Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Environment Minister Bird Poisoning

Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury and Wildlife Minister, has refused to outlaw the poison carbofuran, which is used by some to kill protected birds of prey on shooting estates. By refusing to place an outright ban on the use of this deadly poison, Mr Benyon is not only cosily sidling up to his friends on Britain’s shooting estates, but he is also attempting to sidestep an important piece of EU legislation put in place to protect our majestic and beautiful birds of prey. Under the EU Birds Directive, the UK Government is legally obliged to take the necessary steps to protect all bird species living naturally in the wild. This vital piece of legislation also makes it a crime to deliberately kill or capture the bird species covered by the directive, which in the UK’s case, includes the Golden Eagle, the White-tailed Eagle and the Buzzard. Since 2002, over 200 birds of these species have been callously poisoned by carbofuran with scant regard paid to protective measures laid out in the directive. By burying his head in the sand over the rampant use of carbofuran on game estates across the UK, the minister is at best guilty of pandering to the interests of the shooting lobby and at worst of turning a blind eye to these widespread and devastating instances of wildlife crime.

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