An independent e-petition has recently been posted on the UK government website, calling for Vicarious Liability to be introduced in England.The move will hopefully lead to much tougher penalties for those who persecute birds of prey.
Recent surveys indicate that the hen harrier is now on the brink of extinction with fewer than ten breeding pairs left, some illegitimate game keepers put this persecution down to predator control.
Analysis of wildlife crime data indicates that the persecution of peregrines was more frequent on grouse moors than in other habitat types. The breeding of peregrines was also found to be 50% lower on grouse moors than on non grouse moor habitats.
Bearing in mind the great difficulties in gaining sufficient evidence and even detecting these crimes, the RSPB report still stated that there were 277 reported incidents of illegal shooting, trapping and nest destruction of birds of prey in 2010.
The situation is critical and we need much heftier sentencing of such crimes as a deterrent. Vicarious liability will mean that managers and employers of those who commit these crimes will also be accountable for their actions.
Please visit this link,add your name (you will be asked for email verification, so please check your junk email box for this otherwise your name wont be added!) and circulate widely to friends and family.