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Raptors, Game Birds And Racing Pigeons: Research

Volume 597: debated on Wednesday 17 February 1999

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether progress has been made in assessing the impact of raptor numbers on game bird and racing pigeon interests; and what future work is planned. [HL1116]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
(Lord Whitty)

My noble friend Lady Hayman on 14 January 1998 (WA 203) reported on the work of the Raptor Working Group, which was set up in 1995 to investigate this matter.In the last 12 months, the group has taken forward the programme of work outlined in the parliamentary Answer. It has concentrated on formulating possible solutions to the conflicts arising between certain birds of prey and game and pigeon interests. The group submitted an interim report to Ministers in November 1998.The Working Group intends to complete this year its programme of work, which will include the following:to consider the results and implications of the 1998 national survey of hen harriers; assess the results and implications of the research on raptor predation of red grouse as influenced by moorland management practices; review the findings of the Langholm management trial; assess the results of the research on interactions between racing pigeons and birds of prey and consider practical mechanisms for the resolution of any problem in this area; review outputs from Scottish Natural Heritage's Moorland Working Group and other fora; consider means to assess why illegal killing of birds is still prevalent.It will then produce a final report and recommendations to Ministers in late 1999.