The RSPB is concerned that government cost-cutting may lead to the scrapping of a UK registration scheme that has helped fight wildlife crime.

Conversely, the Hawk Board wants a scaled-down, modernised registration system for rare falcons.

Currently, anyone keeping rare birds of prey, including golden eagles and peregrine falcons, in captivity has to register them with the government, under Section 7 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the EU through an Article 10 certificate.

The RSPB believes the UK registration scheme has proved to be an effective deterrent in preventing birds illegally stolen from the wild being laundered into the market for legally captive-bred birds.

However, the Hawk Board disagrees with the RSPB’s stance.

Chairman, Jim Chick, told Shooting Times the scrapping of the UK registration scheme would free up falconers from cumbersome paperwork while maintaining protection.

The rest of this article will appear in 1 November issue of Shooting Times.

What is YOUR opinion? Do you think the conservation of rare birds of prey will suffer if the registration scheme is scrapped?

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