Illegal killings of birds of prey in the United Kingdom have increased significantly since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, according to wildlife charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Birds of prey — also known as raptors — are birds that hunt other animals for food.
Birds-of-prey poachers have become emboldened by the absence of walkers and hikers, leaving these poor animals unprotected.
The species that have been targeted for illegal hunting have included hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites, goshawks, buzzards, and barn owls.
RSPB alleges that the incidents are overwhelmingly connected with land managed for sport shoots.
“I am genuinely disturbed,” Mark Thomas of RSPB told BBC News. “In more than 20 years of investigating, I’ve never seen anything like it. We are having to put ongoing investigations on hold in order to triage all these reports … This isn’t youngsters with air rifles but orchestrated wildlife crime.”
Birds of prey are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) but if criminals don’t follow the law, these animals will continue to be hunted.
At Karmagawa, we’re against these illegal killings and we want to make sure that the world knows these things are happening.
Hopefully, with more people aware, hunters will feel less confident in breaking the law and these animals can go back to living in peace.
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What do you think about poachers becoming more confident during the coronavirus lockdown? Leave a comment below.