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Buzzard study U-turn

The Countryside Alliance (CA) says it is ?bitterly disappointed? at the news that DEFRA?s proposed study into non-lethal methods of buzzard control is to be scrapped, following concerted opposition from groups including the RSPB.

The CA?s campaign director, Tim Bonner, described the original plans, which were designed to research the effect of rising buzzard numbers on pheasant poults, as ?sensible and proportionate? and said the Government had chosen to ignore rural people in favour of a ?large and vocal special interest group?.

He said: ?This study was explicitly non-lethal and right for the countryside as a whole. While the breeding success of buzzards in the UK over the last decade can be welcomed by all, it has had an impact on other parts of the countryside that now needs proper consideration.

?Wild animal management is an essential part of the countryside that is largely misunderstood by those in towns, cities and, apparently, Whitehall.

?The bird charities have erupted in protest because it is in their interest to oppose any raptor management programmes, but the truth is that many of them, including the RSPB, actively manage populations of corvids on their own estates.?

The RSPB?s reaction to DEFRA minister Richard Benyon?s original announcement was described by gamekeepers in last week?s issue of Shooting Times as ?hysterical?.

The rest of this article appears in the 6th June issue of Shooting Times.

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