Reacting to the Government's new six-point plan to protect the hen harrier, one of England's rarest birds of prey, Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for the League Against Cruel Sports said:  “Action plans are all well and good, but ultimately the only way hen harriers and other birds of prey will be protected is for gamekeepers to stop illegally killing them.

 "And to suggest that brood management is an appropriate measure to stop illegal persecution is pandering to the criminals. If the police were to tell  you to move home because there are burglars in your area, there would be an uproar.

“We call on the shooting industry to urgently get to grips with this problem and for the Government to introduce an independent inquiry into shooting.

“The inquiry should cover the legal and illegal persecution of the millions of animals carried out in the name of ‘protecting’ the tens of millions of cage-bred birds raised to be shot for sport.  It should also look into the inhumane conditions that these birds are kept in (worse than battery hens) and as flood defences are scaled back, the environmental problems such as increased flooding caused by tax break-enabled grouse moor over-management."