Hen Harrier Day 2017 #StopKillingHenHarriers

Well, didn’t that go well! Larger crowds, more media coverage, #stopkillinghenharriers trending nationally on Twitter. The organisers of every Hen Harrier Day event should be eating their breakfasts this morning with a hard earned feeling of a job well done.

A great example of the media coverage is in this morning’s Sheffield Star https://goo.gl/4vHwYf

In the interest of balanced reporting, they have a quote from Amanda Anderson of the Moorland Association. She says “We welcome the highlighting of the hen harrier issue throughout Hen Harrier weekend and believe those managing the land must be a part of the solution.” So far so good.

Then she is quoted as saying “Our support for the Hen Harrier Recovery Plan is unwavering and we eagerly await a decision on our joint application for a licence to instigate a brood management scheme trial of the Action Plan, which we believe would be another step in the right direction to improve the harrier population in the north of England.”

Here BAWC disagrees. RSPB’s Blanaid Denman amply outlined the problem with brood management at the Sheffield event on Saturday. She has studied the movement of sat tagged Hen Harriers for years and explained that they are wilful birds and won’t stay put. They won’t stay near their natal site, if they don’t want to. Therefore, if they don’t want to, they won’t stay around their translocation site, however carefully it is chosen. The birds will seek out prime nesting sites and there is no protected airspace to stop them going where they will, no Hen Harrier exclusion zone, except that enforced by the gun, poison and pole trap.

This is why BAWC can’t support the Action Plan, why we don’t support Brood Management, and why we believe any member of the general public who has the chance to hear both sides of the argument will conclude strengthening and enforcing the laws against Wildlife Crime is the way forward.

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