As a result of the RSPB’s reported increase into bird of prey persecution levels during the coronavirus lockdown, the NGO contacted the RSPB and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) to seek clarification on the source of the information and statistics provided in the report.
The report, and subsequent reporting by journalists, implied that the recent ‘increase’ was the result of ‘orchestrated’ work carried out by gamekeepers.
The letter confirms that the NWCU will be in touch with the RSPB for details of all incidents that are outlined in the recent RSPB report so relevant Police Forces can be informed of any incidents in their area and investigations can be carried out.
The letter also recognises the ‘significant contributions gamekeepers make to conservation projects benefiting a wide range of wildlife including birds of prey’.
The full letter can be read here.
Liam Bell, Chairman of the NGO, said: ‘We thank the NWCU for getting in touch with us and clarifying their position. We want to get an accurate and complete picture of what is happening across the country and the RSPB report felt like a PR exercise with no real foundation. We hope that the persecution of birds of prey is eradicated and we want to continue to work closely with our partners and stakeholders across the country to make this happen.”