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Illegal killing of hen harriers is man-made madness in the name of “sport”

David Bocking’s article on International Rangers Day was educational as always (Telegraph 11 August). It’s a highly dangerous job in conflict zones but, wherever you are a ranger, it’s about “the conflict between humans and wildlife.” At the recent 3rd annual Hen Harriers day in Edale, about 300 of us learned about the impacts of driven grouse shooting. It’s justified as traditional but only dates back 150 years when slavery and male only voting were still considered “traditional”.

The beautiful hen harrier is a rare sight in the Peak District. Why? Because it naturally preys on grouse and pairs are being illegally killed for that reason alone. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett spoke at the event and recalled visiting grouse moors above Hebden Bridge and seeing dozens of traps used to catch stoats, crows and foxes. The aim is to have 100 times more than the natural number of grouse and thus killing any bird or animal which might be a threat to them.

This man-made madness in the name of “sport” completely undermines the good work of rangers and the Wildlife Trusts who want to reintroduce birds of prey but can’t do it while the unlawful killing continues.

105,000 people and rising have now signed Mark Avery’s “Ban Driven Grouse Shooting” petition, triggering a Parliamentary debate. Sign the petition to join this rapidly building campaign that will end driven grouse shooting sooner or later. If you have any information relating to illegal hen harrier killing contact the police.

The Peak District is an amazing asset on our doorstep. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see not only hen harriers but also peregrines, red kites and golden eagles, as we enjoy all it offers us. And it would be great for tourism as well. Petition:

Bob Berzins
Sheffield Green Party

Topics: Animal Rights, Environment, Featured