Criminals using lockdown to shoot, trap and poison birds of prey in ‘persecution crimewave’

Conservationists blame ‘sporting estates’ after surge in killings of hen harriers, peregrines, buzzards and red kites, reports Jane Dalton

Thursday 14 May 2020 19:55
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A protected red kite was found shot dead in Tregynon, Powys, in Wales - one of three killed at the same time
A protected red kite was found shot dead in Tregynon, Powys, in Wales - one of three killed at the same time

Birds of prey are being illegally shot, trapped and poisoned in increasing numbers during the coronavirus lockdown to protect the grouse-shooting industry, according to wildlife police.

Conservationists say shooting supporters are getting away with murder in the countryside in full daylight while the public are staying away from land where they would otherwise spot criminal activity.

The RSPB has received a surge in reports of hen harriers, peregrines, buzzards, red kites and goshawks being targeted in the past seven weeks. A barn owl was also deliberately killed.

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