Saturday, June 9, 2012
Victoria's Green Matters - 7th June 2012
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
There was a most shocking story last week about one of our most magnificent native birds. Defra, in its wisdom, announced that it was going to allow the culling of adult buzzards and the destruction of their eggs because the buzzards had been killing game birds.
It was proposed to spend £375,000 of tax payers’ money on killing the birds and destroying their nests. Buzzards have been persecuted over many years and were almost extinct until their recovery began 20 years ago. It must be remembered that their populations are still low, dangerously so in some areas.
Pheasants, on the other hand, are a non native species, especially introduced to be shot for sport. Between 35 and 37 million birds are released each year: buzzards take 1-2% - a tiny amount compared with the 3 million that are run over.
Of course, making money must be blamed for this suggestion! There are people who willingly kill this most beautiful bird because it dares to live its natural life on land that they have claimed. They then raise millions of other birds for paying customers to shoot! – this is called sport.
There has been such a tremendous outcry from the public about this proposal and thankfully Defra has agreed to think again and will not allow this killing to go ahead. While this is great news, it does not mean that all is well for our buzzards or other birds of prey, which continue to be illegally slaughtered year after year.