THE UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has condemned the illegal shooting of a hen harrier in northern England.
The bird, fledged on land managed for shooting in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire in 2011 and satellite-tagged, was discovered dead on a moor in North Yorkshire. A police investigation into the incident is now underway.
BASC director of communications Christopher Graffius said: “BASC unreservedly condemns this crime and urges anyone who shoots who may have any information to come forward and assist the police. Anyone shooting a protected species damages shooting and the countryside and has no place among the law-abiding shooting community. BASC would have no hesitation in expelling any member guilty of such a crime.”
The Forest of Bowland is the UK’s only home of nesting hen harriers and there are only a handful of breeding pairs living there.
BASC works closely with conservation bodies, statutory organisations and the police to reduce wildlife crime including the illegal persecution of raptors. The conservation status of hen harriers in the UK is red-listed by the British Trust for Ornithology.
Anyone who may have information is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.