Hen Harriers

Date: 13.09.20 | in: Animal Welfare

I have received a large amount of correspondence from my constituents regarding the plight of the Hen harrier.

Hen Harriers are one of the most persecuted birds of prey and are in danger of becoming extinct.

Hen Harriers nest in heather on open upland moorland, these areas are generally managed for Grouse Shooting. The Hen Harrier is perceived as a predator to Grouse and the ‘illegal and legal’ control of the Hen Harrier in Grouse shooting areas is the main hinderance to the Hen Harriers recovery.

I have long been concerned with the killing of hen harriers and have long campaigned against blood sports. In January 2018 myself and several colleagues successfully supported a ban on grouse shooting rights on Ilkley Moor and I also wrote to Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe on the matter.

These actions led to Bradford Council voting to refuse the renewal of the grouse shooting rights on the moor. I was very pleased with this outcome, as this ban has not only protected grouse, but also the wider environment and ecosystem.

The intensive processes associated with grouse shooting can be extremely damaging to the local environment, which I believe have no place in 21st Century Britain.

In response to my constituents concerns I have written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ask (a) what steps he has taken to combat the illegal shooting of hen harriers associated with grouse shooting, and (b) how hen harrier populations will be restored across the UK.

You will be able to see any response at:

My Labour colleagues and I will continue to support efforts to protect hen harriers, including by pressing the Government to implement a review into grouse moors operation and a proper licensing system as a matter of urgency.

All details are correct at date of publication shown at the top of the article

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