More positivity needed: our letter to The Guardian

With the UK bird of prey population booming past the 250,000 barrier for the first time in hundreds of years, we should remember that suspected incidents of illegal killing remain extraordinarily low.

If the concerns of all fifty six walkers that rang the RSPB (News, 15 May) were ever confirmed, the odds of a bird of prey being killed illegally is still way below that of a reader being struck by lightning. Perhaps it’s time for a little more positive reporting of this huge conservation success story.

Andrew Gilruth
Director of Communications
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

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at 14:03 on 19/05/2020 by JAMIE DANIELL

Great letter by AG, it rather puts into perspective the astonishing avalance of statistics we are subject to on an hourly basis at the moment. Keep the hammer down! Jamie.

Illegal raptor killing

at 13:43 on 19/05/2020 by David Pepper

If always found it odd that game keeper always get the blame for this as raptors make barely a dent in the population of game birds. However pigeons can be very valuable and pigeon fanciers are very protective. There is no evidence that they kill birds, though I have heard rumours. But no one in the RSPB ever thinks of this. Too agenda driven

Fake news

at 10:48 on 19/05/2020 by Graham Metcalfe

As a person who deals with public complaints as a job Id be amazed that all those calls were accurate enough to determine illegally persecution of raptors. The public have been hyped up to be spotters of anything suspicious. A gamekeeper shooting crows for example. Id say the stats have come off the rspb call centre spreadsheet and a high percentage are false claims.


at 10:09 on 19/05/2020 by Gary

I'd be amazed if the RSPB know what the word "positivity" means, their focus is raising funds through negativity. They're still using the Peregrine in their money begging adverts when the UK population is over 2000 pairs, three times higher than it was when records first began in the 1930's !

More positivity

at 7:21 on 19/05/2020 by Malcolm Hay

Stunningly good letter - if you have not already done so, suggest you send direct to environment ministers north and south of the border with the stats that back it up - everyone who shoots should be sending these same stats to their M(S)Ps. Malcolm

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