As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

RSPB Government misses chance to turn up the heat on wildlife criminals

Despite evidence that wildlife crime is a threat to some of our most threatened species, the Government has ignored the advice of a committee of MPs by refusing to provide long-term financial security for the National Wildlife Crime Unit. They have also ignored some simple recommendations to turn up the heat on wildlife criminals in England and Wales. Martin Harper is the RSPB's conservation director. Commenting on the Government's announcement, he said: "Every year threatened species are killed illegally, putting some species at a great risk. Despite ministerial assurances that tackling wildlife crime is a 'core priority' and the Government being given a clear roadmap by a group of MPs on how to tackle wildlife crime, Ministers have ignored these recommendations. The Government's rejection of even simple wildlife crime measures at this crucial time displays a worrying lack of commitment to tackle this significant conservation issue."

In October last year, the Environmental Audit Committee, under the chair of Joan Walley MP, investigated wildlife crime and made recommendations, including securing long-term funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit and tightening up controls on poisons used to kill birds of prey, allowing offences of possession to be linked to tougher sentences. Martin Harper said: "We're also very disappointed by the Government's response to introducing vicarious liability legislation, which would allow landowners to be prosecuted for crimes committed by their employees and make a real difference to tackling bird of prey persecution."

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