Like many of you, I believe that it is essential our wildlife is properly protected, and anyone involved in game management must respect the country’s conservation laws which are amongst the toughest in the world.
You may be aware that the Government is working with moor owners to further improve management practices and peat conditions. There have been many exemplar models for management in this country directly relating to hen harriers and ‘rewilding’, including the Langholm Moor experiment in Scotland. I will certainly urge the Ministerial at DEFRA team to pay close attention to these experiments (as well other, highly successful, programmes for other species such as red kites) and integrate these with the Department’s ‘hen harrier action plan’ which seeks to forge policies around conservation and crime prevention.
Locally, I would also be happy to work with conservation groups to promote the protection of our local wildlife.
I am pleased that all wild birds are protected from illegal killing by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. Raptor persecution, including of hen harriers, is a national wildlife crime priority and there are strong penalties in place for offences committed against birds of prey.