Calls for action to protect rare birds

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KILLING birds of prey is unjustified and illegal.

That’s the message from the RSPB, which is reporting a high number of incidents of bird persecutions in the past year.

In the south east, there were 43 incidents of wild bird crime in 2014.

That included 16 reported incidents of birds of prey being shot, trapped or poisoned.

Victims included a sparrowhawk and a peregrine falcon.

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, believes the laws protecting birds need to be enforced.

He said: ‘The problem of illegal persecution has tarnished the UK for decades and continues to do so. Strong action is needed now to deliver the effective protection that our birds of prey so urgently need.’

He added: ‘To protect our magnificent birds of prey we must defend for the laws that protect them, including EU Nature Directives.

‘When applied properly, these laws can help protect our most valuable wildlife and sites.’