nests.

Kevin and Seri

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