DEFRA responds to public outcry over buzzard ‘management’ trial

The weight of public pressure on DEFRA after it was revealed they were funding a ‘study’ to explore methods of buzzard ‘management’ (see here, here and here) has led them to put out a statement.

You can read it here

The statement is just as laughable as their study idea. They’ve completely missed the point of the public’s anger – DEFRA thinks that we’ve all misunderstood the proposal and we’re worried about them ‘killing’ buzzards; they don’t get it that we’re all opposed to the use of public funds to ‘control’ buzzards (native species just recovering from decades of persecution) for the benefit of 40 million non-native gamebirds that are released into the environment every year for the purposes of being shot for ‘sport’!

Here are some of the ludicrous sentences in their statement:

‘We work on the basis of sound evidence’ (er, you clearly don’t!)

‘This would only be in areas where there is a clear problem’ (how have you quantified a ‘clear problem’? Where’s the scientific evidence to back it up?)

‘…destroying empty nests…’ (note the inclusion of the word ’empty’ to try and convince us that adult birds, or eggs or chicks won’t be shot out of the tree).

‘The results of this scientific research will help guide our policy on this issue in the future’. (Just because you’ve used the term ‘scientific research’ doesn’t make this a valid scientific study. For it to be that, a hypothesis would first need to be tested (e.g. do buzzards have an impact on pheasant poults?) instead of going straight in with the assumption that they do have an impact and so let’s remove some to see what happens).

Interestingly, DEFRA doesn’t mention anything about the illegality of their methods (well, methods #3 & #4 anyway – permananent translocation [removal of adult birds] to captivity at falconry centres and shooting out nests with a shotgun). Hopefully the RSPB will get their lawyers on to this!

4 Responses to “DEFRA responds to public outcry over buzzard ‘management’ trial”

  1. 1 Mik. Kenney
    May 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Thank God for the R.S.P.B. and associated organisations.
    This proposal by DEFRA is so ridiculous, not to mention illegal, I had to check if it was April 1st.
    On reflection, I came to the conclusion that DEFRA is staffed by the empty headed numpties
    who are considered to be too stupid / dangerous / mentally defective to be allowed to serve
    anywhere else in the government, a ‘Cabbage Patch’ in other words.
    This is yet another example of Cameron’s ‘Greenest Government’ ever, and a blatant
    example of the Tory Party’s classic ‘self interest’ politics, ie. ‘We’re all right, sod the rest.
    I wonder if DEFRA Minister Richard Benyon MP would like to comment on the fact that he
    just happens to own a grouse moor ? No, I wonder why not ?
    For heavens sake Cameron, get a grip of this lunatic fringe that you call a government and

  2. May 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Shooting out ’empty nests’ ? What about Rooks etc? The whole idea is preposterous in the extreme. These people work in grey rooms without windows and one harsh striplight, bringing out these daft proposals because they have no connection with us out here, the natural world, or, apparently, reality.

  3. 3 Circus maxima
    May 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I feel sorry for some of the Natural England crew. They probably were committed conservationists who signed up to give independant scientific advice to professional standards……….then they were hauled into DEFRA, converted into mainline civil service and instructed to make the politicians dreams come true…..or they loose their income and pension. Most of them will be looking at this and thinking “thank god its not me this time…”
    I bet they are finding it hard to sleep.

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