British taxpayers’ money wasted on killing buzzards

The Conservative government in Britain makes cuts in artscuts in poor people’s incomescuts in educationcuts in etc. … all because, supposedly, “there is no money.”

However, there does seem to be money for some things. Like upgrading the Trident nuclear weapons for lots of taxpayers’ money.

And for killing native birds of prey to help the pheasant killing industry.

This is a buzzard video.

From Wildlife Extra:

Government to spend £400,000 to protect pheasants from buzzards

Buzzards, which are native to the UK, are being targeted by the UK Government because they eat non-native pheasant chicks

RSPB ‘stunned’ by DEFRA plan to ‘imprison’ wild buzzards to favour captive-reared pheasants

May 2012. The RSPB is stunned by Defra’s plan to allow the destruction of buzzard nests and to permit buzzards to be taken into captivity to remove them from shooting estates. The Society believes this intervention against one of England’s best-loved birds of prey will set a terrible precedent and prove to be a costly and unnecessary exercise.

The move by Defra followed lobbying by the pheasant shooting industry. Buzzards usually scavenge on animals which have already died, but they will sometimes take young pheasants which are released for sports shooting.

Buzzard persecution & recovery

The buzzard was eradicated from large swathes of Britain following decades of persecution. Legal protection and a general warming of attitudes towards buzzards and other birds of prey on the part of many lowland land managers, led to buzzards recovering across the UK: a fantastic conservation success story.

Martin Harper is the RSPB’s conservation director. Criticising Defra’s proposal, he said: “We are shocked by Defra’s plans to destroy buzzard nests and to take buzzards into captivity to protect a non-native game bird released in its millions. Buzzards play a minor role in pheasant losses, compared with other factors like collisions with vehicles.”

Questions for DEFRA

Will DEFRA ban cars in rural areas as they kill so many pheasants?
Or will DEFRA pay for the damage done to cars by pheasants? (Search Google and look through pages and pages of cars damaged by pheasants)
Will DEFRA pay for damage caused by pheasants to farmers’ crops?
How much grain is used to feed pheasants every year – Some estimate 20 tons for 1000 pheasants – Could we eliminate world hunger by banning pheasant shoots?

40 million non-native birds released every year

Pheasants are not native to the UK. Around 40 million birds are released every year for shooting. The impacts of this practice on wildlife have been poorly documented, but serious questions have been raised about the impact such a large injection of captive-reared birds might have on the predator-prey balance in our countryside.

Buzzards will take young pheasants from rearing pens, given the opportunity, but the RSPB believes the issue can be managed without destroying nests or moving buzzards. Measures include providing more cover for young pheasants in release pens, visual deterrents to discourage birds of prey and providing alternative food sources.

Mr Harper added: “There are options for addressing the relatively small number of pheasant poults lost to buzzards. Destroying nests is completely unjustified and catching and removing buzzards is unlikely to reduce predation levels, as another buzzard will quickly take its place. Both techniques would be illegal under current wildlife laws, and I think most people will agree with us that reaching for primitive measures, such as imprisoning buzzards or destroying their nests, when wildlife and economic interests collide is totally unacceptable.

Persecution of birds of prey

“At a time when funding for vital conservation work is so tight, and with another bird of prey, the hen harrier, facing extinction as a breeding bird in England, I can think of better ways of spending £400,000 of public funds. This money could work harder for wildlife, and I hope the Government will therefore put a stop to this project.”

Mick Carroll, of the Northern England Raptor Forum, said: “Given that buzzards are still recovering from past persecution and there is no evidence they are a significant cause of loss, this is a scandalous waste of public money.”

Nigel Middleton, Hawk and Owl Trust Conservation Officer for the Eastern Region, said: “We are totally against persecution of any birds of prey, and destroying the nests of buzzards is tantamount to this. We believe that alternatives should always be sought to lethal control where the commercial interests of humans come into conflict with birds of prey.”

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment:

lardy dars! to protect their pheasants.

doesn`t suprise me that the lardy dars want to protect their posh birds to blow them out the sky in their hundreds later on in the year. more die on the roads in my village than are taken by buzzards. tory more like raving looney party. public school boys so out of touch. once again its all about the profit at the expense of the enviroment.

Posted by: np thompson | 24 May 2012 21:42:38

See also here. And here.

Top Tory Baroness Warsi came under fire last night for allegedly fiddling her parliamentary’s expenses by claiming for overnight accommodation while staying at a friend’s house rent-free: here.

11 thoughts on “British taxpayers’ money wasted on killing buzzards

  1. Why must we cut while nuclear sub plan gets £350m?

    Sunday 27 May 2012

    It’s a scandal that on the same day the government in Cardiff announced a 40 per cent cut in capital expenditures, the British government awarded contracts worth £350 million to design new nuclear-armed Trident submarines.

    You might say one announcement is aimed at construction and the other at destruction – but destruction gets priority!

    The bill for Trident replacement is expected to be over £20 billion.

    It’s obscene that the people of Wales are having to shoulder the burden of cuts in a time of recession, while the British government can spend vast sums of money on weapons of mass destruction.

    Think what a difference £20bn would make if invested in jobs, youth training schemes, hospitals, schools and transport.

    Jill Evans MEP
    Plaid Cymru president


  2. Pingback: British buzzards beat Conservatives | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: WWF conservation within capitalism with a human face? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British government not protecting forests | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Migrating Montagu’s harrier, victim of wildlife crime? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Bird criminal jailed in Scotland for the first time | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Bring wolves back to Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Stop whaling by Japan, Norway, Iceland | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Can pine martens survive in Britain? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.