A CHARITY organisation has called for better application of laws that protect UK birds, after illegal persecution continued.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is demanding more protection for birds of prey after the latest ‘Birdcrime’ report stated that our native birds are being prevented from recovering to their natural population levels.


The RSPB received 15 reports of bird of prey incidents in Lancashire and a further 179 nationwide.

These including the confirmed shooting of 34 buzzards, nine peregrines, three red kites and a hen harrier.

The report also documents 72 reported incidents of wildlife poisoning and pesticide-related offences, including 23 red kites, nine buzzards and four peregrine falcons.

These figures are believed to represent only a fraction of the illegal persecution in the UK, with many incidents thought to be going undetected and unreported.

Elliot Lorimer, a spokesman for the Forest of Bowland, said that bird species will not be able to last forever by being persecuted.

He said: “It’s illegal and extremely cruel to kill these birds and without them it makes an impact on other areas of the animal kingdom.

“Protected birds in the Forest of Bowland are part of our identity, they’re our logo and a big part of the area as well as on a national scale.

“All members of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are working together to try and reduce these illegal killings to help and preserve the species to continue into the future.”

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, 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.

“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.

“All evidence points to the need for a consistent approach and effort across all four UK countries in protecting our most-threatened birds of prey, such as the hen harrier and golden eagle, from illegal persecution.

“In this context, there is a strong case for fully implementing the EU Nature Directives consistently across the UK to protect wildlife from illegal killing.”