Wild Moors has welcomed the findings of a key United Nations report which considers ways for the UK to build on and improve its policy-making to become more effective at tackling wildlife crime.

The comprehensive analysis, the Wildlife Crime Analytic Toolkit Report, puts forward a series of recommendations as to how the UK can better address key aspects of wildlife crime including the long-standing persecution of birds of prey on shooting estates.

In order to get to grips with the problem, the report recommends that the UK introduces licensing of game bird shoots to give the authorities fresh powers to revoke operational licences where rule-breaking is linked to estate management.

Responding to the report, Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, says:

“A wave of wildlife crime continues to sweep across Britain’s grouse moors involving birds of prey being shot, trapped, poisoned and vanishing under suspicious circumstances. Wildlife crime is a major threat to biodiversity and there’s no pathway to protecting or restoring the natural environment without tackling this blight.

“We understand the Environment Minister Rebecca Pow is currently considering the recommendations made by the report and encourage her to bring forward grouse moor licensing without delay.”

According to the RSPB, attacks on protected birds of prey rose in 2020 to the highest level since records began 30 years ago, with almost two thirds of incidents linked to game bird shooting.

In one of many shocking cases during that year, Wild Moors filmed a rare goshawk being baited, trapped and killed with a stick by a masked man on a grouse moor, near Goathland, in the North York Moors National Park.

Wild Moors is campaigning for licensing of grouse moors to provide robust powers to tackle those shoots implicated in wildlife crime, animal welfare abuses and environmental damage.


Notes for editors:

See here to find out more about wildlife crime on grouse moors.

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Wild Moors campaigns to unlock an area of uplands the size of Greater London from grouse shooting for nature restoration by 2030. By working with communities, companies and governments to solve challenges facing the upland environment Wild Moors acts as a catalyst for creating effective and lasting change.