15th May 2020
Responding to the RSPB press release – Bird of prey persecution crimewave during lockdown (14th May 2020) Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said: “Any confirmed reports of raptor persecution are cause for concern. The incidents specified near Leeds and York in the RSPB release are clearly not on grouse moors, while reports we have from our members in the uplands have suggested that many birds of prey are in fact benefiting from the lock-down restrictions and the subsequent reduction in disturbance from members of the public. Estates across the country have reported a number of raptors including peregrine, merlin and hen harriers nesting and living on those landscapes.
“We condemn any illegal activity and Moorland Association members have signed up to a cross-sector zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime. Estates and gamekeepers have been the eyes and ears on the ground during lockdown, reporting suspicious activity. They are also actively working with police authorities in Operation Owl – an initiative to raise awareness of raptor persecution. We always encourage reporting of any suspicious incident.”