Wildlife enthusiasts and the general public alike have been urged to make a stand against cruelty to birds and other animals at a national wildlife crime conference.
The meeting of the Birders Against Wildlife Crime took place in Buxton, Derbyshire on March 21st and featured a host of speakers, including Bob Elliot from the RSPB and Paul Tillesley from the League Against Cruel Sports, local police officers and politicians.
Keynote speaker for the meeting - entitled Eyes in the Field - was TV presenter Chris Packham, whose anger was palpable as he said Britain is being robbed of "national treasures" including birds of prey, the East Anglian Daily Times reports.
He warned that Hen Harriers, Peregrine Falcons and Goshawks as disappearing from upland locations such as the Peak District, with all of these species suffering as a result of being illegally shot, trapped and even clubbed to death.
"Wildlife crime's biggest problem is that it is often not seen as a crime. In the eyes of other people it is still not seen as a truly criminal act. People have been getting away with it for a long time and they continue to get away it," Packham commented.
He concluded by calling for wildlife offences to be made notifiable crimes that need to be reported to the Home Office by the police and urging conference attendees to use their anger to fuel change, particularly since this type of crime is often not reported in the media.
It may be worth finding out more about wildlife crime in your local area and then writing to your MP and newspaper to raise awareness about such issues.
As the speakers at this conference said, it would be devastating to see extinctions come about because of illegal persecution that is usually associated with big game in other countries.