Calls for clampdown on 'raptor killers' in Cumbria

A peregrine falcon. Credit: PA

The RSPB is urging the government to clampdown on people who illegally persecute birds of prey.

So called 'raptor killers' are still prevalent, and the charity says Cumbria is one of the worst counties in the country.

In 2015, there were 196 reports of birds of prey being shot and killed nationally, as well as 50 reports of wildlife poisoning and pesticide-related offences.

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Confirmed incidents in Cumbria

A buzzard. Credit: PA

Raptor persecution is one of the UK government's top wildlife crime priorities.

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.

Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation