The Buzzards are in Parliament

Stop this mad move to capture buzzards and destroy their nests

The government has no responsibility to protect pheasant shoots from our native wildlife, so why is Defra pushing a plan that will damage a protected species?

The wildlife minister Richard Benyon’s department is to spend £375,000 on capturing buzzards, above, to stop them hunting young pheasants. Photograph: David Chapman /Alamy

David Cameron must have been having a laugh when he made Richard Benyon his minister for wildlife and biodiversity. In a previous post I explained what appears to be a crashing conflict of interest. Last year, Benyon, inheritor of a vast stately home and a 20,000-acre walled estate in the south of England, as well as properties elsewhere, managed to get planning permission for a sand and gravel quarry. It was fiercely opposed by conservation groups, on the grounds that it will damage wildlife and biodiversity.

Benyon has also shown a spectacular ignorance of the natural world he is charged with protecting. First, on a Channel 4 programme, he was unable to identify the common fish species for whose survival he is responsible (he is also minister for fisheries). Then he announced that he would wage war on people who let ragwort grow. As ecologists were quick to point out, ragwort is a native plant critical to the survival of other species.

But his latest act suggests something even worse: that he is using his department’s budget to subsidise the class and culture to which he belongs, at the expense of both taxpayers and birds of prey.

Pheasants, which are an exotic species in the UK, are bred here in large numbers to be shot, generally by and for some of the richest people in the country. They are reared in pens, then released into the countryside. People then pay a fortune to line up in a field, armed with shotguns, while an army of beaters works its way through the woods towards them, driving the pheasants into the air and over their heads. This activity is classified as “sport”.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

Guns blazing to decimate a flock of birds; this is ‘sport’

This is not about the blood ‘sport’ of pheasant shooting (that’s another issue), but rather the duplicity of government and the ignorance of a crown minister about his portfolio.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of England, made Richard Benyon  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Defra

This sad twat knows absolutely nothing about the environment and wildlife, so why was he put in this position of power?

How did this sad twat get planning permission for a quarry that threatened wildlife habitats? Oh, if you are in parliament, you can do anything; leap tall buildings, stop speeding locomotives, get planning permission for stupid projects.

Now we come to the ‘whisky soaked’ anecdotes that buzzards kill almost half the poults (young pheasant) thereby reducing the thrills of the ‘sport’.

Bear in mind that the buzzard is an endangered species, not critically endangered… yet.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds makes the following observation:

“An independent study carried out by ADAS (an independent consultant), commissioned by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, found that on average, 1-2% of pheasant poults released were taken by birds of prey. It found 45% of poults released were shot, with the remainder dying as a result of other factors, such as road collision and disease, or surviving to join the feral population. The study therefore concluded that losses to birds of prey were negligible compared to other much greater causes of loss. It found the financial cost of “average” bird of prey predation to a shoot releasing 1,000 poults per year, would be just £30.”” – from the BBC article.

In fact ALL birds of prey are responsible for 1 – 2% of poult deaths, not just buzzards. So there is no need for another study, it’s already there. I would bet heavily on the fact that any study carried out at the behest of Benyon would be heavily biased in his favour.

“It looks to me as if Richard Benyon is using public money to provide services for his aristocratic friends.” – BBC

All of which brings me to the penultimate and poignant paragraph of the BCC article:

“Has there, with the possible exception of Nicholas Ridley (another scion of an aristocratic family with vast estates), ever been a worse minister with responsibility for the environment in this country? Has there ever been a clearer sign that the “greenest government ever” couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss for the environment? Can David Cameron claim even a shred of green credibility while Richard Benyon remains in his post?”

Cameron’s claim to be ‘the greenest government ever’ is a crock of shit!

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