Commenting on the High Court overruling Natural England’s decision to refuse licenses to kill buzzards, Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: 

“The High Court’s buzzard-killing decision is very disappointing and could result in a free-for-all for wildlife criminals.

“As it stands, issuing licenses to eradicate buzzards in this way makes enforcement of the law protecting these native birds of prey practically impossible.   But this ruling will open the floodgates and make it even easier for gamekeepers to persecute protected British birds.

“Is it right that our laws put businesses based on killing birds for profit and so-called ‘sport’ before the protection of our own, indigenous birds of prey?

“It’s no surprise that Natural England was keen to reflect public opinion. The UK’s commercial game shoots, which import birds specially bred to be shot down by paying clients, are no different from Africa’s ‘canned hunting’ businesses, where lions are specially bred so that paying trophy hunters can shoot them dead.

“We believe that an independent inquiry into the UK’s commercial shooting industry is long overdue”.