BASC believes the publication of the first comprehensive raptor persecution map for England and Wales will allow enforcement to be effectively targeted.
While a previous map showed only incidents involving the poisoning of protected raptors, the new interactive map also now includes for the first time incidents of shootings, trappings and nest destruction.
The map, published on behalf of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG) and the National Wildlife Crime Unit, has the support of Defra. It covers the five-year period between 2011 and 2015 and will be updated on an annual basis.
Defra has said North Yorkshire will be a priority area as the most incidents occurred there (39), followed by Norfolk (17), Cumbria (11), Derbyshire (11), Lincolnshire (10), Suffolk (8) and Northumberland (8).
Christopher Graffius, BASC’s acting chief executive, said: “For the fight against raptor persecution to be successful, it is essential that credible intelligence is available to enable enforcement to be focused in the most effective manner.
“This map should serve as a wake-up call for those who are doing a disservice to the entire shooting community by committing crimes against birds of prey.
“The message should now be heard loud and clear that illegality has to stop. BASC fully supports the publication of this map and hopes it will prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against raptor crime.”
BASC, as members of the RPPDG, has worked with other rural organisations, the RSPB, the police and government agencies to publish the information.
Ian Grindy, chair of BASC’s game and gamekeeping committee, said: “For too many years, the extent of persecution has been hidden.
“BASC hopes that by pulling together all the available data in this interactive map, organisations are in a better position to put an end to this illegal activity once for all. A clear step has been taken towards driving these criminals into full view.”
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