1. ITV Report

Bird crime report reveals illegal killing continues in Wales

A Red Kite. Credit: Boris Roessler/DPA/PA Images

Birds of prey in Wales continue to be at risk according to the latest Bird crime report which revealed a minimum of three confirmed incidents of illegal bird of prey persecution during 2017.

Bird crime 2017 reveals 68 confirmed incidents UK-wide, including 48 shootings, nine poisonings, three trappings, four nest destructions and four other incidents of illegal persecution against raptors. However, evidence suggests these figures are just the tip of the iceberg with many illegal killings going undetected or unreported.

Among the victims in Wales was a peregrine falcon, red kite and buzzard. The peregrine falcon suffered poisoning via pigeon bait, whilst the buzzard and red kite were shot.

The report also reveals Powys to be the second highest county throughout the UK for raptor persecution between 2012-2017. During this period, the county saw 25 confirmed bird of prey persecution incidents – quite a distance ahead of the next highest county in Wales, Conwy, with four.

Wild bird crime incidents in Wales remain low compared to the rest of the UK.

Birds of prey are part of our heritage and inspire us. We should all be able to enjoy seeing these magnificent birds, however illegal activity continues to put species at risk. There are laws in place to protect these birds but they are clearly not being respected or adequately enforced.

We need governments across the UK to do more to tackle illegal killing to protect our raptors for us and for future generations to enjoy.

– Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director