We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Birds of Prey

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th January 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Labour, Scunthorpe

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's policy is on population levels for the hen harrier in England; and what recent steps it has taken to preserve hen harrier populations.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

My Department has implemented a number of initiatives recently to address the conservation of birds of prey, including the hen harrier:

The hen harrier was included in the list of species and habitats of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England, published on 22 May 2008, under section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. The listing means that Government must take reasonable steps to further their conservation or promote the taking of such steps by others.

Natural England is looking to improve the conservation of the hen harrier by examining the feasibility of reintroducing this species to the lowland part of its former range.

On the basis of the work carried out by the National Wildlife Crime Unit, hen harrier persecution is a UK wildlife crime priority. The inclusion of hen harrier persecution as a wildlife crime priority for two years running demonstrates how seriously the Government take this issue.

The wildlife incident investigation scheme (WIIS) investigates the deaths of wildlife throughout the UK where there is evidence that pesticide poisoning may be involved. WIIS is supported by the Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning (CAIP), which aims to protect some of Britain's rarest birds of prey and wildlife from accidental and illegal poisoning by pesticides, and was relaunched in July 2008. Over the next three years activities under CAIP will include preventing poisoning and improving detection of poisoning cases.

To emphasise the Government's concern about persecution of birds of prey, on 23 October 2008, I publicly signed a pledge with a number of conservation and shooting interest organisations that recognised the importance of raptors in England and that there is no place for the illegal killing of these species.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.