The law seems stacked in favour of shooting over wildlife protection
June 2013. Natural England recently gave permission for gamekeeper to destroy four buzzard nests to protect his ‘livestock' (which includes any animal kept for the provision or improvement of shooting). This seems to contradict a statement put out last year by Richard Benyon, the Environment Minister, when similar proposals were withdrawn after a public outcry (see box). On this occasion, Natural England stated that "The buzzard population in the locality remains particularly high and concentrated and we are confident that the local conservation status will not be adversely impacted by the destruction of this small number of nests."
Fatal accidents caused by pheasants
In light of this, Wildlife Extra requested permission from Natural England to remove nuisance pheasants that are released in their thousands close to roads, are known to cause damage to cars, and, according to press reports, have been responsible for at least two fatal car crashed in the last few years. (In 2008 a motor cyclist was killed near Lancaster when he hit a pheasant (click here) and in 2012, a pheasant caused a fatal car crash near Hull (click here).)