Search Results for: wildlife crime

Guest Post | Coronavirus – A Potential Cover for Wildlife Crime & Cruelty?

‘The coronavirus pandemic has brought huge and necessary changes to our way of life. Public health is at the forefront of all our minds – and rightly so. But there will be consequences of our lockdown for many other species. Wildlife crime thrives out of the public gaze and has the potential to wreak untold suffering whilst we are all confined to our homes. In particular, wildlife on grouse shooting estates will have chillingly little protection this springtime – and the lockdown falling during this season could have even more deadly consequences.’ Guest post by Moorland Monitors.

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Wiltshire | Hunting Office seeking to influence Police and Crime Commissioner elections?

According to a new website called ‘Hunting Leaks’ (which was set up to help instigate multiple GDPR claims against the Countryside Alliance, a fascinating story in itself and well worth reading), the Hunting Office (the infamous ‘leaking like a sieve’ hunting coordinators that developed a series of seminars designed to help fox hunts make themselves appear legitimate – fifteen years after the Hunting Act came into force) are apparently raising funds to influence outcomes in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections. We know this because Hunting Leaks has provided a link to the minutes of a Hunting Office meeting where this was discussed last year. So what to make of the Hunting Office raising funds to help get people like, for example, Jonathon Seed into office? Mr Seed was until relatively recently the only candidate standing for the role of PCC in Wiltshire, a largely rural county with a large number of active fox hunts. Including the Avon Vale Hunt (which often hunt around Lacock in Wiltshire) – of which Mr Seed is a former huntmaster…

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Wildlife Slaughter | Lebanon/UK – any difference?

A team working for the Berlin-based Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) have just uploaded a series of images from Lebanon. They show the massacre of migrating birds. Slaughter on a scale that few of us get to see firsthand. The reaction on social media is a mix of bewilderment, rage, frustration, shock…How can this be happening? How can men (it’s almost always young men) line up to blow these beautiful, evocative birds out of the sky like this? How can they show such indifference to the suffering and death? Why aren’t the authorities doing anything to stop it? Meanwhile, here in the UK…

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RSPB | Birdcrime Report released

Every year the RSPB releases a Birdcrime Report (which can be downloaded for free as a pdf). The new report covers 2019, and has a welcome focus on the wildlife crimes that underpin the grouse shooting industry (which the RSPB wants licencing rather than banning outright – something we’ve previously discussed in ‘Grouse Moors | Licencing Slaughter’). The whole report is of course well worth reading. If you’re a lobbyist for the grouse shooting industry you’ve got to hope that no-one finds this thing because it’s incendiary, but if you’re a regular member of the public with a love of birds while the report is quite depressing (despite the positive actions outlined inside) it’s good to see just how pointed the RSPB’s criticism of grouse shooting has become.

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World Animal Protection | #EndWildlifeTrade

Now, we have thought about this long and hard but we can’t find anything positive to say about wildlife trade. It is either theft of wildlife from its natural habitat or the confinement of captive-bred ‘wildlife’ for the rest of its largely unnatural life. It is emptying forests around the world (leaving huge areas silent and devoid of mammals and birds). It is at the root of major pandemics (SARS and Covid-19 appear to be directly traceable back to the wildlife trade). It is exterminating populations of animals many of us won’t have even heard of until relatively recently (the pangolin, Totoaba, Helmeted Hornbill for example). And what we’re doing to Lions is barely comprehensible…World Animal Protection is trying to put an end to wildlife trade and we’re happy to support them…

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RSPB | Catalogue of bird crimes in Peak District NP

The RSPB have published a well-timed article (as in, it’s near the start of the grouse massacre ‘season’ and a wandering immature Bearded Bulture has drawn huge numbers of birders to the area) looking at what they are describing, without exaggeration, as a ‘catalogue of bird crimes in the Peak District National Park. That raptor persecution is rife won’t come as a surprise to many people though. In 2017 a survey published by the Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative showed that Peregrines had failed to breed in the Dark Peak for the first time since they recolonised in 1984 and stated that “It is widely agreed that in terms of increased raptor populations in the Dark Peak, the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative 2012-2015 failed to meet its targets”…

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While we were in lockdown, the wildlife criminals were out in force

It was feared (or suspected) that wildlife criminals would exploit the Covid-19 lockdown to ramp up illegal killing while monitors and field workers were obeying the rules and staying inside. Latest figures released by the RSPB show that the wildlife criminals have indeed been out in force, selfishly and illegally turning their guns and poisons on raptors. It seems they just can’t stop themselves. Which makes it way past time we stopped them instead.

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Press Release: Wildlife criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 crisis

“Criminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for a significant increase in wildlife crime in Central and Eastern Europe. In March alone, in total at least 27 protected birds of prey were illegally killed in Austria and another three in neighbouring Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Several other suspected cases are still being investigated and clarified, while the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.” Press Release from WWF Austria

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