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RSPB report reveals Norfolk suffers worst crimes against birds in the region

A male marsh harrier. Many birds of prey in the region have been shot by criminals. Photo:

A male marsh harrier. Many birds of prey in the region have been shot by criminals. Photo:

Brian Shreeve

A new report has revealed that Norfolk has the highest level of crime against wild birds in the region.

The marsh harrier's nest targeted by egg thieves, May 10, 2015. Photo: Chris Bishop The marsh harrier's nest targeted by egg thieves, May 10, 2015. Photo: Chris Bishop

Now a wildlife organisation is calling on the government to do more to tackle crime against birds in East Anglia.

The region’s branch of the RSPB has demanded urgent action is taken against wildlife crimes such as the shooting and poisoning of birds of prey.

The call follows the publication of the annual Birdcrime report which shows that in Norfolk there were 12 incidents in 2015, seven in Suffolk and in Cambridgeshire three.

Across the whole of East Anglia there 24 cases of birds of prey being shot, trapped or poisoned.

MORE: Police investigating theft of marsh harrier eggs in Norfolk release description of suspect

The report confirmed the shooting of three buzzards, one red-footed falcon, one marsh harrier and the poisoning of two buzzards and one red kite.

RSPB eastern senior conservation officer, Phil Pearson, said: “It is well past time that illegal killing of birds of prey was consigned to the history books. I hope the government will respond to this latest call for action to see this happen.”

RSPB director of conservation, Martin Harper, said: “Our birds of prey are magnificent creatures and the sight of a hen harrier’s dramatic skydancing display flight is simply breathtaking. Everyone should be able to witness this but sadly millions of people are denied this opportunity. Our uplands are deprived of some amazing wildlife because of ongoing illegal persecution and it has to stop.”

It is not only conservation organisations fighting for the protection of our wildlife. Public anger is growing stronger over the ongoing persecution of our birds of prey and the state of our uplands, and more voices are beginning to call for change.

“There is growing public support to reform driven grouse shooting,” he added.

“The status quo is not an option and we continue to call, throughout the UK, for the introduction of a robust licensing system for driven grouse shooting and an offence of vicarious liability for employers whose staff commit wildlife crime.”

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