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More help for birds of prey

Protected birds of prey which upset pigeon fanciers and grouse shooters because of their hunting habits should not be killed for doing what comes naturally, a report says. Instead, it recommends measures to increase the numbers of wild birds on which some predators feed and more protection for pigeons and grouse.

With peregrines hunting pigeons and red grouse and hen harriers also taking grouse, pigeon fanciers and grouse shooters want their already low numbers reduced. But the report says pigeon fanciers overlooked that their birds can die from bad weather and exhaustion. It acknowledged that grouse numbers are declining but attributes this to "the loss, fragmentation and poor management of much of the heather moorland".